This month in UWO history


Dec. 9, 1987: Former Gov. Anthony Earl speaks on campus. His talk was in conjunction with the UW Oshkosh Young Democrats’ monthly meetings. 

Dec. 10, 1868: The Board of Regents adopt the building plans of William Waters for their elegant Oshkosh Normal School Building. He would later design the Oviatt House, and many Wisconsin banks, churches, dwellings and public buildings.  His career in designing buildings in Oshkosh lasted a half-century.

Dec. 11, 1938: Faculty member John A. Breese directs the largest chorus ever of Handel’s “Messiah” at the Oshkosh Recreational building. The chorus comprises of 340 members, 115 of which are Oshkosh students. Breese began directing “Messiah” in 1923.

Dec. 12, 1965: Stewart Hall – now known as Stewart Community – is dedicated the very evening the building’s namesake passes away. Evans Hall – named for Maysel E. Evans – is dedicated along with Stewart Hall. May L. Stewart, a faculty member at the school from 1926 to 1960, was a supervisor of student teaching in the Division of Rural Education.  

Dec. 13, 1923: Joseph Schaffer, president of the Wisconsin Historical Society and Wisconsin Magazine of History editor, discusses the life and works of Francis Parkman, a famous historian. 

Dec. 14, 1966: A society-sponsored car smash occurs on the Reeve Memorial Union lawn.  Delta Sigma Phi charges 10 cents a swing or 25 cents for three swings. The $60 or so raised is used for a Christmas party at the Great Lakes Naval Hospital.

Dec. 15, 1951: Henry Kissinger, then a professor on international politics at Harvard University, speaks at the Grand Theater. Kissinger said the unionization of the peace process and U.S. foreign policy are handicapped by the pressures of the time, the multiplication of problems facing the nation and the numerous responsibilities that must be assumed as a global leader.  

Dec. 17, 1920: Oshkosh’s basketball game at Lawrence is canceled due to an epidemic of smallpox.

Dec. 18, 1915: The annually sponsored Alethean Society Christmas romp for the children of Oshkosh takes place at the school’s gymnasium. For most of the afternoon, about 110 children in attendance participate in games and play on the gymnasium’s apparatuses. At 4:30, all gather around the fireplace to listen to stories and a song. Santa Claus later arrives, giving all the children candy and apples. In addition, the girls are given dolls, and the boys are showered with balls, knives or games. “The society is deeply grateful to the members of the faculty who loaned their machines [automobiles] to take the children to and from the school …. “ The Normal Advance reports.

Dec. 19, 1934: For the first time, a two-week vacation is granted to students for holidays, giving students an extra week of vacation.

Dec. 20, 1968: After four hours of deliberation, The Board of Regents votes unanimously to expel 90 students and suspend four others for their role in the Nov. 21, 1968, “Black Thursday” incident. Many Oshkosh students and their representatives are outraged after the Board’s decision.  

Dec. 21, 1915: President John A. Keith briefly tells faculty and students during the daily morning exercise of the situation in Belgium, Poland and Serbia. A passed motion establishes three boxes to be placed in the school’s outer office. The boxes will receive contributions for these devastated countries. 

Source: University Archives