Wisconsin History Day By Day

Related Web Sites:
The Early Days of the Madison Free Library

Madison Public Library (Wikipedia)

Madison Public Library (photo)

Read More About It

"The Story of Madison" by Reuben Gold Thwaites

"Madison Past and Present" by the Wisconsin State Journal

"Madison: A History of the Formative Years" by David Mollenhoff



Interesting Fact:

The Madison Institute society, which had a debating club and supported lecture courses, donated its library of 3,500 volumes to help get the Madison Free Library started in 1875.

Study Questions:

  • Who was the first librarian at the Madison Free Library?
  • What law was passed in 1872 by the Wisconsin legislature that helped to pave the way for public libraries?
  • Who was the mayor of Madison in 1875? How is he still connected to the Madison Public Library today?

    U.S. historical events that occurred on June 1:

    1813: Capt. James Lawrence utters his famous line, "Tell the men to fire faster and not to give up the ship!" during a battle with a British frigate.
    1980: Cable News Network (CNN) makes its debut.

  • June 1

    June 1, 1875: The Madison Free City Library opened to the public after it was dedicated the prior evening, making Madison's library the first public library in the state.

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