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Yesterday in La Crosse

Wisconsin still wasn’t ready for casinos, 30 years ago

Brad Williams



Gambling and even sweepstakes were forbidden in Wisconsin for decades.  But by 1990, the state had legalized bingo, the lottery, and dog-racing.  Casinos were still off-limits, though.  The Ho-Chunk opened a casino near the Dells in the summer of 1990.  The attorney general said that wasn’t allowed yet, and within a couple of weeks, the Sauk County sheriff’s department had raided the place, seizing lots of slot machines.  

The Richard Nixon presidential library opened in July of 1990, in southern California.  Sixteen years had passed since Nixon resigned during the Watergate scandal.  The former president had some veto power over who could use his library for research, and experts predicted that Nixon would try to bar Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward from visiting the place.   

A new “Dick Tracy” movie opened in theaters, starring Warren Beatty as the cop from the comic strip.  Some old “Dick Tracy” animated cartoons from the 60’s were being banned by one Los Angeles TV station, because some of the supporting characters were unflattering stereotypes of Asians and Latinos. 

New on TV that summer, “Northern Exposure,” about a city doctor moving to a small town in Alaska.  A moose was on the loose in 1990, 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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