In 1968, the voting age was still 21, too old for most people attending college. Time magazine set up a national primary called “Choice ’68” to be held on about 2000 campuses on one night, April 24th. La Crosse State and Viterbo were among the colleges included. A pediatrician from Columbia University was brought to La Crosse as part of the program, to speak in support of Sen. Eugene McCarthy.
One of McCarthy’s most famous supporters was actor Paul Newman. Just before the Wisconsin primary, Newman traveled to La Crosse and Prairie du Chien to campaign for the Minnesota Democrat. The star of “Cool Hand Luke” told a crowd on Main Street in La Crosse “I am not doing this because I am a movie star…I am doing this because I have six children.”
“The Carol Burnett Show” was in its first season on CBS. That spring, guests on Carol’s show included singer Jack Jones, and future Burnett cast member Tim Conway…in 1968, yesterday in La Crosse.