This is expected to be the coldest week in the Coulee Region since late January and early February in 1996. After two big snowstorms a week apart, a cold front settled over the Upper Midwest, and over a period of five straight days, the temperature in La Crosse and Rochester never got above zero. Starting with Groundhog Day, La Crosse had three days in a row when the mercury dropped under 30 below.
The record cold snap was voted the third biggest news story of 1996 in Minnesota by members of the Associated Press. The only stories higher on the list were ethical problems for Democrats in the Minnesota legislature, and the sudden retirement of Twins star Kirby Puckett.
Mark Weinhold was announcing his campaign for Wisconsin’s 3rd District Congressional seat, as a Democrat. Incumbent Republican Steve Gunderson was retiring after 16 years in the House. Weinhold spoke out about Washington gridlock and the federal deficit. The Democratic primary and the House seat were won that fall by Ron Kind.
If you stayed at home to watch TV that week, you could have seen ‘Boy Meets World,’ ‘Unsolved Mysteries,’ or the Miss USA pageant. In 1996, yesterday in La Crosse.