Author: Kevin Abing

Kevin Abing: Milwaukee mobilized every resource possible in 1918 to combat the Spanish Flu epidemic

Milwaukee’s current struggles to stem the growth of COVID-19 Coronavirus eerily parallels efforts to combat another pandemic over a century ago. In 1918, the Spanish Flu killed more than 50 million people — some estimate nearly 100 million — worldwide. It was the worst public health disaster in American history, but its place in our collective memory has been overshadowed by World War I, with its senseless carnage, crusading energy, despicable villains and brave heroes. No one who lived then could have imagined a crisis of such epic scale could be repeated, but one of history’s hard lessons is...

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The Lynching of George Marshall Clark in Milwaukee

The ongoing commemoration of the 1967 open housing marches reminds us of the more recent challenges African-Americans have faced in Milwaukee, but they have encountered difficulties from Milwaukee’s earliest days. One of the lowest points occurred while the nation was engaged in a struggle that ultimately freed African-Americans from bondage. Milwaukee’s pre-Civil War black population was never large. By 1850, 101 called Milwaukee home. Some settled there because of the city’s reputation (though not necessarily deserved) as a center of abolitionist sentiment and as an active station on the “Underground Railroad,” helping refugee slaves escape to the North. [1]...

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