By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jul 01, 2020 at 9:02 AM

The Milwaukee County Historical Society reopened to the public this week with a new exhibition on view.

In this politically charged election year – and one in which Milwaukee was set to be center-stage as host of the Democratic National Convention – MCHS launches "Better, Bigger, Brighter: 150 Years of Milwaukee Politics."

The show looks at Brew City's unique political history and draws especially heavily on the MCHS' large collection of materials and objects related to Milwaukee's Socialist movement.

"In most ways, Milwaukee’s story fits in with the national narrative, but it contains significant twists that stand out," says MCHS Curator Ben Barbera.

"Like many U.S. cities, Milwaukee politics has had distinctive eras dominated by party machines; but unique to Milwaukee is the 50-year period that was controlled by a particularly Midwestern Socialist Party focused on fiscal responsibility, municipal services, and the health and well-being of its citizens."

The show – which also looks at the women's suffrage movement, Milwaukee politics during the World Wars and more – will be on view through the November elections.

At the same time, due to the pandemic shutdown, MCHS is keeping its previous exhibition – "Revealed: Milwaukee's Unseen Treasures" – up through August to allow folks time to see it.

The show was originally due to come down in April.

That means visitors get two shows for the price of one when they visit.

For details on hours, admission and more, visit

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

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 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.