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Harold Vernon Froehlich

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Honorable

Harold V. Froehlich
Chief Judge of the 8th District of Wisconsin Circuit Courts
In office
August 1, 1988 – July 31, 1994
Preceded byWilliam J. Duffy
Succeeded byPhilip M. Kirk
Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge for the Outagamie Circuit, Branch 4
In office
August 14, 1981 – April 8, 2011
Appointed byLee S. Dreyfus
Preceded byR. Thomas Cane
Succeeded byGreg Gill, Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 8th district
In office
January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1975
Preceded byJohn W. Byrnes
Succeeded byRobert John Cornell
66th Speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly
In office
January 11, 1967 – January 4, 1971
Preceded byRobert T. Huber
Succeeded byRobert T. Huber
Minority Leader of the Wisconsin Assembly
In office
January 4, 1971 – January 3, 1973
Preceded byRobert T. Huber
Succeeded byJohn C. Shabaz
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the Outagamie 1st district
In office
January 1, 1963 – January 1, 1973
Preceded byKenneth E. Priebe
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Personal details
Harold Vernon Froehlich

(1932-05-12) May 12, 1932 (age 88)
Appleton, Wisconsin
Political partyRepublican
EducationUniversity of Wisconsin (BBA, LLB)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Navy
Years of service1951–1955
Battles/warsKorean War

Harold Vernon Froehlich (born May 12, 1932) is a retired American politician and judge. He represented Wisconsin's 8th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives for one term in 1973-1974 as a Republican and broke with his party to vote for the impeachment of President Richard M. Nixon.

After leaving Congress, he served thirty years—from 1981 to 2011—as a Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge in Outagamie County. Earlier in his career, he served ten years in the Wisconsin State Assembly and was the 66th Speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly. His final public office was on the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, where he served until its dissolution in 2015.[1]


Born in Appleton, Wisconsin, Froehlich served in the United States Navy during the Korean War after graduating from Appleton Senior High School in 1950. In 1959, Froehlich graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and then received his law degree in 1962. That same year, he was elected to his first term in the Wisconsin State Assembly. He would ultimately serve ten years in the Assembly, and was chosen as Speaker during the 1967-1968 and 1969-1970 sessions.[2][3][4][5]

He was elected to the 93rd United States Congress in 1972 to the replacing the retiring incumbent John W. Byrnes in Wisconsin's 8th congressional district. He lost his reelection bid to Democrat Robert John Cornell in the wave election of 1974, following the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Froehlich had voted for the impeachment of President Nixon as a member of the House Judiciary Committee. During his term in Congress, he hired future Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser, Jr., as a legislative aide.

Governor Lee S. Dreyfus appointed Froehlich to the Wisconsin Circuit Court in Outagamie County in 1981. He was elected to a full term on the court in 1982 and was subsequently re-elected in 1988, 1994, 2000, and 2006. The Wisconsin Supreme Court selected Judge Froehlich as Chief Judge for the 8th Judicial Administrative for the maximum 3 two-year terms from 1988 to 1994. He retired from the court on April 8, 2011.

In 2013, Governor Scott Walker appointed Judge Froehlich to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. Judge Froehlich served as vice chair of the board in 2014.[1] The Government Accountability Board was abolished by legislation signed by Governor Walker in 2015.

During his career, Judge Froehlich served as president of the Wisconsin Trial Judges Association and was a delegate to the National Conference of State Trial Judges.[6] Judge Froehlich was named "Judge of the Year" in 1999 by the Bench Bar committee of the State Bar of Wisconsin.[4] In 2013, the state bar honored him with a Lifetime Jurist Achievement Award, where he was praised by his former legislative aide, Justice David Prosser, Jr.[6][5] The American Judges Association created the "Harold Froehlich Award for Judicial Courage" in 2013, to "recognize the highest level of judicial courage in the service of justice."[7]

Toilet paper panic

Froehlich represented a district in which the paper industry is a major employer. Prompted by concern from the industry, on December 11, 1973, Froehlich issued a press release declaring, "The U.S. may face a shortage of toilet paper within a few months," and alluded to rationing as a possible solution.[8] The release made it into major newspapers and to Johnny Carson. On December 19, Carson told his audience of tens of millions in his Tonight Show monologue that there was a shortage of toilet paper. Primed by recent shortages of other kinds of paper along with gasoline and meat, consumers went out the next day and hoarded toilet paper, emptying store shelves.[9] The run on toilet paper continued for three weeks, until consumers saw that stores were being restocked and that there was therefore no shortage. The incident was the subject of a short film released in early 2020 by documentary filmmaker Brian Gersten, The Great Toilet Paper Scare.[10]

Electoral history

Wisconsin Assembly (1962, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1970)

U.S. House of Representatives (1972, 1974)

