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Yesterday in La Crosse

The Elite Eight went to state, 56 years ago



In March of 1964, WKTY Radio was broadcasting the WIAA state basketball tournament, as well as important regional, sub-sectional, and sectional games.  The playoffs were “presented” by Standard Oil.  In those days, only the boys went to state–only eight schools–and the champion that year was a southwestern Wisconsin school, Dodgeville.  La Crosse Central had played at state just two years earlier, and the Red Raiders wouldn’t make it back to the state championship game until 1979.   

Voters in Westby had to decide on whether to build a new high school for $850,000.  If the vote was “yes,” then the Westby district would tear down the old elementary school, and move grades 3 through 8 into the existing high school.  

At the Hollywood Theater in La Crosse, boxing fans could see film of the February 25th title fight in which Cassius Clay beat Sonny Liston.  The 30-minute show featured fight highlights in slow motion.  The Clay-Liston fight could be seen four times a day.  In late March, the Hollywood showed the Cold War satire “Dr. Strangelove,” while the Rivoli featured Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon in “Muscle Beach Party,” which also starred Don Rickles, Buddy Hackett, and “Little” Stevie Wonder, in 1964, yesterday in La Crosse.    

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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