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Yesterday in La Crosse

Don’t let protesters go back to class, 53 years ago

Brad Williams

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In the summer of 1967, the president of La Crosse State, Sam Gates, announced plans for punishing students who demonstrated, or protested speakers on campus.  Gates said 11 students would be ineligible to return to LCU in the fall, while 92 others would be disciplined in other ways.  At the UW in Madison, students were drowning out speakers, and invading the chancellor’s office, but no action was taken against them.  

La Crosse had a 4th of July celebration that year, hosted by the American Legion.  The day’s activities included a slo-boat race at Houska Park, water skiers, skydivers, and a watermelon-eating contest for kids.   

In 1967, New York’s hottest night spot was called “Arthur,” run by Richard Burton’s ex-wife Sybil.  A newspaper story suggested that the club’s name was inspired by a joke about the name of the Beatles’ haircuts, a remark made by–and we quote–“Beatle John McCartney.”  Well, of course that’s wrong.  It was a line from the movie “A Hard Day’s Night,” spoken by George Starr. Ringo Harrison?  It was said by George Harrison.  We still couldn’t tell them apart, 53 years ago, 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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