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Yesterday in La Crosse

We got a lot more Monday holidays, in 1971

Brad Williams

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The ‘Uniform Monday Holiday Act,’ passed by Congress in 1968, took effect three years later.  Up until ’71, Labor Day was the only holiday in the U.S. always observed on a Monday.  But the new law gave government workers Mondays off for George Washington’s birthday, Memorial Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans’ Day.  Martin Luther King Day came along years later.    Vets’ groups and others had to get used to celebrating Veterans Day on the 4th Monday in October, instead of November 11th, the date of the armistice in World War One.  In La Crosse, Veterans’ Day of 1971 was observed with a ceremony outside the new City Hall, featuring a speech by Judge Peter Pappas.  The Wisconsin Legislature had not yet adopted the Monday holiday law, and having Veterans’ Day in October never did catch on.  Congress voted in 1975 to restore that holiday to its traditional date.   

Kansas Senator Bob Dole drew a crowd at UW-L for a Republican Party dinner.  Dole was chair of the Republican National Committee, and said President Nixon was doing more for world peace than Democrats were.  

Bauer’s Market in La Crescent was having a grand opening of its new location off Highway 61.  The market was open all winter.  Bridgeman’s Ice Cream was a popular spot on Mormon Coulee Road in La Crosse.  A second Bridgeman’s would also open on the north side, in a building now housing SSE Music.  Ice cream time in 1971, 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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