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Wisconsin is known to most people as America's Dairyland, but the state has many more secrets to reveal, including why one of its cities is called the toilet paper capital of the world!
You can learn all sorts of cool things about Wisconsin from this list of Wisconsin facts for kids. Whether it's to help them with a school project or just to learn some trivia, this list will reveal everything you need to know about the state.
If you are on the lookout for more information about places in the United States to build school projects, the Kidadl website has plenty more lists of facts like this one! Why not take a look at these Appalachian Mountains facts or at these facts about Idaho?
Interesting Facts About Wisconsin
This list of Wisconsin facts and information tells you everything you need to know about the state and its inhabitants, who are called Wisconsinites.
1. Wisconsin is situated in central northern area of the United States, in the region called the Midwest or the Great Lakes.
2. Wisconsin became a state on 29 May 1848, which made it the 30th state to join the Union.
3. Wisconsin is the 20th biggest US state in terms of population.
4. Wisconsin is the 23rd biggest US state in terms of surface area.
5. Wisconsin's current capital is Madison. It used to be Belmont, founded in 1836, back when the state was only a territory.
6. The postal abbreviation for Wisconsin is WI.
7. Wisconsin's motto is "Forward".
8. Inhabitants of Wisconsin are called Wisconsinites.
9. About 5.8 million people currently live in Wisconsin.
10. The largest city in Wisconsin is Milwaukee.
Historical Facts About Wisconsin
The facts below are the perfect way of learning all about Wisconsin and its history, from the origin of its name to why it is nicknamed The Badger State.
11. The name of the state is thought to be from the Wisconsin River, itself derived from an Algonquian word which was then derived to its current form. The word Wisconsin was first recorded by French explorer Jacques Marquette in 1673.
12. Wisconsin is sometimes called the Badger State, but not because it has a lot of those animals. In fact, it refers to miners in the 1820s who dug tunnels to sleep and stay warm, similarly to badgers. The badger is also the mascot of the state's biggest university.
13. The state originally belonged to France, who then sold it to the US during the 1783 Treaty of Paris.
14. The Republican Party was born in Ripon, Wisconsin on 20 March 1854.
15. Janesville, Wisconsin contains a landmark called the Lincoln-Tallman House Museum. The house was built in the 1850s by William Tallman and became famous when Abraham Lincoln stayed there for two nights.
16. Margarine used to be banned in the state, from 1895 up until 1967. Nowadays, it's still illegal for restaurants to serve margarine instead of butter, except if a customer requests it.
17. Kenosha, in Wisconsin, was the place where the largest ever woolly mammal was excavated. A replica of it is visible in the Milwaukee Public Museum.
18. The oldest city in Wisconsin is called Green Bay, it was founded in 1634 when a French explorer called Jean Nicolet started a small trading store there.
State Symbols Of Wisconsin
No list of Wisconsin fun facts would be complete without a list of its state symbols!
19. The state flower of Wisconsin is the wood violet.
20. The state insect of Wisconsin is the Western honey bee.
21. The state tree of Wisconsin is the sugar maple.
22. The state fish of Wisconsin is the muskellunge.
23. The state animal is a badger, and the state domestic animal is a cow.
Geography Of Wisconsin
The Badger State is home to two rivers and is relatively flat. Its main geographic feature are its lakes and natural springs.
24. Wisconsin shares a border with four other states, namely Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota.
25. There are more than 15,000 lakes and 13,500 miles of navigable rivers in the state, including its namesake Wisconsin River. About three percent of the total area of the state is composed of lakes, and 17% of the state is water.
26. The largest lake in the state is Lake Winnebago, which is 30 miles long and 10 miles wide at its widest point! Door County, Wisconsin also has 250 miles of coastline along Lake Michigan, the third largest lake in the country.
27. Waukesha, Wisconsin is home to many natural springs which have been attracting many tourists since the 19th century. Some believe that the springs have healing properties.
28. Just in case that was not enough water, the state is also home to the highest number of water parks in a single area (the Wisconsin Dells) in the whole world. The Wisconsin Dells has over 10 water parks, which together contain over 200 water slides.
