4, 1916: Gaylord Nelson, Wisconsin's 35th governor, was born on June 4, 1916 in Clear Lake. After serving in the army during World War II, Nelson returned to Wisconsin to practice law. He served for three terms in the state Senate and was elected governor in 1958, becoming the first Democratic governor since 1932. Nelson served two terms as governor. He was elected to the U. S. Senate in 1964, serving until 1981.
President Bill Clinton called Nelson the father of Earth Day and the grandfather of all modern environmental legislation when honoring Nelson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995.