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Yesterday in La Crosse

Teenagers were closer to getting the right to vote, 49 years ago

Brad Williams



In June of 1970, Congress passed what would eventually become the 26th Amendment, lowering the national voting age to 18. The age change was included as part of an extension of the 1965 Voting Rights Act…and it would add about 10 million young people to voter rolls. All of Wisconsin’s Democrats in the House, and one Republican, approved the plan.

For Father’s Day that June, Kroner’s Hardware had a few gift ideas that might please dads. Such as…a Black and Decker electric drill for $9.99, an electric sander for almost $20, and lawn mowers for $49 and up.

The White House was hosting popular bands such as the Guess Who, and Gary Puckett and the Union Gap. At the La Crosse Interstate Fairgrounds, Jack Martin of WKBH was continuing a long tradition of having a ‘Barn Dance’ show of country music.

Meanwhile, big rock music gatherings were not welcome in La Crosse County, a year after Woodstock. The county board passed an ordinance to put limits on rock festivals. The ordinance included regulations on fencing, sanitation, and providing fresh water. Board members were hoping to control all gatherings of five thousand people or more, or ones that lasted 18 hours or longer…in 1970, yesterday in La Crosse.

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