Connect with us

Yesterday in La Crosse

We tiptoed through the tulips at a televised wedding, 50 years ago

Brad Williams



Tiny Tim was getting married at Christmas-time, 50 years ago.   And by Tiny Tim, we don’t mean the little boy in the Charles Dickens story.  This was the long-haired, ukulele-playing Tiny Tim, a singer who became famous for performing “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” on the “Laugh-In” TV show.  In December of 1969, about 45 million people stayed up late on a Wednesday night to watch Tim marry his teenage fiancee Miss Vicki on the “Tonight Show.”  Johnny Carson had invited Tim and Vicki to have the wedding ceremony on his talk show.   

A much more private wedding was planned in Minnesota that month, between a former monk and a former nun.  Gregory Robertson was a former president of St. Mary’s College in Winona, and he would marry an ex-nun named Maura Coughlan.   

Neill Armstrong was coaching football that fall.  Not the Armstrong who walked on the moon that year.  This Neill Armstrong was hired as an assistant coach by the Minnesota Vikings after resigning as head coach of a Canadian Football League team.  The Vikings were headed to the Super Bowl for the first time, Super Bowl number Four, against Kansas City.  It was the last Super Bowl before the AFL merged with the NFL.   

Mary Lynn Rash was named the “Best Dressed Coed” for 1969 at La Crosse State College.  Rash won the honor from among a group of 10 female students, judged for their appearance in casual, school, and formal clothes.  The judges were local clothing retailers and university staff members.

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.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *