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Yesterday in La Crosse

The idea of renovating old Central High wouldn’t fly, 51 years ago

Brad Williams



In the spring of 1968, the La Crosse School Board reluctantly approved a study of whether the former Central High on Cass Street could be remodeled for use as a junior high. The school leaders were reluctant, because they thought the building, dating back to the 1920’s, was too old-fashioned to meet ‘1970 education needs.’ The district never did find a new use for old Central, and it was torn down in the 70’s, to make way for what is now Weigent Park.

A Republican Senator from Texas defended the Vietnam War in a speech on the La Crosse State campus. Senator John Tower argued that if South Vietnam could be kept out of the hands of Communists, then that would teach a lesson to Communist countries not to launch wars to gain territory. Tower also predicted that the GOP would win Texas is ’68, with Democratic President Lyndon Johnson retiring. Texas still voted Democratic that fall.

On TV, comedian Dom De Luise got his own summer variety show. ABC was showing ‘The Avengers,’ but this had nothing to do with Iron Man or Captain America. This was the popular British show about super-spies John Steed and Mrs. Emma Peel. Avengers assemble, in 1968, 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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