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Yesterday in La Crosse

D-Day, the 6th of June, in 1944

Brad Williams



The Allied invasion of France on June 6th, 1944, was a major turning point in World War II, but back home, workers were still needed to help with the war effort.  In La Crosse, a representative of Boeing was enlisting men and women to travel to Seattle to help build ‘America’s most needed big bomber,’ the B-29 superfortress.   

The only local news item on the front page of the Tribune on D-Day announced that the La Crosse concert band would perform the next night at Riverside Park, weather permitting.  It was the 14th season of summer concerts, launched just after the erection of the Anderson Memorial bandstand, which now has a new wooden bandshell over it.     

A combination Logan-Central graduation dance was scheduled at the Avalon ballroom.   Meanwhile, folks in La Crosse might have wanted to be inside, seeing a movie.  The Rivoli was showing ‘Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves,’ while Roy Rogers starred in ‘Cowboy and the Senorita’ at the Wisconsin Theater.  And the Hollywood had ‘The Song of Bernadette,’ which won a Best Actress Oscar for Jennifer Jones.  It happened on D-Day, 1944, 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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