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Yesterday in La Crosse

A royal wedding in London, a hotel auction in La Crosse, 1981

Brad Williams



In July of 1981, Britain’s Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer at a lavish wedding seen on TV around the world. That same day, the Hotel Stoddard in La Crosse was auctioning off its property, including crystal chandeliers. It was less than a year after the Radisson along the riverfront opened its doors.

A baseball strike over free agency ended that same week, leading to a two-part season for major league teams. The Milwaukee Brewers did well enough to make the playoffs for the first time in ’81. They got to the World Series the following year.   “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” the debut of Indiana Jones, was the big hit movie that summer.  Roger Moore was still playing James Bond in “For Your Eyes Only,” and the Army comedy “Stripes” starred Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, and John Candy.

MTV made its debut the week of the royal wedding. The first music video played on the channel was ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’ by the Buggles. MTV’s second video featured Pat Benatar. Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll…1981, 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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