Thawing Wisconsin Roads

The state of Wisconsin is known for its cheese, and the Cheeseheads that love it so much they’re willing to wear cheese wedge shaped hats to football games. Now that winter is upon them Wisconsin has discovered yet another use for their beloved dairy product. They’re using cheese brine instead of salt to thaw the icy roads.

Salt tends to bounce off the icy surface, and gets knocked away even more by drivers, but a waste product from the cheese making process called cheese brine helps the salt stick to the ice, and together they melt the ice better than salt alone.

The best cheeses to use are said to be provolone and mozzarella.

The Only Person to Be Governor of Two Different States

sam houston

Sam Houston is the only person to be governor of two different states. That is not his only claim to fame though by a long shot.

Houston rose from humble origins in Virginia. During his youth, he lived for several years among the Cherokee and was adopted into that tribe. This experience gave him a lifelong sympathy for Native Americans.

Houston served under General Andrew Jackson during the War of 1812, during which he came to some fame. Cultivated by Jackson, Houston rose in Tennessee politics, serving in the House of Representatives before he was elected Governor of Tennessee in 1827.

Two years later, Houston’s marriage collapsed. The public scandal forced him to resign. By 1833, Houston had moved Texas hoping for a fresh start.

He participated in the Texas Revolution, serving as a major general of the Texan Army. He led the Texans to victory at the decisive Battle of San Jacinto in 1835.

Texas gave the fallen Sam Houston the new start to his life that he had sought. In 1836, the newly independent Republic of Texas elected him President. He served two non-consecutive terms in that office. When the United States annexed Texas, Houston represented the state in the United States Senate.

In 1859, he was elected Governor of Texas. It was a time in which many Southern leaders were preparing for what they saw as an inevitable civil war in order to preserve slavery.

Houston defended slavery, but strongly opposed the secession. He warned his fellow Southerners that the North would win and destroy the South in the process.

Nonetheless, after a special convention followed by a popular referendum, Texas seceded from the union on March 2, 1861. Houston refused to recognize the act or take an oath of loyalty to the Confederacy, and two weeks later the Convention forced him out office.

President Lincoln offered Houston the use of federal troops to put down the rebellion. But Houston preferred to avoid having a direct hand in bloodshed in his beloved Texas, the second state over which he was governor, and instead retired to his country home. He died at the age of 70 in 1863, in the midst of the horrific Civil War that he predicted.