Decades ago, presidential candidates dropped in a lot on local TV stations before primaries. On the night before the Wisconsin primary of 1972, Minnesota’s Eugene McCarthy paid for a half-hour talk with La Crosse area voters on Channel 8. McCarthy was followed immediately by six candidates for La Crosse County Board. And before the night was over, another White House hopeful, Hubert Humphrey, was on WKBT for a live chat before the late news.
Humphrey’s 1968 running-mate, Ed Muskie, also campaigned in the region, speaking at the Vernon County Courthouse. The Tribune ran a picture of Muskie arriving at the La Crosse Airport and meeting a politician of “the fairer sex.” That politician was Sonja Ludvigsen, a member of the Norwegian parliament who also was visiting the area.
In early ’72, popular TV shows included “Laugh-In,” “Gunsmoke,” “Sonny and Cher,” and “The Kopykats,” a sketch comedy show featuring famous impressionists such as Frank Gorshin and Rich Little. That was 1972, yesterday in La Crosse.