The first month and 23rd day of 1945, World War II was heading to a conclusion. The major headlines on the La Crosse Tribune that day brought us war news. The Russians were 137 miles from Berlin, and American tanks were making progress in France. In the Pacific, General MacArthur was leading troops through the Philippines. Northern States Power announced that a nationwide ‘brown-out’ had been ordered to save electricity for the war effort. Outdoor advertising and movie marquees were among the electric items to be cut back.
There wasn’t much local news on the Trib’s front page that January 23rd. The La Crosse Chamber of Commerce was having a ‘road and bridge committee smoker’ at the Hotel Stoddard, with the entire state highway commission expected to attend.
In the middle of winter, Barron’s in La Crosse had a clearance sale on mittens, as low as 79 cents, including ‘bunny mitts.’ If you had a stuffed-up nose, you could relieve it with a few drops of Vicks Va-Tro-Nol. And the newspaper pointed out, you could write the calendar date “1,2,3,4,5” on one January day in 1945, yesterday in La Crosse.