Wisconsin History Day By Day

Read More About It: "Wisconsin Blue Book" 1960

Wisconsin State Journal, Apr. 3, 1988, "Ex-governor Thomson dies"

Study Questions:

  • What were some of Thomson's accomplishments while serving as Wisconsin's governor?
  • What are the responsibilities of the state's attorney general?
  • Locate Richland Center on a Wisconsin map.

    Interesting Fact:

    Thomson earned the nickname "Richland County Fox" during his years in the state Legislature.



    U.S. historical events that occurred on November 5:

    1911: The first transcontinental airplane trip is completed. It took 49 days.
    1940: Franklin D. Roosevelt becomes the first U.S. president to be elected to a third term.
    1974: Ella Grasso was elected governor of Connecticut.


    Wisconsin's Governors

    Vernon Thomson, Wisconsin's 34th governor, was born in 1905 in Richland Center. He attended Carroll College and the University of Wisconsin, graduating in 1927. Thomson taught at Viroqua High School and at the Madison Vocational School. He was admitted to the bar in 1932. Thomson served as Richland County assistant district attorney and the Richland Center city attorney. He was elected to the Assembly in 1935, serving eight terms, and as state attorney general in 1950, serving three terms. Thomson defeated William Proxmire in the 1956 governor's race but lost to Gaylord Nelson in 1958. Thomson served in Congress from 1960 until he retired in 1974.

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