Featured 1934 Green Bay Tercentennial

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by leeg, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. leeg

    leeg I Enjoy Toned Coins

    Green Bay Tercentennial, 1934 Medal.png
    Green Bay, Wisconsin (Brown County), U.S.A. Obverse: Official Souvenir / Wisconsin / Tercentennial / Green Bay / 1934. Reverse: Thumbnail 300th Anniversary of the coming of the first white man / (Men in Canoe) / Jean Nicolet in ribbon / 1634.

    I was born 30 miles from Green Bay in a small town called Kaukauna. My Grandfather and Father both worked at the Paper Mill on the Fox River. That’s why I write this story.

    Wisconsin 1934 centennial medal:

    1934 Green Bay, Wis., Wisconsin Tercentennial, Jean Nicolet, Bronze 37mm Unc. A bronze medal commemorating the 300th anniversary of the coming of the first white man to Green Bay, Wisconsin, 1634 - 1934.

    In 1634 Jean Nicolet crossed Lake Michigan and landed at Red-Banks (near Green Bay), thus becoming the first white man to explore Wisconsin. (Found in Bloomington, IL). The tercentennial (300th anniversary) of Nicolet's landing at Green Bay was celebrated in 1934. . . While it is the size and shape of a coin, I feel that it fits more into the relic category due to the historical context of it.

    President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the keynote speaker at the Wisconsin Tercentennial celebration on August 9, 1934. Evidently Mr. (or Mrs.) D. Prescott was so moved by Pres. Roosevelt’s speech that he purchased this official souvenir to commemorate the event. H&K Unlisted, Bronze / R 37, TC-219792.

    . . .The spirit of rejoicing, an overtone from the contemplation of significant achievement, is the more urgent from the seeming shortness of the period of civilization building. Wisconsin people look back a hundred years, recall that plans for a territorial organization were then only beginning to be formed, and assume that date as the starting point in the state’s development. In this attitude there is a certain fundamental justice, as we shall see, but the story in its completeness is much more involved and infinitely more romantic.

    The Tercentenary Observance

    To prove this it is only needful to recall the tercentennial, celebrated at Green Bay in the summer of 1934. That event contemplates a Wisconsin which came to the knowledge of civilized man three centuries ago and thenceforward was continuously interesting to Europeans from religious, commercial, political, military, mining, and colonizing points of view. If the land had merely been seen by its original explorer and then disregarded for two centuries, the Green Bay celebration would hardly have been justified, but when the visit of Jean Nicolet has as sequel the coming of Perrot to organize the Indian trade, of Allouez to found a mission, Louvigny and LaPerriere to conquer hostile savages, Joliet and Marquette, to prosecute interior discoveries; when English followed French and Americans English in a fateful if uneven succession, then the discovery of the Wisconsin terrain three centuries ago is seen to be an event of genuine historical significance, about which all the people of the state, young and old, without exception, should be informed.


    Jean Nicolet (1598-1642) was the first European to see Wisconsin and was a prominent French explorer who, for many years, lived among the Indians of Quebec. In 1634, Samuel de Champlain, the Governor of New France, sent Nicolet west on a journey to explore the great interior. According to the records of the Catholic Jesuit missionaries, Nicolet and his seven companions traveled from Quebec via Lake Huron, through the straits of Mackinac into Lake Michigan, stopping at the shores of what is now Green Bay. Nicolet expected to encounter Asian peoples. He donned a Chinese damask robe to greet them but met, instead, a small group of Menomonee Indians. Believing that Nicolet was a son of the gods, the Menomonee celebrated with a great feast in his honor. 1870 painting by Edwin Willard Deming. The image appeared in the June section of the 1948 Wisconsin Historical Calendar. Courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society.

    Jean Nicolet was an engaging young Frenchman of Cherbourg, who adventured to Quebec in 1618 at the age of twenty. Samuel de Champlain, his patron, governor of the French colony, had use for a bright, capable man like Nicolet and promptly sent his out among distant tribes of Indians to learn their language and mode of life. In that service he spent nine years, making himself an expert in the language and lore of the Algonkins (sic). It was doubtless a hard service, but it won him the honorable office of interpreter and agent.

    The last three years had been spent among the Nipissings on or near Lake Huron. Here was the crossroads of the wilderness. The Ottawa River, Lake Nipissing, and French River had become the regular channel of trade between Quebec and the upper Great Lakes. It was by that route that Ottawa Indians of the far northwest, with greet fleets of bark canoes, carried their furs to the French metropolis, while the Hurons at the south end of Georgian Bay received through the same channel French traders and missionaries. The Nipissings’ country, in effect, was the listening post from which to eavesdrop upon the savage as well as the civilized world. It is practically certain that Nicolet there obtained some knowledge of the more distant tribes south, north, and west as well as general notions of the routes of travel and of the distances that would have to be covered in order to visit them. The record of what now took place has been preserved solely because the Jesuit missionaries were in the habit of sending Relations of events transpiring in the new world to the heads of their order in France. . .


    More to follow. :)
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  3. Penna_Boy

    Penna_Boy Just a nobody from the past

    Thanks very much. That was an interesting read.
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  4. capthank

    capthank Well-Known Member

    I enjoyed. Thanks
    leeg likes this.
  5. Worn Out

    Worn Out Well-Known Member

    Enjoyed reading it. Thank you Lee!

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  6. tibor

    tibor Well-Known Member

    Nice write up. Go PACKERS!!!
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  7. 352sdeer

    352sdeer Collecting Lincoln cents for 50 years!

    Look forward to more! Thanks.

    leeg likes this.
  8. leeg

    leeg I Enjoy Toned Coins

    Thanks all!

    Green Bay.png

    For these reasons, and especially because the interest his visit (Jean Nicolet) created was never permitted to die or to be lost, the state is under deep obligations to the people of Green Bay for causing the tercentennial of Nicolet’s visit to be adequately observed.

    Green Bay, Roosevelt 1.png

    This was done in a variety of ways: Through the issuance by the Post Office Department of a special commemorative three cent stamp, bearing Edwin W. Deming’s painting of Nicolet’s landfall; by a visit to Green Bay on August 9, 1934, of President Franklin D. Roosevelt; by a Fox River Valley parade on the opening day, July 7, and the religious observances on July 5. Of special educational significance was the historic pageant, Under Three Flags, given first August 14 and thereafter repeated twice each week till Labor Day. The text of the pageant was prepared by Dr. Louise Phelps Kellogg assisted by Dean Susan B. Davis, both of Madison, and the verses appearing in the pageant book are by Mrs. Sara Kimball Carhart, of Milwaukee. Mr. Lehr Knowles, of Fostoria, Ohio, was the producer. The actors were local talent of Green Bay, some of whom, it is said, impersonated their own ancestors.

    Green Bay, Packers.png

    In 1929, just a decade after their founding, and in their ninth year of NFL membership, the Packers were national champions, with an unbeaten, once-tied record. They repeated in 1930 and ’31, as the first ‘Triple Champions’ in league history, a feat matched only by Vince Lombardi’s powerhouses of the 1960s. Here are the 1929 champs. From the Neville Public Museum, Otto Stiller Collection. Courtesy of Wisconsin Pictorial History, p. 154.

    Harold T. I. Shannon, of the Green Bay Gazette, was general manager of the Tercentenary, Incorporated, of which Governor A. G. Schmedeman was honorary president and Mrs. Arthur Courteney Neville and Mayor John V. Diener, of Green Bay, were honorary vice-presidents.

    The participation of the churches, Catholic and Protestant, in the Green Bay celebration, suggests that a significant religious movement is associated in the minds of Wisconsin people with the beginnings of our civilization. . .

    Green Bay’s deep-seated conservatism paid off in the 1930s. The Great Depression came late to the area, thanks to cautious leaders who weren’t caught with too big a lead off base. Unemployment caused suffering, but hometown agencies took care of their own and the city never had to resort to bread lines and soup kitchens. The tone of the area press was so determinedly cheerful it’s hard to tell at a distance in time how tough things really were, but the worst was apparently over by 1935.

    At the very bottom of the depression Green Bay had enough bounce to observe the 300th anniversary of the landing of Jean Nicolet. The 1934 Tercentennial, born in the fertile imagination of Harold Shannon, culminated in a visit by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. However, the summer-long celebration, while an artistic success, was a financial failure.

    A newspaper survey at the time revealed that although Green Bay was primarily a paper center with 20 percent of the labor force engaged in papermaking, it also had more than 100 other industries. It was the world’s largest cheese manufacturing and shipping center; the biggest wholesale and jobbing market north of Milwaukee; and was second only to Duluth, Minnesota as a western lake port. It also boasted the world’s largest pickle factory.”1

    1 Articles of General Interest, Wisconsin Anniversaries. By Joseph Schafer, Superintendent Historical Society of Wisconsin. Chapter 1, p. 3-5, 7-8. Kellogg Bank is pleased to present this limited edition copy of Green Bay: A Pictorial History. . .We gratefully acknowledge the work of Jack Rudolph, author of this book, for his commitment to this publication. . .Officers, Directors, and Staff of Kellogg Bank, 1934. Chapter 7, p. 154, 156, 158-159.

    Still more to follow.
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  9. 352sdeer

    352sdeer Collecting Lincoln cents for 50 years!

    Good stuff, keep it coming!

