June 08, 2012

America's Lost Treasures: Milwaukee: Related Facts

Facts About the Artifacts in This Episode

The 1893 World's Fair in Chicago

  • H.H. Holmes, one of America’s first identified serial killers, used the 1893 World’s Fair as his platform to prey upon the many women tourists traveling to the fair.  Leonardo DiCaprio has acquired the rights to the book about the killer and is set to play him in a movie.

  • Chicago built “The White City” for the 1893 World’s Fair, which is said to have inspired the Emerald City in “The Wizard of Oz.”

  • The largest building in the world was constructed for the 1893 World’s Fair exhibits.

Columbus Mosaics and Venetian Glass

  • With their privileged social status, the daughters of Murano glass-makers were allowed to marry into wealthy families.  This was seen as a plan by the Venetian government to ensure that artisans encourage their children to remain in the business, and thus trade secrets would stay within the family.

WWII and Japanese Zeros

  • Japanese zero fighter planes dominated the Pacific at the beginning of World War II.  But as the war progressed, American air forces began bombing over the Japanese islands.  Since the Japanese planes did not have airborne radar, they were forced to kamikaze, or suicide bomb, directly into targets.  This caused the United States more naval losses than ever before.

  • The only vote against Congress’s declaration of war on Japan in 1941 came from Representative Jeannette Rankin, a pacifist from Montana. She also contested America’s entrance into World War I.

Roger Sherman

  • Founding father Roger Sherman came from humble beginnings with little education.  He was a shoemaker before he became active in politics.  He was instrumental in drafting the Declaration of Independence and was the only person to sign the four major documents that built this nation.


  • Stradivarius is one of the most prestigious names in music.  The geometry used, as well as the conceptual design Antonio Stradivari created, has acted as the standard for violin-makers for over 250 years.

  • Antonio Stradivari was believed to have made, by hand, 1,100 instruments during his lifetime, including cellos, harps and violas.  Of these, an estimated 650 are still in existence.  A genuine Stradivarius violin today could be worth millions of dollars.

  • The Stradivarius “Lady Tennant” violin was sold at Christie’s for over $2 million, at the time the highest amount ever paid for a musical instrument at a public auction.

More About Milwaukee

  • Its well-known that sitcoms like “Happy Days” and “Laverne and Shirley” were set in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There were also many movies filmed there, including Blues Brothers, Back to School, Hoop Dreams, Major League, Rudy and Uncle Buck, among many others.

  • Liberace is one of the most famous performers to be born in Milwaukee County.

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