In 19995, a plan by the Lac du Flambeau tribe to turn the Holiday Inn on the pike into a $50 million casino was shot down in a La Crosse County referendum. Local churches were among the leaders of the anti-gambling campaign, along with restaurant and tavern owners who worried that a casino would take customers away from them. Another casino proposal five years later, offered by the Ho-Chunk, also was defeated at the polls.
Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole announced his plan to run for president again in the 1996 election, against incumbent Democrat Bill Clinton. Republican Dole had visited La Crosse during his 1988 campaign. Dole suggested that former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Colin Powell was on his short list of possible running mates, along with former HUD secretary Jack Kemp. The GOP would nominate Dole in ’96, and Kemp would join him on the ticket.
And La Crosse’s Pump House celebrated Valentine’s Day with a production of the romantic musical “The Fantasticks” by Pegasus Players…24 years ago, 1995.