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Yesterday in La Crosse

Just another summer night, men walking on the moon: July 20, 1969

Brad Williams

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On July 20th of 1969, the ‘Eagle’ moon lander of Apollo 11 became the first manned spacecraft to arrive on the lunar surface.  Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon that Sunday night, around 10 p.m. La Crosse time, as a worldwide audience watched in black-and-white on TV.    The video camera on the lunar lander was switched on just as Armstrong was climbing down the ladder to the lunar soil. At least one TV network had actors simulating what the astronauts were doing, when there wasn’t live video from NASA.

Other things were making news on Earth that weekend.  Senator Ted Kennedy drove off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, and a young woman riding with him died.  The new Miss Universe was named Gloria Diaz, the first winner from the Philippines. 

The #1 song in America was the dark futuristic fantasy “In the Year 2525” by Zager and Evans, and the movie “Easy Rider” was new to theaters.  And in La Crosse, the Carson and Barnes Circus had a parade on Main Street, the day man first landed on the moon, 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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