One of my favorite, lesser-known features of OnMilwaukee.com is a widget we call "This Day in Milwaukee History."
We programmed this little application several years ago, I'm guessing around 2001. You can find it on the lower-left section of the OnMilwaukee.com homepage, and it's pretty straight forward -- just a little blurb about something that happened on, you guessed it, this day in Milwaukee history.
TDIMH has been a long-time work in progress, culled from many sources by many people. Which is why I have no idea what today's event from 1858 could possible mean:
"As city bongs fall to half value, reform groups gather in Albany Hall to unite on a political ticket that will grant tax relief."
I can't possibly imagine what a city bong was, but if they were half price, you think people would be gathering to celebrate instead of rallying for tax relief. Regardless, I think this installment of TDIMH is even funnier than co-worker Bobby Tanzilo's favorite of June 10, 1910:
"For the first time, chlorine is used in the Milwaukee Water System and the public drinking cup is done away with."
Ah, history. It's funny because it's true.
Update: Apparently and unfortunately, it was just a typo. One meticulous reader found the correct anecdote in Laurence Marcellus Larson's thrilling work, "A Financial and Administrative History of Milwaukee." The word "bong" was supposed to be "bond." A hilarious mistake ... and probably the reason we fired the intern who entered it way back then. Clearly, his mind was elsewhere.
Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.
Before launching OnMilwaukee.com in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.
Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.