This week in UWO history

This week in UWO history

Feb. 25, 1996 — The UW Oshkosh men’s basketball team earns its first-ever bid to the NCAA Division III tournament. The 22-3 Titans – the team’s best record since 1968 – receive a No. 3 seed in the West Region of the 64-team field, squaring off against Simpson College. They receive an at-large bid largely in part to their 13-3 Wisconsin State University Conference record, the Titan’s best conference finish since 1978.

Feb. 26, 1942 — Lt. William J. McGowan becomes the first Oshkosh student to die from the World War II conflict. McGowan’s parachute malfunctioned when he was forced to eject from his plane during a flight exercise over Mississippi. He had just recently completed flight training school and received his wings.

Gordon Liddy, photo courtesy of Wikimedia

Feb. 27, 1985 — G. Gordon Liddy, a former FBI agent who also served time for his role for the Watergate break-in, speaks to about 800 people at Albee Hall. Liddy believes Americans are living a life of illusions. The former Nixon administration aide predicted a military draft, the collapse of Social Security and the eventual military supremacy of the Soviet Union. About a dozen protestors, many representing the student group Mobilization for Survival, hand out pamphlets for about 30 minutes before Liddy’s speech protesting the cost of $4,800 to bring the convicted felon to campus.

Feb. 28, 1866 — The Board of Regents of Normal Schools votes to establish the first state normal school in the 5th Congressional District and third such school overall in Wisconsin at Oshkosh.

Feb. 29, 1996 — The Oshkosh men’s basketball team defeats Simpson College 79-74 at Kolf Sports Center in its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament. The Titans, who shoot 62.5% from the field, are led by Dennis Ruedinger’s 24 points. Their season ends two days later on March 2, losing to Adolphus College 61-60 in double overtime.

N. Peter Nelson, photo courtesy of University Archives
Nelson Hall, photo courtesy of University Archives

March 1, 1962 — Nels Peter Nelson, a longtime secondary education director and associate professor of education, dies at 67. The Neenah native served as the director of the division of secondary education from 1925 until his death. The Oshkosh Normal 1920 graduate was also a World War I veteran. Nelson Hall was named for him. The hall was torn down in 2010 to make room for Horizon Residence Hall.