Stateline Travelers – Part 4 –
Local History In the Making and Me
Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin Visited the Beloit Public Library – August 12, 2016
By Vicki Ruthe Hahn, SGS (Stateline Genealogy Sorter)
(Part of the Stateline Travelers Series)
A program from the event, signed by Governor Scott Walker.
“Nick Dimassis, Director of Beloit Public Library welcomes Governor Scott Walker on August 12, 2016 to talk about the signing of Acts 99, 169 and 306. These bills were presented to legislature and signed by Gov. Walker in an effort to help libraries recover costs of materials not returned and collect on overdue accounts with large fines.”
Photo thanks to Kim Caswell
I’m not sure what was so funny, but I enjoyed meeting Gov. Walker as a person. And I was prepared for anything with my ever-ready pen behind my ear!
Thanks to the whole Library staff; fun day; great program.
2 good speakers. (Library Director Nick Dimassis, and Gov. Scott Walker).
There were about 100 people total that day to honor Gov. Walker, including our local legislators who worked for the bipartisan passage of passing the three laws this year that support Libraries.
Our Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library program was held that morning, and about 10 people came because I announced it there. Several Club members also told Gov. Walker about the Club, and what we do here. Gov. Walker now knows that we do genealogy and local history here at BPL.
Through the years, other political dignitaries (Democrats and Republicans) have visited Beloit, Wisconsin – Abraham Lincoln, Elanor Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy, etc. Also Dolly Parton, and other entertainers have come there through the years.
Gov. Walker is a local small-town boy who grew up just down the road in Delavan, Walworth County. (Delavan, Wisconsin was also the wintering-over location for the entertainers of many circuses for decades, and some of them settled in the area.) U.S. House speaker Paul Ryan is a native of Janesville, Wisconsin. State Representative Amy Loudenbeck (31st Assembly District) is a regular supportive visitor to the Beloit Public Library, (and I just found out from reading her webpage that she has been a fire-fighter.) Hint – you never know what you are going to find out about people (your ancestors) until you look!
The Republican Party was founded March 20 1854:
With the successful introduction of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill of 1854, an act that dissolved the terms of the Missouri Compromise and allowed slave or free status to be decided in the territories by popular sovereignty, the Whigs disintegrated. By February 1854, anti-slavery Whigs had begun meeting in the upper midwestern states to discuss the formation of a new party. One such meeting, in Wisconsin on March 20, 1854, is generally remembered as the founding meeting of the Republican Party.
The Republicans rapidly gained supporters in the North, and in 1856 their first presidential candidate, John C. Fremont, won 11 of the 16 Northern states. By 1860, the majority of the Southern slave states were publicly threatening secession if the Republicans won the presidency. In November 1860, Republican Abraham Lincoln was elected president over a divided Democratic Party, and six weeks later South Carolina formally seceded from the Union.”
Some of the many other visitors to Beloit have been - Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, and even Dolly Parton! Even if visitors were not famous, I have found short social snippets (and photographs) of ancestors in historic newspapers. Even if the town is mid or small sized, or in a different state. Hint - you may find reference to ancestors in the newspapers, and library history files of other communities where they visited.
This visit by Governor Scott Walker and speeches are documented in print in the Beloit Public Library Genealogy and Local History lateral file, (and here in the BLOG.) The speeches by both men are on the Youtube video link in the email quote below. There are even more photographs of this event (as well as many other events) on the Beloit Public Library Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Beloit-Public-Library/103890043485.
8-30-2016 Email from Nick Dimassis- Director of Beloit Public Library:
The video of the Governor’s visit to the Beloit Public Library is now online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zls5coRzqb4 (Youtube Title: “Libraries Transform!“)
(‘Published on Aug 29, 2016 – ‘)
An edited-for-the-written-word version of his remarks is attached as well. Clearly, he knows the value of public libraries to the success of Wisconsin.
It was a great event and one that I hope you will all build upon by inviting your legislators into your library to thank them for all they do–and have done. Your library system director has a kit for making this easy and can assist with creating “Library Transform!” posters for your legislators. It’s an important relationship-building opportunity that we should all take advantage of before the end of October, if possible. File under: don’t think too hard, just do it.
All three bills were passed by voice vote, proof that libraries enjoy broad and bi-partisan support. Each and every legislator should be thanked. Contact your library system director for more information.
Hint – current history is being “written” on emails, Youtube.com, and Facebook.com, etc. Look for your genealogy there also.
Here are some other photos of the event:
Governor Walker made time ahead of the speeches to meet the Beloit Public Library Staff and local Librarians in the Library workroom. Speeches by Library Director Nick Dimassis, and Gov. Walker. You can see his inevitable security guards – at least 3 or 4. Can you find some of the (about 10 out of 100) Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library members that were in the audience?
He spent time with the people instead of eating cake. (How many cakes does he have to ignore at most of his stops to keep in good shape?) That huge cake still was eaten completely by the appreciative audience!
Photos by Vicki Hahn
Photo thanks to Shirley Bauer
The ironies in my librarian/genealogist/blogger career are too funny.
So many amazing connections and excellent adventures.
When I saw the name “Stephanie Klett” on the card, I said, “I know who you are.” She replied, “I know who you are too.” I quipped, ” I know why I know who you are, but how do you know who I am?” (Stephanie Klett, born in Beloit, Wisconsin, is Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, and was the host of the tourism TV show Discover Wisconsin.)
I will leave with a quote from Wisconsin Department of Tourism, because we Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library “locals” love to share the hidden gems of our community(s), our ancestor’s histories, and making sure that generations of families make memories: