National History Day competition returns to UW-Green Bay, March 7; 250 students and 160 projects highlighted

Green Bay, Wis.—The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will welcome more than 250 students when it plays host to the Northeastern Wisconsin Region’s National History Day competition on Saturday, March 7, 2020. It’s the 18th consecutive year the event has been held on the Green Bay Campus.

The 250 students, represent 18 schools from throughout the region, with a total of just more than 160 unique projects. Students hail from public and private schools from Brown, Manitowoc, Oconto, Outagamie, Sheboygan and Winnebago counties.

In keeping with this year’s theme of “Breaking Barriers in History,” some project topics include the Stonewall Riots, Muhammad Ali, California Gold Rush, Moon Landing, Nintendo, Civil Rights, artificial hearts, Genghis Khan, Vietnam War protests, Nellie Bly, women’s fashion and the Transcontinental Railroad.

Several of this year’s entries have a tie to northeastern Wisconsin, including projects about Houdini, William Hoy (hearing impaired Oshkosh baseball player credited with developing hand signals used by umpires) and “Walleye Wars.” Some students focused on topics by using the letters and diaries of their grandfathers to tell a personal story connected to history.

“We are proud to have UW-Green Bay serve as host for this exciting academic competition,” said UW-Green Bay’s Deb Anderson, coordinator for the Northeastern Wisconsin region. “National History Day provides students of all abilities and interests an opportunity to learn about a topic of their choosing and present it in a creative way. I am impressed by the depth and range demonstrated by the students in their topic selection, research and final projects.”

For most students, the projects are the result of months of research. Nearly 400 students visited the UW-Green Bay campus to conduct research at the UW-Green Bay Archives and Library. During research field trips, students often are awed by the historical materials they are able to hold in their hands. “We are excited to be part of creating a strong passion for history,” Anderson commented. “It is especially fun to hear the students label it as their ‘best day ever’ or to jump with excitement about a research discovery.”

Students can enter the National History Day competition in a variety of categories, including historical papers, exhibit displays, documentaries, performances and websites. They are required to use primary sources for projects, which often include interviews with individuals who have lived history.

In addition to students, families, educators and friends, the regional National History Day competition relies on over 100 volunteers, including UW-Green Bay students, faculty, alumni and community members. “The dedicated volunteers truly embrace the phrase ‘it takes a village.’” Anderson said.

The 2020 Northeastern National History Day competition will be held in the University Union and Mary Ann Cofrin Hall at UW-Green Bay, 2420 Nicolet Drive. It is free and open to the public. The all-day event has judging taking place from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Awards will be presented in the Weidner Center for Performing Arts at 3:30 p.m.

Winners from the regional competition will move on to the April 18, 2020 state contest, and may have the opportunity to compete at the national competition in Washington, D.C. in June. On an annual basis, National History Day serves more than 600,000 students in all the U.S. states and territories.

For more information, contact Deb Anderson at UW Green Bay Archives at (920) 465-2539 or





Location change: ‘Green Bay’s Underground Railroad History’

By popular demand, the upcoming event, “Green Bay’s Underground Railroad History,” has moved to a larger location— Phoenix C, University Union. The presentation is the first in a series launched by UW-Green Bay Archives and Area Research Center, and is in conjunction with Black History Month. The free program is Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. It is open to the public. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP through Facebook at More here.

First Presbyterian Church Wisconsin Historical Society, Image ID: 31586

UW-Green Bay Archives presents ‘Stories from the Archives: Green Bay’s Underground Railroad History’

Note: because of the popularity of this event, it will be moved to Phoenix C, University Union, Green Bay Campus.

Green Bay, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Archives and Area Research Center is launching a new series: “Stories from the Archives.” The Archives provides research assistance to scholars on a wide variety of topics and is witness to many projects that stem from its vast array of historical collections. The series will provide an opportunity to share with the public, these profound research efforts and projects.

In conjunction with Black History Month, the first program in the series is Green Bay’s Underground Railroad History. The free program will be Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in Phoenix C, University Union. It is open to the public. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP through Facebook at

Following its founding in 1835, Green Bay’s First Presbyterian Church (today’s Union Congregational Church) served as a station on the Underground Railroad. As church historian Ethel Cady put it in 1955, “from the first” the church had an “anti-slavery stand” which was reflected in the abolitionism of its first three ministers, and some members of the congregation. On three separate occasions in the mid-nineteenth century, First Presbyterian Church sheltered freedom seekers making their way from enslavement to freedom.

