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Yesterday in La Crosse

More daylight saving time considered, 36 years ago

Brad Williams

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In 1983, there was a plan before Congress to extend Daylight Saving Time in America by two extra months.  In ’83, the period of later sunlight didn’t begin until the last Sunday of April, and ended the final Sunday of October.  The new proposal would have required people to turn their clocks ahead on the first Sunday of March.  The idea didn’t pass, but in 1987, the starting date was moved ahead to the first Sunday of April…and a March beginning for Daylight Saving eventually became official 20 years after that.   

Wisconsin had a new Democratic governor named ‘Tony’…Tony Earl.  And he had to choose a new district attorney for La Crosse County, after D.A. Michael Mulroy was elected circuit judge in the April election.  Three women and two men had applied for the vacancy by late April.  The job eventually went to Roger Le Grand, who later served as a county judge himself.   

Former President Jimmy Carter wasn’t too popular with some people, two years after being voted out of office.  Cartoonist Pat Oliphant drew a sketch of Senator Fritz Hollings riding a horse, as he prepared to run for president.  Oliphant showed Hollings riding past historic markers showing places where Carter ‘waffled,’ ‘backed off,’ ‘equivocated,’ and ‘was an absolute disgrace.’   

And ‘Leave It to Beaver’ to show up at a college campus in Winona.  Actor Jerry Mathers spoke at Winona State University.  Mathers and other cast members of ‘Leave It to Beaver’ had just made a reunion movie, 20 years after the original show about Beaver Cleaver ended.  Gee, Wally, so that’s what things were like in 1983…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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