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Yesterday in La Crosse

The battle to keep the 10 Commandments in a park was starting, 34 years ago



In the summer of 1985, the Freedom From Religion Foundation of Madison threatened to take the city of La Crosse to court if it did not remove a 10 Commandments marker from Cameron Park. The marker was donated to the city after the record Mississippi flood of 1965, and other communities had similar monuments on display. A city council committee voted to keep the marker where it was, prompting Mayor Pat Zielke to say “Simply because you don’t like something doesn’t mean it should be banned.”

The man who would succeed Zielke as mayor in the 1990’s did some clowning around in public for a good cause. Assemblyman John Medinger was pictured in the newspaper with a female clown named “Thumper,” who was trying to trim Medinger’s hair using a giant plastic comb. The two got together at a benefit for Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

A submarine crew became the first humans to dive to the floor of Lake Superior. The explorers had to go 1300 feet down to reach the bottom of the Great Lake, in 1985, yesterday in La Crosse.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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