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National History Day 2017 Theme: Taking a Stand in History

Welcome to the National History Day resource page brought to you by the La Crosse Public Library and UW-La Crosse Murphy Library. We developed this guide to introduce students and teachers to local topics for use in the National History Day competition. This list is not exhaustive but gives the reader an idea of local topics and basic resources for a subject.

Generally, materials held in the special collections or archives area of either library do NOT check-out; the items must be used at those libraries.

Politics—African Americans

La Crosse was a hotbed of Labor political party activity in the 1880s and the “Labor Advocate” was one of at least four La Crosse area Labor-related newspapers from that time. What makes the “Labor Advocate” unique was its editor and owner: George Edwin Taylor. Taylor was an African-American, born in Arkansas in 1857. As a black business owner, he was an anomaly in La Crosse in the 1880s. Taylor got his start in publishing working at other La Crosse newspapers. He also became increasingly interested in politics as reflected in his editorship of the “Wisconsin Labor Advocate.” The last existing edition of the paper dates from August 6, 1887 and George Edwin Taylor left La Crosse soon afterwards. He maintained a life-long interest in politics and by 1904 had become involved in an all African-American political party called the National Liberty Party. Taylor accepted the nomination of that party in 1904 as its candidate for the office of the U.S. President. In doing so, Taylor was the first candidate of a national African-American party for the U. S. presidency.

Secondary Sources

  • Newspaper clippings at the La Crosse Public Library Archives: Biography-Taylor, George Edwin
  • Black La Crosse, Wisconsin, 1850-1906: Settlers, Entrepreneurs & Exodusers by Bruce L. Mouser. Mouser chronicles the lives of African-Americans in the La Crosse area and includes several biographical sketches.
    Hand PointingFind at:La Crosse Public Library has four check-out copies available; two at the main library and one at each of the community libraries: 977.571 M876B 2002. The Reference and Archives areas also have a copy which stays in the main library.
    UW-L Murphy Library has one check-out copy available and one in the Special Collections area: F589.L19 M68 2002

Primary Sources

  • Wisconsin Labor Advocate: Newspaper published in La Crosse in 1886-1887.
  • Photographs at UW-L Murphy Library Special Collections and at the La Crosse Public Library Archives

Also check out other sources at: La Crosse History Unbound

While local sources are noted for each topic, remember to use some other online sources and catalogs such as:

Library of Congress’ American Memory

Wisconsin Historical Society:

Please send us your comments about this site.


Welcome to La Crosse History Unbound. Learn more about La Crosse County, history through these digitized collections from La Crosse Public Library and Murphy Library, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.