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Yesterday in La Crosse

April 22nd was ‘Environmental Day,’ 49 years ago

Brad Williams



A day set aside for concern about ecology in 1970 quickly became known as ‘Earth Day.’ But at first, politicians weren’t sure what to call that red-letter day.  La Crosse Mayor Warren Loveland issued an ‘Environmental Day’ proclamation, in which he said the nation must find adequate and feasible solutions to overpopulation, and air and water pollution.   

Overpopulation in the La Crosse school district was forcing two city schools to find room outside their buildings for 6th graders.  Summit and Jefferson Schools were transferring 6th grade classes to rooms at Franklin and Roosevelt schools.  The older kids would have to change buildings to make up for growing enrollments in 1st and 2nd grades.   

Federal appeals judge Harry Blackmun, from Rochester, was nominated by President Nixon to fill a Supreme Court vacancy.  Blackmun said he had been called both liberal and conservative.  Blackmun is best remembered today for writing the majority opinion in the ‘Roe vs. Wade’ decision on abortion.  

And one of the biggest hit songs in America that April was by the Ides of March, called ‘Vehicle,’ in 1970, yesterday in La Crosse. 

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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