Wisconsin Statehood Day in the United States Date in the current year: May 29, 2024

Wisconsin Statehood Day in the United States Wisconsin Statehood Day is observed annually on May 29. On this day in 1848, Wisconsin officially joined the Union as the 30th state.

The state of Wisconsin is situated in the Upper Midwest; it is bordered by Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan, as well as Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. Before the arrival of Europeans, the region was inhabited by Native American tribes, primarily Algonquian and Siouan.

The first European to set foot in what is now Wisconsin was French explorer and fur trader Jean Nicolet in 1634. He was sent to explore the area and contact the local tribes by Samuel de Champlain, governor of New France. Other French explorers that ventured into Wisconsin included Pierre-Esprit Radisson, Médard des Groseilliers, Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet.

Canadian fur trader Charles Michel de Langlade is credited with founding the first settlement in Wisconsin. In 1745, Charles and his father Augustin established a trading post at present-day Green Bay. After Great Britain took control of the territory during the French and Indian War, Langlade transferred his allegiance to Britain and relocated to Green Bay permanently in 1764.

During the British period, Wisconsin was part of the Province of Quebec. After the American Revolutionary War, it was given to the United States according to the terms of the Treaty of Paris. In 1787, Wisconsin became part of the newly formed Northwest Territory, which spanned all or large parts of present-day Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, northeastern Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. After that, Wisconsin was part of Indiana Territory (1800–1809), Illinois Territory (1809–1818), and Michigan Territory (1818–1836).

Although Wisconsin became part of the United States in 1787, it was de facto controlled by Great Britain until the War of 1812. After the war, the United States finally gained an established presence in the area, and the territory’s economy shifted from fur trade to lead mining.

Immigrants from throughout the United States and abroad came to Wisconsin to dig for the “gray gold”. The first miners who settled in the area didn’t even have a home; they had to find shelter in the tunnels they had dug and were nicknamed “badgers”, leading to Wisconsin being known as the “Badger State”.

In 1836, Wisconsin Territory split from Michigan Territory. It included the lands of present-day Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as part of the Dakotas. Thanks to the Erie Canal, Yankees and European immigrants began to settle in Wisconsin, and its population grew rapidly. By the mid-1840s, the non-indigenous population of the territory had swollen from 31,000 to over 150,000. More than a third of new residents were Yankees, and another third were European immigrants from Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, and other countries.

The growing population allowed Wisconsin to apply for statehood. The territorial legislature voted in favor of statehood in 1846, the state constitution was approved in March 1848, and on May 29, 1848, Wisconsin officially became the 30th state.

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Wisconsin Statehood Day, Statehood Day in Wisconsin, observances in Wisconsin, observances in the United States