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Yesterday in La Crosse

“Earth Day” started with other names, 50 years ago

Brad Williams

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First they called it “Environmental Day” in La Crosse. The 22nd of April in 1970 was a big day for ecological awareness in the U.S., so big that Walter Cronkite did a special report about Earth Day on CBS that night.   La Crosse Mayor Warren Loveland issued an ‘Environmental Day’ proclamation, in which he said the nation must find adequate and feasible solutions to overpopulation, and air and water pollution.   

Federal appeals judge Harry Blackmun, from Rochester, was nominated by President Nixon to fill a Supreme Court vacancy.  Blackmun said he had been called both liberal and conservative.  Blackmun is best remembered today for writing the majority opinion in the ‘Roe vs. Wade’ decision on abortion.  

Singer Paul Simon went on “The Dick Cavett Show” that April to promote his new album with Art Garfunkel, “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”  Simon and Garfunkel split up just after recording the album, and Cavett asked Simon about why other acts, like the Beatles, weren’t performing in public any more.  The day after that Cavett episode was broadcast, Paul McCartney officially announced that he was leaving the Beatles.  Big breakups in 1970, 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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