Christmas of 1965 marked the first holiday season that K-Mart was open in La Crosse, at Losey Boulevard and State Road. The big box store had ‘giftarama’ discounts, advertising the new Beatles album ‘Rubber Soul’ and closeouts on toys related to the ‘Man from UNCLE’ TV show. Bell Discount on the Causeway had a ‘fantabulous’ outerwear sale, and there were holiday specials downtown at Penney’s and Herberger-Barrons.
The AM radio stations in town all featured special programs for Christmas weekend. Besides the holiday fare, WKBH aired the AFL championship game, where the Buffalo Bills shut out San Diego. The Packers won the NFL championship that holiday season, in a title game over the Cleveland Browns at Lambeau Field. There was no Super Bowl yet…not until the end of the ’66 season.
On Christmas night of ’65, the cast of ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ escaped from Stalag 13 and ended up on ABC’s ‘Hollywood Palace,’ hosted that week by Bing Crosby…the producer of ‘Hogan’s Heroes.’ A highlight of the show was a performance of ‘Silent Night’ in the original German, sung by Werner Klemperer and John Banner…alias Colonel Klink and Sergeant Schultz.
Christmas, 1965…yesterday in La Crosse.