The Apollo program to send astronauts to the moon endured a deadly setback in January of 1967, when the crew of Apollo 1 died in a flash fire inside the space capsule less than a month before the mission. The crew included Mercury veteran Gus Grissom…Ed White, the first American to walk in space…and Roger Chaffee. An investigation revealed there was no quick way for the crew to get out of the capsule. A spark from a wire set off flames in the pure oxygen atmosphere of the spacecraft. U.S. astronauts would not travel in space again until October of 1968.
At La Crosse State College, they still had mid-year graduation in January, instead of December. A new $2 million library was planned for the campus, between 16th and 17th Streets.
And in parts of Wisconsin, the mercury was dropping to 20 below zero, in 1967, yesterday in La Crosse.