Wisconsin History Day By Day

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First Racine Man to Hold Highest Office of State

Read More About It

Wisconsin Blue Book, 1960



Interesting Fact:

Goodland was the oldest man ever to serve as Governor of Wisconsin. He was 80 years old when he first took office.

Study Questions:

  • What political parties did Goodland belong to during his career?
  • What was Goodland's view of gambling and what did he do about it as governor?
  • What other Wisconsin governors had careers in the newspaper business?

    U.S. historical events that occurred on December 22:

    1864: Gen. William Sherman offers the city of Savannah, Georgia, to President Abraham Lincoln as a Christmas present.
    1944: U.S. Brig. General Anthony McAuliffe utters his famous response when the Germans ask for a surrender, replying, "Nuts!"

  • December 22

    Wisconsin's Governors:

    Walter Goodland, Wisconsin's 31st governor, was born in 1862 in Sharon, Wisconsin. He attended Lawrence College and became a teacher in the rural area near Appleton. Goodland was admitted to the bar in 1886 but moved to Michigan where he established two newspapers. He moved to Beloit in 1899 where he became part owner and publisher of the Daily News. One year later he became the editor and publisher of the Racine Times. Goodland became involved in Racine politics and was elected to the state Senate in 1926 and 1930. Goodland was elected as lieutenant governor three times. Before taking office for the third time, Governor Orland Loomis died, putting Goodland in the governor's office. He was re-elected governor in 1944 and 1946. Died: March 12, 1947.

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