How Packer Mania Began

Have you ever wondered how Green Bay, Wisconsin, a city with a population of just over 100,000 people, has one of the most successful NFL football teams in the country? This book helps explain it, by telling the story of the team's founding father, Earl "Curly" Lambeau.

"He was a controversial character, incredibly charismatic and driven," says author Stuart Stotts. When asked what he found most surprising about Lambeau, Stotts answers, "Curly's incredible success as a winning coach at a very young age. He won the league championship three times in a row when he was in his thirties. It's like winning the Super Bowl three times in a row. I didn't realize how good of a coach he had been."

"Green Bay...was an industrial, working-class town filled with immigrants and factories, and yet it spawned this world-renowned team, the Packers. The Packers are one of the first things many people think of when thinking of Wisconsin."

Originally nicknamed the Cheeseheads, Lambeau solicited money for team uniforms and equipment from his employer, the Indian Packing Company. He got $500 on the condition that the team be named for its sponsor. Still, "Green Bay Packers" is the oldest team nickname still in use in the NFL. The "Cheeseheads" moniker is now relegated to the Packer fans.

The Green Bay Packers team was formed in 1919 and joined the NFL in 1921. Although Green Bay is by far the smallest market with an NFL team, they do receive avid support from throughout Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The Packers are also one of the most successful NFL teams, with 13 national titles, including victories in the first two and now, the most recently played Super Bowl. They hold the distinction of being the only non-profit, community-owned major league professional sports team in the United States, and are also the only American major league franchise to release its financial balance sheet every year.


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Wisconsin Historical Society Press

Wisconsin's Oldest Publisher Takes a Fresh Approach to the Past

There are many reasons the citizens of Wisconsin are lucky to live there, and one is that they have such an outstanding publishing house attached to their state historical society. (Okay, sports fans, they’re lucky to have the Green Bay Packers and the Wisconsin Badgers, too.)

Since 1855, the Wisconsin Historical Society Press has enriched the state's thirst for knowledge with this mission: "By collecting, preserving, and sharing our stories, we help people connect to the past by publishing the best in Wisconsin history and culture." Especially against the backdrop of today’s full-speed-ahead media, it’s refreshing to find a publisher dedicated to values like storytelling and historic preservation. Year after year, WHSP creates books that connect readers to their past, helping them understand their place in society and their role in protecting the environment.

Two of the press' upcoming spring titles exemplify the mission of connecting the past and present -- and they perfectly capture the current interest in small farming and locally produced food. I find it very impressive that a publisher of history does such a great job of feeling the pulse of tomorrow. When we think of Wisconsin, we usually picture a lush, green field with black-and-white dairy cows grazing on it. Wisconsin is "dairyland," right?

In the compelling new release, Creating Dairyland, author Edward Janus digs deeply into the rich soil of Wisconsin and into the 150 year-old history of the state's dairy farms. Janus, who was once a dairy farmer himself, tells how cows became the center of farm life, launching a revolutionary way to make a living and helping farmers become better stewards of the land. With a combination of fascinating history and modern day accounts, Janus paints a colorful portrait of the dairy industry and the farmers, cows and cheesemakers we depend on for all of that great Wisconsin cheese.

Putting Down Roots is a very unique book, in part because it's about such a unique place, a "living museum" called Old World Wisconsin, where restored 19th century homes and gardens teach visitors how early settlers lived in harmony with the land. European immigrants and Yankee settlers brought their traditions, gardening methods, and recipes to Wisconsin, and the museum, along with this book, pass down the cultural history of these hearty folks.

Historical gardener Marcia C. Carmichael shares insights with today's gardeners and cooks about "planting trends and practices, garden tools used by early settlers, popular plant varieties, and favorite flavors of Wisconsin's early settlers, including recipes for such classics as Irish soda bread, pierogi, and Norwegian rhubarb custard." Yum!

WHSP also publishes books for young readers through their Badger Biographies and Badger History series. Titles like Harley and Davidsons, Ole Evinrude and His Outboard Motor, and Curly Lambeau: Building the Green Bay Packers bring to life some of Wisconsin’s most notable and colorful characters. The books are fun to read and include educational features like timelines, glossaries of terms, and suggestions for activities and discussion.

The two newest biographies cover two historical figures that became famous during the Civil War. Lucius Fairchild was a nineteenth century Renaissance man, whose adventurous life included crossing the prairies and mountains to the California gold rush, a stint as a beef supplier, and then as a Civil War general where his left arm was shattered at Gettysburg. The returning war hero went on to win three terms as governor of Wisconsin, and then to diplomatic posts in Europe. Female heroes of the Civil War are rare, but Cordelia Harvey became one by traveling up and down the Mississippi to visit Wisconsin soldiers in military hospitals. She fought tirelessly for soldiers’ need for wholesome food and clean supplies, and eventually traveled to Washington to plead with President Lincoln for a veterans’ hospital in Wisconsin. After the war, she started an orphanage for the children of fallen Civil War soldiers. Keeping alive the legacy of such notable figures and sharing stories that help children grow into curious, active citizens is a worthy goal. The Wisconsin Historical Society Press creates books to inspire readers of all ages to recognize their roots work toward a better future. What better goal for an independent publisher to have?

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Creating Dairyland: How caring for cows saved our soil, created our landscape, brought prosperity to our state, and still shapes our way of life in Wisconsin

by Edward Janus
232 pages; Paperback; $26.95 ISBN: 978-0-87020-463-0

Putting Down Roots: Gardening Insights from Wisconsin's Early Settlers
by Marcia C. Carmichael
288 pages; Paperback: $24.95 ISBN: 978-0-87020-466-1

Lucius Fairchild: Civil War Hero
by Stuart Stotts
112 pages; Paperback; $12.95 ISBN: 978-0-87020-460-9

Cordelia Harvey: Civil War Angel
by Bob Kann
128 pages; Paperback; $12.95 ISBN: 978-0-87020-458-6

Curly Lambeau: Building the Green Bay Packers
by Stuart Stotts
80 pages; Paperback; $12.95 ISBN: 978-0-87020-389-3

Download the entire WHSP Spring catalog: