For more behind-the-scenes idea of what we were doing while waiting in line for the doors to open for the Cheers to Milwaukee concert, Jake thought it was important that I let everyone know about the major topic of discussion that day: The Milwaukee Bridge War of 1845. Jake also just finds it important that everyone knows about the Milwaukee Bridge War of 1845 because he thinks that we should hashtag never forget.
Now, I don’t feel like I need to rehash all the gory details of the war since it’s all readily available elsewhere on the internet like Wikipedia or here, but I do just want to shout about it a little bit because that’s pretty much all we did standing around outside the Riverside. Jake is such a goddamn blessing because he always comes armed with such pointless information that is actually pretty important to know.
The gist of the situation is, Milwaukee has always been segregated. Like, it didn’t just come about in the fifties or the eighties or two years ago. Milwaukee was literally built on the idea that we should never be mingling with the assholes that live on the other side of the river. Three jerk men (also known as the founders of the city of Milwaukee) decided to run their own little communities so dysfunctionally that they didn’t even want their roads to line up. Milwaukee is built on a goddamn grid system and they insisted on having their own separate grids. (Honestly, this actually helps make sense of how some of the roads are laid out.) And then when the powers that be decided to connect these neighborhoods via bridges, these dumbasses had fostered such a strong sentiment of xenophobia among that their residents that these residents decided destroy one of these bridges on their own (although the initial “attack” on the bridge may have been an accident). But, assuming that the first “strike” was intentional, that’s a fun little phrase we don’t often hear about anymore called domestic terrorism. And as sometimes happens when acts of terrorism, domestic and otherwise, take place, people get mad and start starting wars against entire populations of people who they associate with the initial aggressor. I mean, this never happen anymore because we live in a civilized society where we can recognize and separate the difference between radical extremism and just innocent people from the same neighborhood (or state or country or geographical region). But people back then were clearly so much less civilized than we are today, that they just immediately started attacking and trying to maime people from the sides of the river that they were not from. People who are other or different used to be considered bad. And then people just like, legitimately battled over this. Like, people fought over turf and a stupid bridge. Then in 1846, those same powers that be thought these idiot men had proven themselves incapable of running their own towns and just annexed them and made them apart of the city of Milwaukee.
Thankfully (or unfortunately, I’m not sure where I fall on the Darwinism theory of evolution and survival), no one died. Apparently people got hurt, but no one died.
But, guys, can you IMAGINE this world? Where domestic terrorism was just lowkey accepted? Good thing we don’t have to worry about any of that anymore. HAhahahahahahAHAHAHAHahhaHAHAHA, oh wait.