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Yesterday in La Crosse

Campus changes, 50 years ago

Brad Williams

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In 1970, La Crosse State publicized plans to develop green space on campus between 16th Street and the football stadium.  The proposed pedestrian mall would pass by the Murphy Library and the Cowley Science building, and it would feature concrete benches, planters, and sculptures.  The mall would be developed later in the 70’s.  It’s now the site of the Hoeschler Clock Tower at UW-L.  

A campus demonstration against the Vietnam War turned deadly at Kent State in Ohio that spring, when four young people were killed and others wounded by National Guard troops assigned to break up the protest.  That August, a violent explosion killed a researcher at the Army Math Research Center on the UW-Madison campus.  The FBI searched for four suspects in the Sterling Hall bombing.  Three of them were captured within the next few years.  The fourth man has never been found.  

The Beatles broke up in 1970.  So did Simon and Garfunkel.  Both acts had somber ballads hit Number 1 on the music charts that year, “Let It Be,” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”  It was also the year for “Everything is Beautiful” by Ray Stevens, “ABC” by the Jackson 5, and hits by the Carpenters and the made-for-TV Partridge Family.  In 1970, 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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