Each year, a group gathers at Russell and Superior in Bay View to commemmorate the loss of seven lives at the hands of the Wisconsin State Militia on May 5, 1886.
A group of marchers set out from St. Stanislaus on Mitchell Street and walked to the Rolling Mill in Bay View to protest for the eight-hour workday. Then-governor Jeremiah Rusk called in the State Militia -- giving them permission to shoot -- which fired on the crowd in Bay View, killing seven. A plaque marks the site. Ironically, and perhaps tragically, a nearby street was named in honor of Rusk.
This year's commemoration takes place at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 4, and Rep. Gwen Moore has been invited to attend. Folk singer Larry Penn (pictured above) will perform, Bay View historian John Utzat will speak and there will be a laying of a memorial wreath and a reading of the names of the dead.
A cash reception follows at Club Garibaldi. If you want to know more, call Ken Germanson at (414) 687-6954.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.