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Thursday - November 9, 2017 8:43 am

Don't take away the trains...a plea made 48 years ago

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In November of 1969, the Interstate Commerce Commission was holding hearings on whether to let the Milwaukee Road end its afternoon "Hiawatha" run between Chicago and Minneapolis.  The city of La Crosse objected, along with two Winona colleges, St. Mary's and the College of St. Teresa.  La Crosse Mayor Warren Loveland sent a statement saying that more than two thousand people in the city had used the Hiawatha train over a two-month period.  The railroad said the Hiawatha runs lost more than $400,000 in 1968.
People in Cameron Park were asked to sign a "Nixon letter"...a petition to support the troops in Vietnam.  A table was set up in the park for signing the letter backing President Nixon's war policy, following the president's "silent majority" speech on TV.  Media criticism of Nixon's address led Vice President Spiro Agnew to accuse reporters of liberal bias during a speech in Des Moines that month.  
Astronauts landed on the moon for a second time that November.  During the Apollo 12 flight, Pete Conrad and Alan Bean walked on the lunar surface, while Dick Gordon orbited the moon in the command module.  Gordon and Conrad had both flown together three years earlier in Earth orbit on Gemini 11.
Meanwhile, the first men to land on the moon were honored as heroes in Milwaukee that month.  The Apollo 11 crew of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Mike Collins received the first-ever Discovery Awards from Marquette University...which have since been given to Bishop Desmond Tutu, Mother Teresa, and the Little Rock Nine.  The moon walkers landed in Wisconsin in 1969...48 years ago, Yesterday in La Crosse.

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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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