Toepel, M. G.; Kuehn, Hazel L. (ed.) / The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1958
Wisconsin in 1958, pp. - PDF (45.4 MB)
WISCONSIN BLUE BOOK These summaries, because they tended to concentrate on resources to the exclusion of institutions, left large gaps in the story of our state. It is, of course, doubtful if any article short enough to be included within the confines of this volume could provide the an- swer to every question which a fair share of half a million young- sters can pose. It is equally doubtful that even the bravest of our collaborators would dare to attempt an answer to some questions, such as, Who is Wisconsin's greatest hero? What is Wisconsin's most important product? Where is the most beautiful place in Wisconsin? and Where can I be sure to catch a fish? There should be a place, however, to which people of all ages and from all walks of life can turn for a fairly comprehensive story of the state of Wisconsin. What should be included in an article which purports to give a picture of Wisconsin? We have before us a list of 90 topics gleaned from hundreds of requests for information about the state. They vary from a request for details on its agricultural products to information about its wildlife, and from a request for a piece of rock and a bit of its soil to a statement on its progress. Many queries can be answered by a mere reference to a standard encyclopedia or to a cheap book of facts. The real essence of Wisconsin can only be sensed, however, as one appreciates the vigor of its people, their great adaptability, their independence in thought and action and their high standards of public conduct. The evidences of these are difficult to translate into words and paragraphs, but they underlie the evolution of a state which has made much of the resources with which it was endowed. Hindsight suggests that this article would logically have been the first of the current series which began with the 1952 edition of the Blue Book because it sets the pattern of the resources, people and institutions which make Wisconsin what it is. Even though logic suggests that we should deal with another broad segment of state activity in this Blue Book, the need for a comprehensive background article on the state is more pressing. Therefore this article is pre- sented at this time. With the exceptions noted in the text this material has been com- piled by the staff of the Legislative Reference Library and checked by a variety of subject matter experts to whom we are grateful.
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