Profile America: The Winneconne Secession

The Sovereign State of Winneconne. Credit:

The Sovereign State of Winneconne. Credit:

Friday, July 21 — Fifty years ago today, Winneconne, Wisconsin declared its independence. Residents were annoyed that their town of some 1,300 was accidentally left off the state’s 1967 road map. Unsatisfied with Wisconsin’s apology, they seceded. Upon forming the Sovereign State of Winneconne, the secessionist government set up toll-gates at the border, plotted to annex nearby Oshkosh, good naturedly declared war on the United States, and contemplated seeking annexation by another state with better weather. Wisconsin’s then governor negotiated a settlement satisfactory to the rebels. Winneconne rejoined Wisconsin just after midnight on July 22nd.

An annual Sovereign State Days celebration commemorates the event in the town now grown to 2,400 residents.

Profile America is in its 21st year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.

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