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Author: Syndicated

QWERTY: How Milwaukee native Christopher Latham Sholes taught the world to type for 145 years

The QWERTY layout is attributed to Milwaukee inventor Christopher Latham Sholes, which made its debut in its earliest form 145 years ago today on July 1, 1874. If you’re near a computer keyboard, take a look at the first six letters on the upper row and you’ll find: Q-W-E-R-T-Y…or…qwerty. So who decided how the letters on our keyboards are arranged, and why that particular configuration? Writer Meg Jones tells the story of Christopher Latham Sholes, a Wisconsin politician and inventor who is considered by many, the “Father of the modern Typewriter.” Who ever would have thought that some day...

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We’ve Been Here All Along: A post-war legacy of university persecutions against gay students

Wisconsin’s LGBTQ residents are more visible than ever in the state. Despite facing ongoing prejudice, Wisconsin’s queer community enjoys rights that were not extended to previous generations, including protections against workplace discrimination and the equal right to marriage. On a political level, gay and lesbian officeholders represent Wisconsinites in local, state and federal elected positions. But inclusion of LGBTQ Wisconsinites into the state’s cultural, educational and political institutions is a relatively new development. For much of Wisconsin’s history, the contributions of queer men and women went largely unrecognized in the public sphere; instead, law enforcement, institutional leaders and the...

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Justin Roby: Healing the Hood in Milwaukee one block party at a time

Founded in 2012 by Ajamou Butler, also known as Brother Heal the Hood, the mission was simple: “heal the hearts, heal the homes, heal the hood.” Now in their eighth year, the block parties are only one sector of stimulating the healing process in Milwaukee’s urban neighborhoods. Multiple times a year the nonprofit Heal the Hood Milwaukee congregates in the city’s streets welcoming people to free food, entertainment and an unexpected topic for a block party: healing. While the nice weather and live music may draw the crowds in, the local vendors and other hometown heroes are what keep...

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As a nation built on slave labor, it is time to finally talk about reparations

We are two months away from the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved people arriving in what would become the United States of America. It is time to renew the public discussion about reparations to descendants of Africans who were enslaved as our country was forming and growing rich. First as colonies and then as a nation, America has existed longer with slavery (1619-1865: 246 years) than without it (1865-2019: 154 years). And the reality of the institution of enslaving people is not the “good food and a decent place to live” narrative of Bill O’Reilly on Fox News...

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Statue of Liberty: A forgotten monument to freed slaves and a false idol of broken promises

In 1886, The Statue of Liberty was a symbol of democratic government and Enlightenment ideals, as well as a celebration of the Union’s victory in the American Civil War and the abolition of slavery. The 26,000-square-foot museum on Liberty Island opened to the public on May 16. It is the new home for the statue’s original torch that was replaced in the 1980s restoration, an unoxidized copper replica of Lady Liberty’s face, and other artifacts that previously were in a smaller museum space inside the statue’s pedestal. It also revived an aspect of the statue’s long-forgotten history, that Lady...

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State of Identity: One-third of national flags worldwide contain religious symbolism

A third of the world’s 196 countries currently have national flags that include religious symbols, according to a previous Pew Research analysis. Of the 64 countries in this category, about half have Christian symbols (48%) and about a third include Islamic religious symbols (33%), with imagery on flags from the world’s two largest religious groups appearing across several regions. Christian symbols are found on 31 national flags from Europe, Asia and the Pacific and the Americas. The United Kingdom’s “Union Jack,” for example, includes the crosses of St. George, St. Patrick and St. Andrew. Some Commonwealth countries continue to...

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