Connect with us

Yesterday in La Crosse

Was the city about to legalize prostitution, in 1976?



In September of 1976, the La Crosse city council approved plans to regulate massage parlors.  The ordinance was a compromise between versions introduced by Mayor Pat Zielke and council member Sharon Imes, addressing concerns such as background checks and V-D tests for employees of the parlors.  Alderman Deak Swanson said the ordinance would make prostitution legal in La Crosse.  The massage parlor issue had brought members of the Coalition for Decency to the council chambers, led by a local Baptist minister.  Members of the group threatened to vote against any aldermen who opposed the mayor’s version of the ordinance.  

The school district was trying to figure out where to build a new Logan High School.  A 28-acre spot north of Swanson Field had been picked out, but Superintendent Eugene Balts said other sites might be considered, because of complaints about the possible cost of the preferred location.  The new Logan eventually was built on that site next to the existing football field.   

Tractor pulls were a new attraction in Tomah.  A three-day pull event was being held that September at the Monroe County Fairgrounds.  Tomah’s annual tractor pull became so popular, the Tomah High football games were eventually moved away from the fairgrounds, and a new football field was built outside the high school.   

Miss Minnesota, Dorothy Benham, was crowned the new Miss America that fall.  Shortly after becoming Miss America, Benham traveled to La Crosse as part of the Miss La Crosse-Oktoberfest celebration. 

Big hits on the radio included “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” by Elton John and Kiki Dee, “Afternoon Delight,” and “Play That Funky Music,” in 1976, 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.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *