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Yesterday in La Crosse

Close to finishing the new bridge, 53 years ago

Brad Williams



In 1966, the center span of the new I-90 bridge at Dresbach was installed. Planners expected the bridge to carry traffic by the fall of ’67. At the time, the Cass Street bridge was the only bridge to take cars between La Crosse County and southern Minnesota.

Oktoberfest was in its 6th year, and had grown to a five-day festival running Wednesday through Sunday. The fest had become such a big draw, even Governor Warren Knowles showed up on opening day to tap the golden keg. Republican Knowles was running for his second term as governor, against Democratic Lieutenant Governor Pat Lucey. Before 1970, Wisconsin’s governor and lieutenant governor were not elected as a team, but could be from different parties.

Travel films were a popular attraction. The Coulee Region Kiwanis presented a season of six travel movies at the Coleman Auditorium. During the ’66 season, audiences could see the ‘wonders of the Yucatan,’ the Grand Tetons, Finland, and Ethiopia, yesterday in La Crosse.