29. The state does not have a lot of heights. The highest natural point in the state is a hill called Timm's Hill, which rises up the 1,951 feet.
30. Sheboygan in Wisconsin is known as the "Malibu of the Midwest" as plenty of people go freshwater surfing there.
Things Wisconsin Is Known For
Below you will find some things unique to Wisconsin and some quirky Wisconsin trivia, like the invention of the ice cream sundae or the fact that Green Bay is considered to be the toilet paper capital of the world!
31. Wisconsin is sometimes nicknamed America's Dairyland or the Cheese State.
32. As these nicknames suggest, the state is the number one producer of cheese in the United States. 90% of the milk produced there is used to make cheese. This is what the state is most famous for.
33. The state has the highest number of dairy cattle per square kilometer than any other US state.
34. The first ever ice cream sundae was made in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, by Ed Bermers, who owned a soda fountain shop. As it was illegal to sell soda on Sundays for religious reasons, one day he served ice cream with the sauce used for ice cream sodas on top.
35. It is estimated that Wisconsinites eat almost 21 million gallons of ice cream a year!
36. Actor Mark Ruffalo is from Wisconsin.
37. All of the ginseng produced in the United States is produced in Wisconsin, which accounts for about 10% of the world's production.
38. The state is home to the first ever kindergarten in the US. It was started by Margarethe Schurz in 1856 in Watertown, Wisconsin.
39. The state is the biggest exporter of cranberries and sweetcorn in the US, as well as the second biggest exporter of whey.
40. Green Bay, Wisconsin is known as the toilet paper capital of the world. The first splinter-free toilet paper was produced there in 1935, and the local Northern Paper Mills was the biggest producer of toilet paper in the world in 1920.
41. The Milwaukee Art Museum, also known as MAM, is one of the biggest museums in the US. It contains about 30,000 works of art and boasts more than 400,000 visitors a year.
42. Guitar manufacturer Les Paul was from Wisconsin. His incredible guitar playing skills earned him the title of Wizard of Waukesha.
43. The founders of Harley Davidson, William Harley and the Davidson brothers, built their first ever motorcycle in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
44. The first ever hydroelectric plant in the world was built in 1882 at Fox River in Appleton, Wisconsin.
45. The state holds the largest experimental aviation event in the world in Oshkosh, called the EAA Fly-In.
46. During this aviation festival, the Oshkosh control tower is the busiest in the world, as more than 15,000 aircrafts land at the airport over the course of a week.
47. You can see many effigy mounds in Wisconsin. They are piles of earth sculpted in the shape of a symbol or a figure, sometimes an animal.
48. Summerfest in Milwaukee is recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the largest music festival in the world, attracting one million visitors to Milwaukee every year.
49. Racine, Wisconsin has the tallest lighthouse still standing on the Great Lakes. It was built in 1880 and is 112 feet high.
50. A white buffalo called Miracle was born on a farm in Wisconsin in 1994, the first white buffalo to be born since 1933.
51. The first circus in the US was in Delavan, Wisconsin.
52. As well as a popular music festival, Wisconsin hosts one of the biggest sweetcorn festivals in the world in the city of Sun Prairie.
53. The state saw the birth of the first functioning typewriter, created by Christopher Latham Sholes in 1868. Latham also invented the QWERTY keyboard which is still used today.
54. Many famous gangsters, including Al Capone and Bugs Moran, used to hideaway in Wisconsin.
55. Frank Lloyd Wright was a popular architect from Wisconsin. The buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright are some of the most popular attractions in the state.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our fun facts about Wisconsin for kids, then why not take a look at these fun facts about Colorado, and these fun facts about Arizona?
Mina lives in London and loves exploring the city and uncovering new, exciting, and fun activities, places, and adventures to fill her days with. She is also passionate about children’s literature and sharing all things cultural with the children she babysits, so if there’s a new family film, play, or exhibition, you’re likely to find her there. She has also travelled extensively in her life throughout Europe and further and loves exploring new places and meeting new people. She has a degree in Linguistics and Language Acquisition and remains fascinated by all languages and cultures.