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Yesterday in La Crosse

A month-long birthday party for one area county, 50 years ago

Brad Williams



In June of 1969, Crawford County marked its sesqui-centennial…150 years since it had been founded. In 1819, Crawford took up about one-third of the Wisconsin territory. Parades were held during June in almost all of the communities in the county, except De Soto and Eastman. The finale came June 29th in Prairie du Chien, with another parade, and a program outside the historic courthouse in Prairie.

In La Crosse, there was a proposal to light Grandad Bluff at night. The idea was promoted by the city Chamber of Commerce.

President Nixon’s nominee for chief justice, Warren Burger, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Burger’s hearing lasted less than two hours, and the Democratic chair of the committee, James Eastland of Mississippi, said he’d like another candidate like Burger to fill a second vacant seat on the court. A newspaper columnist had claimed that when Burger worked in the justice department under President Eisenhower, he took part in a ‘witch hunt’ in a security case.

The Apollo 11 astronauts were preparing for their moon mission in July, and a newspaper photo showed astronaut Buzz Aldrin kissing ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ star Barbara Eden, while she was visiting Cocoa Beach. The ‘Jeannie’ show was set in Cocoa Beach, where Eden’s genie-in-a-bottle lived with fictional astronaut Major Tony Nelson. TV genie meets real astronauts, 1969, yesterday in La Crosse.