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Yesterday in La Crosse

La Crosse was up to two TV stations, 50 years ago

Brad Williams



The debut of WXOW, Channel 19, happened on March 7th of 1970, a day when the big story was a solar eclipse over North America. WXOW has been an ABC affiliate from the start. Before 19 came on the air, WKBT aired shows from both CBS and ABC.

On a typical weekday in early 1970, you could watch Let’s Make a Deal, The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, Sale of the Century, and The Who, What, or Where Game. Another game show called Dream House went off the air in ’70, and was replaced by the new soap opera All My Children. One newspaper story declared that daytime soaps were to women viewers what football is to men.  

President Nixon signed a law that June lowering the voting age in the U.S. to 18.  It would not take effect until the following January, so 18-year-olds wouldn’t be able to vote for governors of members of Congress that fall.  There was no presidential race that year.   

The 1970 football season was the first after the merger of the NFL with the AFL. Green Bay and Minnesota were placed in the NFC Central Division, and it was the first season of Monday Night Football, featuring Keith Jackson, Don Meredith, and Howard Cosell, 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.