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Yesterday in La Crosse

VIP’s on campus, 45 years ago

UW-La Crosse hosted a couple of notable people in September of 1975.  One of them was already world-famous…anthropologist Margaret Mead.  She spoke to overflow audiences at both the North Hall building, and Cartwright Center.  Dr. Mead was best known for her studies of primitive cultures, but by the 70’s, she was popular at colleges for her […]

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 […]

Grown-ups showed their spelling skills, 29 years ago

A new team competition started up in La Crosse in 1991, a Corporate Spelling Bee.  A local literacy council recruited three-person teams from companies throughout the area to see which employers had the best spellers.  The corporate bee was held in early September at Valley View Mall, and the tradition continued for several years afterward. […]

The president was shot, in 1901

William McKinley was six months into his second term as president in September of 1901, when an anarchist shot him during the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. Shooter Leon Czolgosz had been waiting in a line of people being greeted by McKinley, and covered his hand with a cloth to hide the gun.  The […]

Send men back to the moon? Not a good idea, 11 years ago

Astronauts have not walked on the moon since 1972, but there has been plenty of talk since then about going back. In 2004, President George W. Bush wanted to have astronauts return to the lunar surface by the year 2020. Then, in 2009, President Obama got a report from a panel of space experts about […]

Not above average? The claim in Stoddard, 30 years ago

In 1990, there was talk of Stoddard withdrawing from the De Soto school district, and joining the larger La Crosse school system instead. One meeting on the subject in Stoddard drew about 100 people to the Legion Hall. A Stoddard village board member asked why only 30% of the district’s graduates had taken the ACT […]

I can find the medallion from two clues, 52 years ago

Oktoberfest Medallion hunters in 1968 were told that a well-known person in La Crosse was carrying the prize, and to win the contest, you had to ask the right person the secret words: “Are you carrying the Oktoberfest Maple Leaf?” Teenage siblings John and Karen Petruccelli figured out after the second clue that downtown store […]

“Tuesday, August 29th, the day the running stopped,” 53 years ago

August 29th of 1967 was a Tuesday, and it was a big night in TV history.  A record-setting audience watched the final episode of “The Fugitive,” with David Janssen as Dr. Richard Kimble.  ABC cancelled “The Fugitive” after four seasons, leaving Kimble still on the run and trying to avoid Death Row, for the murder […]

Campus changes, 50 years ago

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 […]

There goes the sun, 3 years ago

On August 21st of 2017, a total solar eclipse passed over the U.S. for the first time in nearly 40 years.  Several states from the west coast to the east were in the path of totality that Monday.  La Crosse was a few hundred miles off that path, but UW-L astronomer Bob Allen made arrangements […]

A riverboat cruise with the Carter family, 41 years ago

In August of 1979, President Jimmy Carter took a Mississippi River cruise on the Delta Queen, along with First Lady Rosalynn and their daughter Amy. The riverboat did not make an official stop in La Crosse, but on August 19th, the Delta Queen spent the afternoon in Prairie du Chien. There, the president spoke about […]

A new deal could replace Franklin and Roosevelt, 8 years ago

In August of 2012, the La Crosse School District decided to schedule a fall referendum on whether to build a new north-side elementary school to take the place of two schools showing their age.  Franklin School was built in the 50’s, while Roosevelt had been around since 1923.  During a tour of Franklin, a pencil […]

The Kickapoo Dam stalled again, 30 years ago

In the fall of 1990, the stalled La Farge dam project was back in the news.  A federal judge ruled in favor of the Army Corps of Engineers, in continuing a hold on that proposed dam on the Kickapoo.  The ruling went against a former land owner and some local governments which wanted the dam […]

No silver lining for coin collectors, 55 years ago

If you’ve wondered why most U.S. dimes or quarters have a red stripe on the rim, that goes back to a decision made by Congress in the summer of 1965.  President Johnson proposed eliminating all or most silver in American coins, to relieve a silver shortage.  Until 1964, coins worth 10 cents of more generally […]

Voters in Wisconsin tried recalling a senator, 88 years ago

Recall elections have been held frequently in the La Crosse area over the past 50 years, but they haven’t been always been legal in Wisconsin.  A recall process wasn’t added to the state constitution until 1926.  The law was tested for the first time six years later, in the summer of 1932.  Wausau State Senator Otto […]

Donald Trump and his running mate both came to town, 4 summers ago

During the last presidential campaign, in August of 2016, Indiana Governor Mike Pence campaigned at UW-La Crosse as the new Republican vice presidential nominee.  Pence led a mid-afternoon rally at the Cartwright Center, saying that Hillary Clinton would continue policies that have run the U-S into an “economic ditch.”  He also claimed that the media […]

Thursday, August 8th, 1974…not just any day on the calendar

Americans would crowd around TV sets on the night of August 8th in 1974, as the two-year Watergate scandal was about to come to an end.    President Richard Nixon spoke at 8 o’clock, La Crosse time, saying he didn’t have enough political support in Congress to remain in office. The La Crosse city council […]

Burying the hatchet over Bad Axe, 30 years ago

In 1990, a special ceremony took place in Vernon County, where the State of Wisconsin formally apologized to native American tribes for the Bad Axe Massacre of 1832, during the Black Hawk War.  Tribal leaders from the Fox and Sac nations were invited to accept the apology.  Hundreds of Indian warriors, along with women and […]