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  10. leeg

    leeg I Enjoy Toned Coins

    We continue:


    Earl (Curly) Lambeau organized, played with, and coached the Green Bay Packers for more than thirty years, in the process winning six National Football League championships and a place in professional football’s Hall of Fame. After his death, Green Bay’s football stadium was renamed—many thought belatedly—in his memory. It became Lambeau Field. From Lefebure-Luebke Photography. Courtesy of Wisconsin Pictorial History, p. 159.

    “Governor Schmedeman, Mr. Mayor, my friends:

    This is an inspiration to be here today. This is a wonderful setting on the shores of the Bay and I am glad to take part in this commemoration of the landing in Green Bay of the man who can truly be called the first white pioneer of this part of the United States. Over all the years, as your distinguished Representative in Congress has suggested, the purposes of the men and women who established civilization in Wisconsin and in the Northwest were the same as those that stimulated the earlier settlers of the Atlantic Seaboard. Men everywhere throughout Europe—your ancestors and mine—had suffered from the imperfect and often unjust Governments of their home land, and they were driven by deep desire to find not alone security, but also enlarged opportunity for themselves and their children. It is true that the new population flowing into our new lands was a mixed population, differing often in language, in external customs and in habits of thought. But in one thing they were alike. They shared a deep purpose to rid themselves forever of the jealousies, the prejudices, the intrigues and the violence, whether internal or external, that disturbed their lives on the other side of the ocean.

    Yes, they sought a life that was less fettered by the exploitations of selfish men, set up under Governments that were not free. They sought a wider opportunity for the average man.

    Having achieved that initial adventure of migrating to new homes, they moved forward to the further adventure of establishing forms of government and methods of operating these forms of government that might assure them the things they sought. They believed that men, out of their intelligence and their self-discipline, could create and use forms of government that would not enslave the human spirit, but free it and nourish it throughout the generations. They did not fear government, because they knew that government in the new world was their own.

    I do not need to tell you that here in Wisconsin they built a State destined for extraordinary achievements. They set up institutions to enforce law and order, to care for the unfortunate, to promote the arts of industry and agriculture. They built a university and school system as enlightened as any that the world affords. They set up against all selfish private interests the organized authority of the people themselves through the State. They transformed utilities into public servants instead of private means of exploitation.

    People know also that the average man in Wisconsin waged a long and bitter fight for his rights. Here, and in the Nation as a whole, in the Nation at large, this battle has been two-fold.

    It has been a fight against Nature. From the time that the settlers started to clear the land until now, they have been compelled to assert the power of their brains and courage over the blind powers of the wind and the sun and the soil. They have paid no heed to the reactionaries who would tell them that mankind must stand impotent before the forces of nature. Year after year, as science progressed and mastery of the mysteries of the physical universe increased, man has been turning nature, once his hard master, into useful servitude.

    Green Bay, Roosevelt 2.png

    Franklin D. Roosevelt. 32nd President of the United States: 1933 -1945, Address Delivered at Green Bay, Wisconsin, August 09, 1934.

    That is why, on this trip across the northern part of this Continent, I have been so moved by the distressing effects of a widespread drought, and at the same time so strengthened in my belief that science and cooperation can do much from now on to undo the mistakes that men have made in the past and to aid the good forces of nature and the good impulses of men instead of fighting against them.

    Yes, we are but carrying forward the fundamentals behind the pioneering spirit of the fathers when we apply the pioneering methods to the better use of vast land and water resources— what God has given us to use as trustees not only for ourselves but for future generations.

    But man has been fighting also against those forces which disregard human cooperation and human rights in seeking that kind of individual profit which is gained at the expense of his fellows.

    It is just as hard to achieve harmonious and cooperative action among human beings as it is to conquer the forces of Nature. Only through the submerging of individual desires into unselfish and practical cooperation can civilization grow.

    In the great national movement that culminated over a year ago, people joined with enthusiasm. They lent hand and voice to the common cause, irrespective of many older political traditions. They saw the dawn of a new day. They were on the march; they were coming back into the possession of their own home land.

    As the humble instruments of their vision and their power, those of us who were chosen to serve them in 1932 turned to the great task.

    In one year and five months, the people of the United States have received at least a partial answer to their demands for action; and neither the demand nor the action has reached the end of the road.

    But, my friends, action may be delayed by two types of individuals. Let me cite examples: First, there is the man whose objectives are wholly right and wholly progressive but who declines to cooperate or even to discuss methods of arriving at the objectives because he insists on his own methods and nobody's else.

    The other type to which I refer is the kind of individual who demands some message to the people of the United States that will restore what he calls "confidence." When I hear this I cannot help but remember the pleas that were made by government and certain types of so-called "big business" all through the years 1930, 1931 and 1932, that the only thing lacking in the United States was confidence.

