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Yesterday in La Crosse

Between light and shadow, the eclipse was sort of “The Twilight Zone,” 60 years ago

Brad Williams



“There is a middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition.” That was part of one opening for the “Twilight Zone” TV show.   And you could describe the path of a solar eclipse that way. Sixty years ago, October 2nd, 1959, a total eclipse could be seen across much of northern Africa and the Atlantic, with just a small portion of New England in the shadow.  The eclipse began in the Boston area around sunrise, but rainclouds blocked the view of the event.  The next total eclipse occurring over Boston takes place in 2079.  

On page 2 of that day’s La Crosse Tribune, you would find an ad for the debut of “The Twilight Zone” that night on Channel 8. Popular TV writer Rod Serling created the science-fiction show and hosted it, and ‘Zone’ became an immediate classic.   

The UN had rejected Communist China for membership for the ninth year in a row, calling the country an ‘outlaw nation.’  Mainland China wouldn’t get into the United Nations until 1971.   

Baseball fans in La Crosse and elsewhere were following the ’59 World Series, featuring the Chicago White Sox against the L.A. Dodgers, who won the National League pennant by 2 games over Milwaukee.    Hitting #1 on the record charts the first week of October was Bobby Darin, singing about “Mack the Knife,” submitted for your approval, 1959, 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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