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Yesterday in La Crosse

Gaylord Nelson wasn’t interested in being VP, 47 years ago

Brad Williams



In the summer of 1972, Sen. Nelson of Wisconsin was approached by Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern to be his running mate. Nelson said no, but reportedly made a fateful recommendation, suggesting Missouri Sen. Tom Eagleton for vice president instead. The party approved Eagleton, but a short time after the convention, Eagleton was under fire because he had been treated for depression, receiving electro-shock therapy. That scared many voters, and on July 31st of 1972, Eagleton resigned from the ticket under pressure, saying he didn’t want to divide the party. Sargent Shriver became McGovern’s second running mate.

Washington columnist Jack Anderson was accused of libel for making certain charges against Eagleton. That summer, Anderson was announced as one of the speakers who would appear at UW-La Crosse in the following school year. The lecture and concert schedule on campus also included a founder of “National Review” magazine, a Verdi opera, and the “Nutcracker” ballet.

Some new game shows appeared on daytime TV that fall, including “The Joker’s Wild,” “Gambit,” and a new version of the old favorite “The Price Is Right,” hosted by Bob Barker, in 1972, yesterday in La Crosse.

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