Green Bay is a city located in Northeastern Wisconsin, separated from Lake Michigan in the east by a narrow peninsula of land and bounded in the west by the main body of the state. The Fox River flows north through the city, dividing it into the East side and the West side. The 2000 census recorded Green Bay's population as 102,313, with 85,134 listed as white. The next largest ethnic groups were Hispanic (approx. 7200), Asian (approx. 3400), and American Indian (approx. 3000).
Green Bay was established in 1634, and is claimed to be the oldest settlement in the midwest. The town was founded when Jean Nicolet, an emissary of Governor Samuel Champlain of New France (Canada), and the first white man in the area, landed on the site. Nicolet was fluent in the Algonkin and Huron languages, and was acting to negotiate peace between the Huron and Winnebago tribes. Nicolet also explored the area, claimed it for the King of France, and named it La Baye Verte (Green Bay) because of the greenish tint of the waters. Some time after Nicolet's voyage, a few French missionaries and traders arrived in the area. They remained the only permanent white settlers until 1816 when U.S. troops arrived to formally take possession of Wisconsin. The troops built Fort Howard on the west side of the Fox River, which is the current site of the village of Howard. In 1822, the local Menominee tribe formed a treaty with the Oneida Nation and ceded them lands on the west side of the Fox River, beyond the community of Fort Howard. This is still the location of the Oneida reservation, and the township of Oneida.
Following the annexation of the Territory of Wisconsin to the United States, there was a massive influx of Western European immigrants to the area, and the French character of the early settlement was rapidly absorbed. Logging became a major industry, and as the land was cleared, farming and related industries flourished. This was in sharp contrast to the earlier settlers who were primarily fur trappers and traders. The Chicago and Northwestern Railroad connected Green Bay to the rest of the midwest in 1860, which facilitated transportation and thus the boom of the paper and meat-packing trades. The Port of Green Bay also became an increasingly important stop in both domestic and international trade.
In 1919, a few local football enthusiasts got together under the leadership of Curly Lambeau and talked his employer at the Indian Packing Company into sponsoring their team. In exchange for money to buy equipment, the team called themselves the Packers. In the early years of the team, they had some difficulty raising the funds necessary to keep the team going, so in 1922 local businessman A.B. Turnbull organized supporters and formed the Green Bay Football Corporation for the financial support of the team. The Green Bay Football Corporation evolved over time into what is now known as The Green Bay Packers, Inc. It is a publicly owned, non-profit corporation governed by a board of directors and an executive committee. The Green Bay Packers are thus in the unique position of being the only publicly owned team in the NFL.
Green Bay today is a prosperous city, with an average income of $23,968 in 1999, ranked 85th in the nation. Most of the money comes from thriving industries such as paper and other wood products, dairy, farm produce processing, and shipping. Crime is relatively low, and Green Bay is ranked in the Top 10 Safest Cities (with populations over 100,000). There are five major high schools, four public (East, Preble, Southwest, and West) and one private (Notre Dame de la Baie). There are also a number of public and private middle and elementary schools. The University of Wisconsin Green Bay (UWGB) is a four-year university, while the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) provides most of the trade and technical education in the area.
Packers games and the festivities surrounding them are major social events, and people tend to take their football a little too seriously, but there are other things to do in Green Bay. The Neville Public Museum is the only public museum in Green Bay, but there are several other museums catering to specific interests such as the National Railroad Museum, the Heritage Hill State Historical Park, and the Oneida Nation Museum. The Weidner Center for the Performing Arts provides a venue for nationally touring opera and theater companies, as well as for the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra, and there are a number of great seasonal festivals and fairs.
Info taken from:
State of Wisconsin (www.wisconsin.gov/state/home)
City of Green Bay (www.ci.green-bay.wi.us)
Green Bay Area Visitor and Convention Bureau (www.greenbay.org)
Green Bay Packers (www.packers.com)