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Yesterday in La Crosse

Snow in time for Memorial Day, 73 years ago

Brad Williams

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School was ending and summer was beginning in the last week of May, 1947 around the Midwest, when an extremely late-season snowstorm developed in the Rockies and made its way as far east as Michigan.  Some of the heaviest snow fell on May 29th in western Wisconsin.  Only about 3 inches in La Crosse, but 9 to 10 inches at Viroqua and Gays Mills.  There was plenty of concern about blooming fruit trees in Iowa losing their crop because of the cold and snow.   

Traditional Memorial Day ceremonies were planned for Friday, May 30th in La Crosse.  Organizers said the Memorial Day parade had not been rained out in 20 years.  The Central High School program for the holiday was being observed for the 25th time.  And the La Crosse Tribune speculated that most of the dwindling number of Civil War veterans would not survive until the 1948 holiday.   Memorial Day was started in 1868, just after the Civil War.

“Nobody Lives Forever” was one of the movies showing on area screens, along with “To Each His Own,” “The Yearling,” with Gregory Peck and Jane Wyman, and a new Abbott and Costello comedy called “Little Giant.”  In 1947, 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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