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Yesterday in La Crosse

Where to build a new fire station? A hot topic, 56 years ago

Brad Williams

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In October of 1963, the city council turned down a plan to put a south-side fire station at 16th and Farnam, to replace Station 5 on Denton Street, which later became a senior center.  Another possible site for a station was at 22nd and Green Bay Streets, which the fire chief thought was a bad location.  The city had about $400,000 available to put up a new fire house.   

The U.S. had its first set of quintuplets in ’63, born to the Fischer family of Aberdeen, South Dakota.  Folks in Aberdeen were trying to be careful not to exploit the Fischer babies, four girls and one boy, in the way that the Dionne quintuplets of Canada had become reluctant celebrities in the 1930’s.   

Liberace was a big attraction again at the Sawyer Auditorium, selling out an October show.  The Milwaukee native, who used to perform in La Crosse early in his career, had a tax-deductible wardrobe for his piano concerts.  None of Liberace’s sequined costumes was considered ‘street wear.’   

It was ‘Milo for News,’ five times a day, six days a week on WKTY Radio.  ‘Milo’ was long-time KTY news anchor Milo Knutson, who also happened to be serving his fifth term as mayor of La Crosse.  The mayor gives the news in 1963, 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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