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Yesterday in La Crosse

More traffic accidents in town, but fewer injuries in 1962

Brad Williams



Fifty-seven years ago, La Crosse police compared accident figures from 1961 to the previous year.  There were about four crashes a day in La Crosse, for more accidents than 1960, but only 178 people were injured, compared to 267 the year before.   

In early ’62, the TV network news only lasted 15 minutes, and WKBT in La Crosse did not carry it.  The 6 o’clock news led off with farm reports and sports, followed by the news, and weather came last.  The 10 p.m. cast began with weather, and then news, and it only lasted 20 minutes.  The late newscast was followed most nights by 10 minutes of real estate listings, and on Fridays, there was “Sewing Is Fun,” where a local sewing machine store allowed homemakers in La Crosse to test the newest machines on live TV.  

Minnesota won the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day of ’62, beating UCLA.  And the Packers began the year as NFL champs, with a New Year’s Eve shutout of the New York Giants.        

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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