Astronaut Donald “Deke” Slayton came back home to the Sparta area around Halloween of 1975, to be honored shortly after his only mission in space…the Apollo-Soyuz orbital flight with Russia. Slayton was chosen as one of America’s original Mercury 7 astronauts, but a medical condition grounded him until that ’75 flight. The 51-year-old Slayton said he would like to be the first man to walk on Mars, and predicted that men would reach the red planet before the end of the 20th century.
A popular department store in La Crosse was closing. The W.T. Grant store was on the same block of 5th Avenue as Sears…and the local store was among nearly 300 targeted for closing by the Grant company. Grant’s had more than a thousand stores around the U.S., but decided to downsize and limit its business mainly to the East Coast.
The rock band Kiss was becoming popular, and on Halloween weekend of ’75, it performed at the Sawyer Auditorium in La Crosse for the second time in less than a year…with the group Brownsville Station on the same bill. Forty-three years ago, yesterday in La Crosse.