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Yesterday in La Crosse

First to the prom, and then to church, 50 years ago

Brad Williams



In May of 1969, one La Crosse church offered a special worship service at 1:30 in the morning, for local promgoers who might want to sleep late on Sunday. Students from Logan and Central had requested a late-night church service. Three dozen students still dressed for the dance attended the service sponsored by Christ Episcopal Church.

Richard Nixon called it the most important nomination a president can make. As the new President of the United States, Nixon was making his first appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court that May. He chose St. Paul native Warren Burger to replace the retiring Chief Justice, Earl Warren. Burger served nearly 20 years as chief justice before he retired.

Astronauts were making their second trip to the moon that May, but they weren’t ready to land yet. Crew members on the Apollo 10 mission were preparing to descend to within 10 miles of the lunar surface, to search for spots where the next mission could actually land in July.

The top 2 songs on the Billboard record chart in mid-May of ’69 were from the same Broadway musical. ‘Aquarius’ by the 5th Dimension was number 1, followed by the title song from ‘Hair,’ by the Cowsills. Fifty years ago, 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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    Patricia Downs

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