Wisconsin's 8th Congressional District Election, 1972[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Primary, September 12, 1972
Republican Harold V. Froehlich 20,355 38.82%
Republican James R. Long 15,095 28.79%
Republican Myron P. Lotto 14,862 28.35%
Republican Frederick O. Kile 2,118 4.04%
Plurality 5,260 10.03%
Total votes 52,430 100.0%
General Election, November 7, 1972
Republican Harold V. Froehlich 101,634 50.41% -5.10%
Democratic Robert John Cornell 97,795 48.50% +4.94%
American Clyde Bunker 2,192 1.09% +0.16%
Plurality 3,839 1.91% -10.05%
Total votes 201,621 100.0% +45.55%
Republican hold
Wisconsin's 8th Congressional District Election, 1974[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
General Election, November 5, 1974
Democratic Robert John Cornell 79,923 54.44% +5.93%
Republican Harold V. Froehlich (incumbent) 66,889 45.56% -4.85%
Plurality 13,034 8.88% +7.21%
Total votes 146,812 100.0% -27.18%
Democratic gain from Republican

Wisconsin Circuit Court (1982, 1988, 1994, 2000, 2006)

Wisconsin Circuit Court, Outagamie Circuit, Branch 4 Election, 1982[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
General Election, April 6, 1982
Nonpartisan Harold V. Froehlich (incumbent) 13,915 57.65%
Nonpartisan Patrick Mares 10,222 42.35%
Plurality 3,693 15.30%
Total votes 24,137 100.0%
Wisconsin Circuit Court, Outagamie Circuit, Branch 4 Election, 1988[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
General Election, April 5, 1988
Nonpartisan Harold V. Froehlich (incumbent) 29,298 100.0%
Total votes 29,298 100.0% +21.38%


  1. ^ a b "Judge Harold V. Froehlich". Wisconsin Elections Commission. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  2. ^ "Froehlich, Harold V. 1932". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  3. ^ 'Outagamie County Judge Harold Froehlich set to retire,' Appleton Post Crescent, March 15, 2011
  4. ^ a b "Froehlich Is 'Judge of the Year'" (PDF). The Third Branch. Vol. 7 no. 1. 1999. p. 1. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Harold Froehlich and Jeffrey Kremers Receive Judicial Awards in November". State Bar of Wisconsin. October 16, 2013. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Froehlich, Kremers honored" (PDF). The Third Branch. Vol. 21 no. 4. 2013. p. 5. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  7. ^ Zettel, Jen (October 7, 2016). "Appleton West inducts 3 into Hall of Fame". The Post-Crescent. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  8. ^ Crockett, Zachary (July 9, 2014). "The Great Toilet Paper Scare of 1973". Retrieved March 25, 2020.
  9. ^ Ralph Schoenstein, "It was just a joke, folks: How a casual remark from Johnny Carson emptied supermarket shelves all over the country," TV Guide, May 18, 1974, pp. 6-7.
  10. ^ Buder, Emily (March 19, 2020). "What Misinformation Has to Do With Toilet Paper". The Atlantic. Retrieved March 25, 2020.
  11. ^ Theobald, H. Rupert; Robbins, Patricia V., eds. (1973). "Elections in Wisconsin". The state of Wisconsin 1973 Blue Book (Report). Madison, Wisconsin: State of Wisconsin. pp. 801, 820. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  12. ^ Theobald, H. Rupert; Robbins, Patricia V., eds. (1975). "Elections in Wisconsin". The state of Wisconsin 1975 Blue Book (Report). Madison, Wisconsin: State of Wisconsin. pp. 802, 822. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  13. ^ Theobald, H. Rupert; Robbins, Patricia V., eds. (1983). "Elections in Wisconsin". The state of Wisconsin 1983-1984 Blue Book (Report). Madison, Wisconsin: State of Wisconsin. p. 865. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  14. ^ Barish, Lawrence S.; Theobald, H. Rupert, eds. (1989). "Elections in Wisconsin". State of Wisconsin 1989-1990 Blue Book (Report). Madison, Wisconsin: State of Wisconsin. p. 885. Retrieved April 4, 2020.

External links

Wisconsin State Assembly
Preceded by
Kenneth E. Priebe
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from the Outagamie 1st district
January 1, 1963 – January 3, 1973
District abolished
Preceded by
Robert T. Huber
Minority Leader of the Wisconsin Assembly
January 4, 1971 – January 3, 1973
Succeeded by
John C. Shabaz
Preceded by
Robert T. Huber
Speaker of the Wisconsin State Assembly
1967 – 1971
Succeeded by
Robert T. Huber
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John W. Byrnes
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 8th congressional district

January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1975
Succeeded by
Robert John Cornell
Legal offices
Preceded by
R. Thomas Cane
Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge for the Outagamie Circuit, Branch 4
1981 – 2011
Succeeded by
Greg Gill, Jr.
Preceded by
William J. Duffy
Chief Judge of the 8th District of Wisconsin Circuit Courts
1988 – 1994
Succeeded by
Philip M. Kirk
This page was last edited on 5 August 2020, at 04:33
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