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Brad Williams

Brad Williams

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from U-W-La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area.  Brad writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse.  He's been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.  

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In 1958, Coya Knutson was a rarity...Minnesota's first woman in Congress.  Democrat Knutson was running for a third term in the House, but her own DFL party was against her.  Knutson had angered party leaders by running for Congress instead of staying in the legislature...and by not supporting Adlai Stevenson for president in 1956.  Historians tell us that the DFL conspired with Coya's estranged husband, Andy Knutson, to get him to sign a letter which became known as the "Coya, Come Home" letter...suggesting that she should give up her political career to save her marriage.  Knutson became the only Democrat to be voted out of Congress in the '58 election.

College students at La Crosse State celebrated their annual "Song Fest" which had been a tradition at the campus for a decade.  Fourteen groups were scheduled to perform two songs each, for a large crowd at the college auditorium.

On N. 3rd Street, you could find popular restaurants such as Jo Bau's, which was later torn down to make way for a bank drive-up lane...and Lee's Chop House, which sold a college-size pizza special for 55 cents.  That restaurant later became part of Digger's Sting, but it was the Chop House in 1958, 60 years ago, yesterday in La Crosse.


Wednesday - September 19, 2018 2:14 pm

Vernon County gets ready for FEMA

Wednesday - September 19, 2018 8:43 am

Republicans were targeting Gaylord Nelson, 38 years ago

In 1980, Democratic Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin was running for a fourth term, and four Republicans ran in the primary to get the chance to oppose him.  Former Congressman Bob Kasten won the nomination, with businessman Terry Kohler coming in second.  Kasten had run for governor two years earlier, and lost the primary after getting the party endorsement.  In '80, Kasten unseated Nelson, during a year when several Democratic Senators were thrown out after being targeted as too liberal. 

The Democratic Congressman for the 3rd District also lost his seat in 1980, with Al Baldus being replaced by state legislator Steve Gunderson of Osseo.  Baldus had only served 6 years in the House.

Esteban's restaurant opened in downtown La Crosse in 1980, at 3rd and Jay.  The Mexican eatery stayed open for 16 years at that site.  Years later, a Hooters restaurant opened in the old Esteban's...and it's now the home of a restaurant called Lovechild.

And "Brat on a Bun, or Hold That Kraut" was the title of the very first Heart of La Crosse production that September.  It was a comedy group made up of six guys...Sean Kelley, Ken E. Brown, Bruce Rogers, Jim Moenke, Bill Walz, and Paul Heckman.  They did two shows a night at the Pump House, with tickets costing $3.  Heart got its start in 1980, yesterday in La Crosse.

In 1955, UW-La Crosse was still La Crosse State College, and its homecoming parade was held downtown.  Some of the float ideas might not be approved today...such as the fraternity float with guys dressed as butchers, with pieces of dummies lying on a table.  They're slogan was 'We'll cut 'em up.'  Photos of the '55 parade showed the names of businesses no longer Fields, Miller's, the Tru-Valu Shop, and Kinney Shoes.

Ford Rexall Drug was at the corner of 4th and Main, in October of '55.  You could buy men's shoe trees for 59 cents, or an egg beater for 19 cents, and the soda fountain had a special of hot fudge shortcake with ice cream, 19 cents.

Families with a good TV antenna could get WCCO, Channel 4 from Minneapolis, to watch "The Murray Warmath Show."  Warmath was the Minnesota Gophers football coach, answering questions about the previous game.  WCCO advertised the coach's show in the La Crosse Tribune in 1955, 63 years ago, yesterday in La Crosse.


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