    Before I left on my trip on the first of July, I received two letters from important men, both of them pleading that I say something to restore confidence. To both of them I wrote identical answers: "What would you like to have me say?" From one of them I have received no reply at all in six weeks. I take it that he is still wondering how to answer. The other man wrote me frankly that in his judgment the way to restore confidence was for me to tell the people of the United States that all supervision by all forms of Government, Federal and State, over all forms of human activity called business should be forthwith abolished.

    Now, my friends, in other words, that man was frank enough to imply that he would repeal all laws, State or national, which regulate business—that a utility could henceforth charge any rate, unreasonable or otherwise; that the railroads could go back to rebates and other secret agreements; that the processors of food stuffs could disregard all rules of health and of good faith; that the unregulated wild-cat banking of a century ago could be restored; that fraudulent securities and watered stock could be palmed off on the public; that stock manipulation which caused panics and enriched insiders could go unchecked.

    In fact, my friends, if we were to listen to him and his type, the old law of the tooth and the claw would reign in our Nation once more.

    The people of the United States will not restore that ancient order. There is no lack of confidence on the part of those business men, farmers and workers who clearly read the signs of the times.

    Sound economic improvement comes from the improved conditions of the whole population and not a small fraction thereof.

    Those who would measure confidence in this country in the future must look first to the average citizen.

    Confidence is returning to our agricultural population who, in spite of unpredictable and uncontrollable drought in a large area of the Nation, is giving understanding cooperation to practical planning and the ending of the useless bickering and sectional thinking of the past.

    Confidence is returning to the manufacturers who, in overwhelming numbers, are comparing the black ink of today with the red ink of many years gone by; to the workers who have achieved under the National Recovery Administration rights for which they fought unsuccessfully for a generation; to the men and women whose willing hands found no work and who have been saved from starvation by Government work and Government relief; to the youngsters whose childhood has been saved to them by the abolition of child labor; to the fair and sincere bankers and financiers and business men, big and little, who now, for the first time, find Government cooperating with them in new attempts to put the golden rule into the temples of finance; to the home owners who have been saved from the stark threat of foreclosure and to the small investors and savers of the Nation who, for the first time, rightly believe that their savings are secure.

    These are the elements that make for confidence in the future. This Government intends no injury to honest business. The processes we follow in seeking social justice do not, in adding to general prosperity, take from one and give to another. In this modern world, the spreading out of opportunity ought not to consist of robbing Peter to pay Paul. In other words, we are concerned with more than mere subtraction and addition. We are concerned with multiplication also—multiplication of wealth through cooperative action, wealth in which all can share.

    These high purposes must be accompanied by cooperation among those charged by the people with the duties of government. I am glad to be in a State from which I have greatly drawn in setting up the permanent and temporary agencies of the national Administration.

    Your two Senators, Bob LaFollette and Ryan Duffy, both old friends of mine, and many others, worked with me in maintaining excellent cooperation, the kind I have been talking about, between the executive and legislative branches of the Government. I take this opportunity of expressing my gratitude to them.

    Not only in Washington but also in the States it has been necessary, of course, for us to have cooperation by public officials in the achievement of the great purposes we seek. I thank Governor Schmedeman, another old friend of mine, for his patriotic cooperation with the national Administration.

    We who support this New Deal do so because it is a square deal and because it is essential to the preservation of security and happiness in a free society such as ours. I like its definition by a member of the Congress. He said:

    The new deal is an old deal- as old as the earliest aspirations of humanity for liberty and justice and the good life. It is as old as Christian ethics, for basically its ethics are the same. It is new as the Declaration of Independence was new, and the Constitution of the United States; its motives are the same. It voices the deathless cry of good men and good women for the opportunity to live and work in freedom, the right to be secure in their homes and in the fruits of their labor, the power to protect themselves against the ruthless and the cunning. It recognizes that man is indeed his brother's keeper, insists that the laborer is worthy of his hire, demands that justice shall rule the mighty as well as the weak.

    ‘It seeks to cement our society, rich and poor, manual worker and brain worker, into a voluntary brotherhood of freemen, standing together, striving together, for the common good of all.’

    Keep that vision before your eyes and in your hearts; it can, it will be attained.”2

    2 The American Presidency Project. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Address Delivered at Green Bay, Wisconsin. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley.

    The end. Hope some enjoyed it.
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  11. 352sdeer

    352sdeer Collecting Lincoln cents for 50 years!

    I enjoyed your posts very much, thanks for all the great researche.

    leeg likes this.
  12. charlietig

    charlietig Well-Known Member

    About an hour east of me... Neat town with a nice waterfront downtown.
    leeg likes this.
  13. TheFinn

    TheFinn Well-Known Member

    I loved living there for a couple of years. Wonderful people. Thank you.
    leeg likes this.
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