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Yesterday in La Crosse

The next president of the U.S.? A good question in 1943

Brad Williams

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In 1943, the U.S. was at war in Europe and the Pacific, and Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt was already a record-holder on his third term in the Oval Office.  FDR was prepared to run again in ’44, and New York Governor Thomas Dewey was said to be interested on the Republican side.  Dewey had sought the nomination in 1940, only to lose to Wendell Willkie of Indiana.  Dewey had said that he wouldn’t run for president while he was still governor, but he became the nominee in 1944.  Willkie died shortly before that election.  Roosevelt won a 4th term anyway.  

The government seemed to have an office for everything during the big war.  Marcus Pratt was named an automotive maintenance specialist for the La Crosse area.  Pratt had to be concerned about shortages of car parts.  Uncle Sam urged preventive maintenance of civilian cars, because you couldn’t be sure about getting a replacement part if you needed one.  A wartime worry 77 years ago, 1943, 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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