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Yesterday in La Crosse

Somebody wanted a do-over of the last presidential election, in 1974

Brad Williams

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According to a 1974 newspaper report, an unemployed math consultant from Vermont wanted a federal judge to invalidate President Richard Nixon’s second election in 1972, the one where Nixon took 49 states in the electoral college.  Charles Griffith argued that Nixon beat George McGovern through fraud and corruption.  Griffith wanted the voters to be awarded $22 million, and he wanted a new election.  The newspaper story ran in August of ’74, just days before Nixon resigned.  But the lawsuit still got a hearing in court, and it was dismissed.  

Comedian Jimmie Walker performed at UW-L just before Thanksgiving of ’74.  Walker had become famous that year playing J.J. Evans on the sitcom “Good Times,” where he routinely said “Dy-no-mite!”  Walker spent much of his performance at Main Hall talking with audience members, and found that many of them were majoring in physical education or recreation.  That led him to joke about whether the campus had anybody studying 16th Century English literature.  

Thanksgiving dinner specials at local restaurants were priced at only $2.25 at Schmidty’s, and $3.95 at the Holiday Inn.  And the #1 song on the radio around Thanksgiving was “I Can Help,” by Billy Swan.  In 1974, yesterday in La Crosse.  

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