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Yesterday in La Crosse

A war on marijuana, 81 years ago

Brad Williams

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The state of Wisconsin was declaring war against pot in 1938. Attorney General Orland Loomis warned that the ‘marijuana evil’ was not yet a major problem in the Badger State, but Loomis wanted prompt action, to prevent the weed from becoming a ‘serious menace.’

Some local athletes apparently were paid to play football in ’38. Players from Central High School and the teachers’ college competed in what was billed as a ‘professional football game’ in La Crosse that fall.

Several Lutheran churches in the area were planning their lutefisk dinners for the fall. If you preferred meat to the Norwegian-style fish, the Buehler Brothers market was selling hamburger for 12-and-a-half cents a pound. Slightly cheaper was bologna with cereal added for 12 cents. And one newspaper ad said ‘What’s new for breakfast? Spam and eggs’…in 1938, yesterday in La Crosse.