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Yesterday in La Crosse

What was happening a year before the ’64 presidential election?

Brad Williams



In November of 1963, Republicans were making plans for a comeback in 1964, hoping to limit Democrat John Kennedy to just one term.  But Democrats scored wins in some big-city elections that month. South Vietnam was ruled by president Ngo Dinh Diem, who had received a hero’s welcome in New York a few years before. That November, Diem was assassinated in a military coup.  Despite glowing newsreel reports in the U.S. about Diem, he and his family were considered autocratic rulers of South Vietnam.  Before the end of November, Kennedy also became the victim of an assassination.   

Dairyland Power was getting ready to build a nuclear power plant near the lock and dam at Genoa.  The boiling water nuclear reactor was scheduled to open in 1965, and would cost $18 million.  It would be the first atomic plant in Wisconsin.   

The Packers came in second in the NFL West that season, with a record of 11-2-and-1.  The tie was with Detroit.  The only two losses for Green Bay were both against the Bears.  

On TV, “The Garry Moore Show” featured guest stars such as British comedian Terry-Thomas and dancer Gwen Verdon.  Former Garry Moore co-star Carol Burnett played the title role in a CBS production of the musical “Calamity Jane,” in November of 1963, yesterday in La Crosse.