Through archival research, Victoria Tashjian uncovered the rich history of local efforts regarding the Underground Railroad. This program will describe First Presbyterian Church’s participation in the Underground Railroad as well as Tashjian’s research experience which culminated in the site being designated for the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. The Underground Railroad activities of Native American residents of Stockbridge and Stantonville (today Chilton), will also be discussed briefly.

Tashjian is a professor of history at St. Norbert College. She is the co-author of I Will Not Eat Stone: A Women’s History of Colonial Asante, along with other books and articles. In recent years, she has been researching the history of African Americans living in Northeast Wisconsin and the Fox River Valley in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The results of her research have appeared in Voyageur Magazine: Northeast Wisconsin’s Historical Review and the Wisconsin Magazine of History, as well as on Wisconsin Public Radio.

For more information about the program, contact Archivist Deb Anderson, at 920-465-2539.

Photo used by permission from the Wisconsin Historical Society, Image ID: 31586 of the First Presbyterian Church (now Union Congregational Church), corner of Adams and Crooks Streets, Green Bay. The Church was a site of Underground Railroad activities in Green Bay.


Author Thomas Davis Releases ‘In the Unsettled Homeland of Dreams’ – Door County Pulse

Author Thomas Davis released a new book after spending time researching at the Door County Library’s archives in Sturgeon Bay, the UW-Green Bay Archives and Area Research Center, the archives in Madison and the Washington Island Archives. See more via Thomas Davis Releases ‘In the Unsettled Homeland of Dreams’ – Door County Pulse.

Humanities students looking for Green Bay Packers fans to interview

Calling fans of the green and gold! UW-Green Bay students are seeking Green Bay Packers fans to interview and record experiences about game memories, family traditions, tailgating, divided households and how they celebrate the Green Bay Packers in their daily lives. This semester, students in Digital and Public Humanities courses taught by UW-Green Bay Associate Prof. Heidi Sherman (History) and Brent Hensel, the curator for the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, are working on projects focused on the history of the Green Bay Packers. One of the projects involves sharing the stories of Green Bay Packers fans through oral history interviews. Deb Anderson, campus archivist, is working with the class to collect the stories and preserve them in the UW-Green Bay oral history collection.

“Books and films tell the story of the players, coaches, teams and games of the Green Bay Packers,” noted Anderson. “Little is written about the unique experience of being a super-fan, and we want to change that by capturing the voices of fans.”

Nominate a faculty/staff friend, or if you are willing to participate in the next few weeks in a brief interview of approximately 30 to 45 minutes, please contact Deb Anderson at

A look back to the first (ever) day of classes

Fifty years ago UW-Green Bay held its first classes on the new Shorewood campus. Plans had been underway since 1965 when the new campus was authorized. The groundbreaking ceremony was held in March 1968 and, the first Chancellor, Ed Weidner, set an ambitious goal to have classes begin in fall 1969. University Archives and Area Research Center has photos.

Archives and Area Research Center, Viking House and Richter Museum opening doors for its History Treasure Tour, tonight

The Brown County Federation of History Organizations (BCFHO) announced that it will once again host its History Treasure Tour on May 15, 2019 from 4 to 8 pm. Sixteen Brown County Historical locations will open their doors for FREE, revealing many of the community’s “hidden” treasures. This exciting event encourages the public to explore Brown County’s rich historical past, while enjoying fun, hands-on activities, special behind-the-scenes tours, and exclusive access to expert staff in unique historical environments. Go to one location, or try and make them all, the night is yours to choose!

