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Yesterday in La Crosse

Celebrating a new City Hall, 50 years ago

Brad Williams

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The 4th of July in 1970 was the official opening day for La Crosse’s current City Hall.  The 6-floor building on La Crosse Street replaced the City Hall that stood for nearly 80 years at the corner of 6th and State, now part of the post office parking lot.  La Crosse’s oldest living mayor, 86-year-old Gus Boerner, cut the ribbon to open the new building.  One woman visiting City Hall thought there were too many windows for city workers to look out of, and she thought the view outside would prevent them from getting work done.   

A big holiday celebration in Washington, called ‘Honor America Day,’ hosted by Bob Hope, and featuring Billy Graham, Pat Boone, and Kate Smith.  The event, attracting 250,000 people, took place at the Lincoln Memorial.  The party reportedly was arranged by supporters of President Richard Nixon, to counter protests of the Vietnam War.  

For summer viewing, CBS introduced a new prime-time cartoon called “Where’s Huddles?” The Hanna-Barbera show about two pro football players and their families featured the voices of “Flintstones” stars Alan Reed, Mel Blanc, and Jean Vander Pyl, and also recycled some old “Flintstones” storylines.

The creator of the Barbie doll was against making Barbie a symbol of the women’s lib movement.  Ruth Handler was the president of Mattel toys, and she said Barbie would reflect changes in society…for example, becoming a ‘girl space doll’ when American women eventually travel in space.  Fifty years ago, 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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