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Yesterday in La Crosse

A change on the way on 3/3/33

Brad Williams



Four score and seven years ago, March 3rd of 1933, the U.S. was saying goodbye to President Herbert Hoover.  The man from Iowa was voted out after one term, following the start of the Great Depression.  Franklin Roosevelt took office on the 4th, declaring that the only thing we had to fear is fear itself.  That was the last inauguration in March.  Roosevelt’s second term began on January 20th of 1937.   

A few weeks earlier, a gunman had fired at Roosevelt and Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak during an assassination attempt in Miami.  FDR wasn’t hurt, but Cermak was shot in the lung and died on March 6th, after just two years as mayor of Chicago.  Rumors have persisted over the years that Cermak was the gunman’s main target.  

The La Crosse Tribune said the city and America needed a new coat of paint, and a general clean-up, to improve the community’s image.   In the funny pages, Blondie and Dagwood had just gotten married.  Jiggs and Maggie were the married couple featured in “Bringing Up Father.”  Dick Tracy and Little Orphan Annie were also favorite comic characters.  And there was a new radio show out of Detroit, featuring a masked hero from the old West who was called “The Lone Ranger,” in 1933.                 

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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