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Chronology 1900s

1860s1870s1880s1890s • 1900s

1903
A seventy-foot monument with a soldier at “parade rest” on the top is erected by the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument Association in the Home Cemetery.

1917
120,000 Wisconsin soldiers serve in World War I; losses 3,932. Wisconsin is the first state to meet draft requirements; 584,559 registrations.
Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau, State of Wisconsin 1989-1990 Blue Book, 742

July 21, 1930
An executive order consolidates three bureaus: The Bureau of Pensions, the United States Veterans’ Bureau and the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers.The name given to the new organization is Veterans Administration at the head of which is the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs appointed by the President. The first administrator is General Frank T. Hines.

July 1, 1937
Post Office address of Veterans’ Administration, Wisconsin, is changed to “WOOD, WISCONSIN.”

1941-1945
Wisconsin enrolls 375,000 for World War II; casualties 7,980.
Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau, State of Wisconsin 1989-1990 Blue Book. 742

May 25, 1941
The Hiker Monument which faces the Annex is presented by the United Spanish War Veterans, Depart of Wisconsin and its Auxiliaries.

1945
The VA Regional Office separates from Wood, moves downtown.

1946
The VA Department of Medicine & Surgery is established; research and education programs are begun in affiliation with medical schools.

1950
Wisconsin enrolls 132,000 for Korean Conflict; casualties 800.
Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau, State of Wisconsin 1989-1990 Blue Book, 742

March 29, 1963
Ground-breaking ceremony for the fifth hospital, Building No. 111.

December 7, 1965
The first Vietnam victim is buried in the cemetery: Pfc. Duncan F. Krueger, 18, of West Allis, was killed in action on December 2, 1965, and buried on on December 7, 1965. Almost a year later, on December 2, 1966, Pvt. Dennis E. Weinberg, 20, of Milwaukee, joins the veterans of other wars in the cemetery. He died in Vietnam on November 24, 1966.  
Steve Buggs, “2 Vietnam dead buried at Wood,” Milwaukee Sentinel, 13 January 1967, 5.

May 15, 1966
The new Hospital, Building No. 111 is dedicated and occupied.

March 2, 1977
President Carter appoints Max Cleland administrator of Veterans Affairs.

March 6, 1967
The Day Treatment Center opens with a staff of fifteen members and a professional staff of three.

October 11, 1978
Veterans Administration Center becomes the Veterans Administration Medical Center.

October 21, 1977
Ground-breaking ceremony is held for Building 123 Domiciliary.

November 2, 1979
Building No. 123, a two-hundred-bed Domiciliary, is dedicated; speakers at ceremony are Maury S. Cralle, Jr., Assistant Deputy Administrator for Financial Management and Construction, VACO; and Dr. Ralph Goldman, Assistant Chief Medical Director for Extended Care.

July 15, 1981
Robert P. Nimmo is sworn in as Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs.

August 26-29, 1982
The Eleventh National Veterans Wheelchair Games are held at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

October 19, 1984
President Reagan signs into law, Public Law 98-528, that changes the name of VAMC, Wood to Clement J. Zablocki Veterans Administration Medical Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

January 1987
Wood Auditorium is changed to the Matousek Auditorium in memory of William Matousek, MD.

December 31, 1987
A time capsule, measuring 1 by 2 feet, was entombed into the earth and contains memorabilia related to the :Dozen Decades of Dedication: celebrating the center’s 120 years of service to the veteran.  A marker was placed over the burial site in the front of the Medical Center.

May 21, 1988
State legislative action designates Highways I-90 and I-94, from Milwaukee to LaCrosse, and Highway 29, from Green Bay west to the Elk Mound Interchange dedicated as the “Veterans Memorial Highway.”  Highway 51, from Beloit to Hurley is the Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway.  Highway 10, from Manitowoc, through Neillsville continuing to Prescott, is designated as the Vietnam War Veterans Memorial Highway.

January 20, 1989
Administrator Thomas K. Turnage submits his official resignation.

February 1989
Installation of new telephone system begins.

March 3, 1989
President George Bush’s nomination of Edward J. Derwinski as Secretary of Veterans Affairs is confirmed by the Senate.

March 15, 1989
President Bush hails the creation of a new Cabinet-level Department  of Veterans Affairs in ceremonies held on the White House South Lawn. “There is only one place for the veterans of America,” the President says, “in the Cabinet Room, at the table with the President of the United States of America.”  Earlier, the President administers the oath of office to Edward J. Derwinski, the nation’s first Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Department of Medicine & Surgery is now called Veterans Health Services and Research ‘Administration (VHSFA)

Department of Veterans Benefits is now called Veterans Benefits Administration (DVA) – Regional Office

Department of Memorial Affairs is now called the National Cemetery System (NCS)

Veterans Administration, “Establishment of Department of Veterans Affairs, “  Federal Register, 54 (47) (13 March 1989): 10476-10477.  May 20, 1990  Building No. 43 re-dedicated, July 15, 1995, First phone call ever received in a patient’s room.  
Source:  “Long-Distance Call:  Veteran talks to shuttle from Zablocki.  Hospital’s new in-0room phones up and ringing.”  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 16 July 1995, page 8A.  Reproduced in Chapter on “Services.”
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