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Yesterday in La Crosse

The South Side learns, you can’t win a mall, 1974

Brad Williams

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In 1974, you could see a big sign along Mormon Coulee Road, promoting a new shopping center to be built soon near the Holy Cross Seminary.  Kraus Anderson of Minneapolis hadn’t built anything yet, and Arlen Shopping Centers of Tennessee bought land for a proposed ‘Riverside’ Mall…which would have three nationally-known department stores, plus 60 smaller stores, and parking for 3000 cars.  Some people opposed the Arlen plan because there were also ideas for a mall downtown, where the La Crosse Center is now.  Arlen eventually got involved with developing Valley View Mall…and the ‘Riverside’ land became Shelby Mall in the late 70’s.    

During the last week of July in ’74, the House Judiciary Committee in Washington approved three articles of impeachment against President Nixon, charging him with obstruction of justice and abuse of power in allegedly covering up the Watergate scandal.  The full House never got to vote on impeachment, because Nixon resigned in early August, after releasing a White House tape recording which showed he was part of the cover-up.  

The week that Nixon resigned, the original “Death Wish” with Charles Bronson was the number 1 movie in America.  It ended a five-week run in first-place by “Chinatown,” starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway.  And climbing up the music chart was Eric Clapton, with a future #1 hit, “I Shot the Sheriff,” in 1974, 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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