When La Crosse got 3 inches of snow on this date in 1962, that amount set a new record for the highest snowfall in the city during one winter. The official record of 78.7 inches beat the previous mark set only three years earlier…and beat it by just four-tenths of an inch. The closest we’ve come to setting a new record since then was in the winter of 1974 and ’75…and that total was still five full inches short of the ’62 level.
It was only the second year of the Kennedy White House, but already Washington politicians were placing bets on which Democrats might run to succeed the incumbent president…in 1968. Wisconsin columnist John Wyngaard said Vice President Lyndon Johnson was likely to run…and so was Minnesota’s Hubert Humphrey. And one Republican Congressman joked that of course, Bobby Kennedy would be nominated in ’68 for his brother’s job. As it turned out, JFK died in 1963…Bobby ran, and died, in ’68…Johnson was president, but chose not to run again in ’68…and Humphrey became the nominee, and lost.
When a former La Crosse man named George Poage died in April of 1962, not many people noticed. Poage was 81 years old, and a retired postal clerk…but he was also a past Olympic hurdler, the first African-American ever to win medals in the Summer Olympics. People remember George Poage now, since a city park in La Crosse was recently named after him…and they know of his background, yesterday in La Crosse.