The year 1974 began with Richard Nixon as president, and ended with Gerald Ford in the White House because of Watergate. Many Republicans in Congress lost their seats that year, including 7-term Congressman Vernon Thomson of Wisconsin’s 3rd District, defeated by Democrat Al Baldus. La Crosse Democrat Paul Offner went to the Assembly, and Ed Nix became La Crosse County district attorney, with a rough two-year term ahead.
In response to rising gas prices during an “energy crisis,” Washington started year-round Daylight Saving Time in January. By New Year’s Eve, we were back to Standard Time after many protests.
The city of La Crosse took over the MTU bus service in ’74, to stop money losses under private ownership. Former quarterback Bart Starr was hired to coach the Green Bay Packers, after a four-year run under Coach Dan Devine. Sonny and Cher’s popular TV show ended when their marriage broke up, but new favorites began, including “Happy Days,” “Rhoda,” “Little House on the Prairie,” and “The Rockford Files.”