Participating organizations include:
Ashwaubenon Historical Society The Historic Allouez Society
The Automobile Gallery National Railroad Museum
Brown County Historical Society & Hazelwood
Historic House Museum Neville Public Museum Northeast Wisconsin Masonic Library & Museum
De Pere Historical Society White Pillars Museum Oneida Nation Museum
Green Bay & De Pere Antiquarian Society UWGB Archives & Area Research Center
Green Bay Diocese Museum and Cultural Center UWGB Richter Museum of Natural History
Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame UWGB Viking House
Heritage Hill State Park

In addition to the History Treasure Tour, BCFHO is pleased to announce something new this year: Passport2History. This pass is a great way for residents and tourists alike to enjoy 10 different Brown County museums throughout the summer, at one great price. This program runs from May 25 through September 2, 2019, and the great thing is that Passports can be purchased the night of the History Treasure Tour on May 15 from participating locations.

Purchasing the Passport gives you one day admission to each of these unique locations:
Ashwaubenon Historical Society Heritage Hill State Park
The Automobile Gallery The Historic Allouez Society
Brown County Historical Society & Hazelwood
Historic House Museum National Railroad Museum Oneida Nation Museum
De Pere Historical Society White Pillars Museum UWGB Archives & Area Research Center
Green Bay & De Pere Antiquarian Society

Bennet embrace, then and now

Déjà vu: 30 years ago Tony and Dick embraced after leading the Phoenix to its first NCAA Tournament

Phoenix fans will remember the embrace… March 5, 1991. Father and son. All-star and head coach. Tony and Dick Bennett. When the final buzzer had sounded, the Phoenix had taken down Northern Illinois, 56-39, in the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament Championship, to win its first-ever trip to the Big Dance. While the frenzied, standing-room only crowd rushed the court to celebrate the home team, father and son could be found in an embrace that Phoenix fans have not forgotten despite the passing of 29 years. And it came flooding back to life this week, when Dick and Tony sought each other out once again — in celebration of an even bigger moment — Tony had just led his University of Virginia Cavaliers to a Final Four appearance for the first time in 35 years. Nope, it wasn’t the Phoenix we were cheering for this time. Or was it? Congratulations Tony and Dick Bennett. Green Bay is rooting for you.

Tony Bennett’s Virginia Cavaliers (often nicknamed the “hoos”) play at 5 p.m. Saturday against Auburn University in the NCAA Final Four. See more historical photos in this University Archives Facebook post.

1991 Photo

Father Dick Bennett embraces son Tony Bennet March 5, 1991
Father and Head Coach Dick Bennett embraces son Tony Bennett March 5, 1991, Source: UW-Green Bay Archives


2019 NCAA March Madness Video Tweet

Special father-son moment.
Tony & Dick Bennett share an embrace from one #FinalFour coach to another.
#MarchMadness@UVAMensHoops@BadgerMBB — NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadness) March 31, 2019

1735 dictionary of Spanish and Nahuatl languages

‘Cultures of Spain’ class digs deep in documents donated by alumnus Cruz-Uribe

UW-Green Bay Archives and Area Research recently hosted the class, “Cultures of Spain” taught by Spanish Prof. Cristina Ortiz. The students broadened their perspectives, studying a collection of materials donated by alumnus, Benjamin Cruz-Uribe ’73 ’79 (Ecosystems Analysis and Master of Environmental Arts & Sciences). The unique documents had been handed down through generations of his family and Cruz-Uribe donated the items to the Archives so they could be preserved and studied by researchers.

UW-Green Bay Spanish Language students transcribing archives
Spanish students transcribing archives

The class was studying about new Spain and the colonial era and visited the Archives on the seventh floor of the Cofrin Library to study the original materials dating from the 1700s. The collection contains a 1735 dictionary of Spanish and Nahuatl languages; a 1746 North America history book; and a 1768 document from the Archbishop of Mexico.

Students were asked to examine the Archbishop’s decree and attempt a translation of the 18th century handwritten script. Their translation revealed the document was “14 rules” to be followed by the Indians of Mexico for their “spiritual and earthly happiness and well-being.” Among the rules were suggestions for maintaining a clean home; helping neighbors who are sick; avoiding disputes; providing a house for one’s family; and the rais[ing] of chickens, turkeys, pigs, goats; and knowing the catechism in Spanish and their own language. The class went on to discuss in Spanish the cultural and historical significance of these rules.

Translating a 1768 document from the Archbishop of Mexico
Translating 1768 “14 Rules” of Archbishop of Mexico
1735 dictionary of Spanish and Nahuatl languages
1735 Spanish/Nahuatl dictionary