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Yesterday in La Crosse

A breakaway African nation had friends in western Wisconsin, 50 years ago



In 1969, UNICEF encouraged American colleges to raise money to help the starving children of Biafra, which had seceded from Nigeria two years earlier.  The La Crosse State campus collected the most money of any U.S. college, about $6000.  The University of Oklahoma came in second.  La Crosse president Sam Gates received confirmation of the UNICEF donation in a letter from Sen. Ted Kennedy.  

The state college received a visit from the head of another campus across town.  Sister Justille McDonald, the president of Viterbo College, was invited to speak at the La Crosse State honors banquet.  Viterbo was still an all-women’s school in ’69, but it would admit men a year later.  

Some college students could be found at the Factory Tavern, at 3rd and Jay.  The Factory advertised a “true psychedelic atmosphere,” along with “every cocktail imaginable, and Ripple.”  Fifty years ago, yesterday in La Crosse.  

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also 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. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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