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Yesterday in La Crosse

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 […]

The store with a “K” was on its way, 56 years ago

In the summer of 1964, an Ohio developer predicted that a new K-Mart would be open on Losey Boulevard by the following spring. Some city aldermen were accusing Stephen Baytos of putting economic pressure on them to approve the box store, which he denied. Baytos said a K-Mart wouldn’t work downtown, but it would be […]

It was the greatest mall of ’em all, opening 40 years ago

July 31st, 1980 was opening day for La Crosse’s largest indoor shopping mall, Valley View Mall.  Bigger than the other local shopping centers, the Village, Bridgeview, Center 90, and Shelby Mall.  The $23 million Valley View attracted the big department stores which had been downtown for years…J.C. Penney, Sears, and Herbergers, along with Dayton’s out […]

A royal wedding in London, a hotel auction in La Crosse, 1981

In July of 1981, Britain’s Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer at a lavish wedding seen on TV around the world. That same day, the Hotel Stoddard in La Crosse was auctioning off its property, including crystal chandeliers. It was less than a year after the Radisson along the riverfront opened its doors. A baseball […]

Sorry, no Bob Barker today. Bill Clinton, come on down! (1992)

In the summer of 1992, Governor Bill Clinton launched his fall campaign for president after the Democratic convention by taking a bus tour through the Midwest with his wife Hillary, and with running mate Al Gore and his wife Tipper.  Clinton’s August 7th speech at Copeland Park in La Crosse was covered live on local TV.  A […]

America in crisis, according to Pete Seeger, 48 years ago

In 1972, folk singer Pete Seeger performed at UW-L, and also spoke with people on campus about his concerns for society.  Seeger said the U.S. was in Vietnam ‘deeper than ever,’ and he was worried that Democrats running for president didn’t want to end the war.  Seeger warned that war, the environment, and other conditions […]

Two ballerinas found a home downtown, 16 years ago

In the summer of 2004, a metal sculpture called ‘Dancers’ was installed in the parking lot of the Pump House Arts Center.  Local artist Donna Gerke-Cutta designed the artwork showing a metallic pair of ballerinas, painted blue.  It was the fourth in a series of works created for the Downtown La Crosse Sculpture Project, following […]

100 years in business for the city, in 1941

The city charter for La Crosse was signed in 1856, but La Crosse was considered a settlement as early as 1842.  That means a centennial for the city was being planned in 1941.  The centennial would be celebrated July 1st through the 4th of ’42.  Local businessman Ray Bice was president of the centennial celebration.  […]

The South Side learns, you can’t win a mall, 1974

In 1974, you could see a big sign along Mormon Coulee Road, promoting a new shopping center to be built soon near the Holy Cross Seminary.  Kraus Anderson of Minneapolis hadn’t built anything yet, and Arlen Shopping Centers of Tennessee bought land for a proposed ‘Riverside’ Mall…which would have three nationally-known department stores, plus 60 […]

Don’t let protesters go back to class, 53 years ago

In the summer of 1967, the president of La Crosse State, Sam Gates, announced plans for punishing students who demonstrated, or protested speakers on campus.  Gates said 11 students would be ineligible to return to LCU in the fall, while 92 others would be disciplined in other ways.  At the UW in Madison, students were […]

Just another summer night, men walking on the moon: July 20, 1969

On July 20th of 1969, the ‘Eagle’ moon lander of Apollo 11 became the first manned spacecraft to arrive on the lunar surface.  Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon that Sunday night, around 10 p.m. La Crosse time, as a worldwide audience watched in black-and-white on TV.    The video camera on […]

The rise of Hiawatha, the fall of 1961

In October of 1961, a large statue of an Indian was installed at the north end of La Crosse’s Riverside Park. The 25-foot statue by Central High art teacher Anthony Zimmerhakl was designed to symbolize all the native people of the area. It was not supposed to have an official name, but a plaque installed […]

Wiggling and waffling on the campaign trail, 44 years ago

“He waffles, he wiggles.”  That’s what the president said about his campaign opponent in 1976, yesterday in La Crosse.    President Gerald Ford turned 63 years old on July 14th of 1976, as he was running for a full term in the White House.  Ford had been president for almost two years, following the resignation […]

Tying an all-time record high, 25 years ago

On July 13th of 1995, the mercury soared to 108 degrees in La Crosse by 3 in the afternoon, and stayed at that temperature for another two hours.  That triple-digit reading tied the highest temperature ever measured in the city, in July of 1936.  Combined with high humidity, it felt like 121 degrees at one […]

McCain’s campaign came mainly on a plane, 12 years ago

In October of 2008, Arizona Senator John McCain and his wife Cindy landed at the La Crosse airport, for a campaign rally roughly a month before the presidential election.  McCain’s opponent, Barack Obama, had spoken outside the La Crosse Center a week before.  The McCain event was inside the arena on a Friday morning, and […]

State Road School had a brief name change, 51 years ago

In the summer of 1969, Mrs. Mauree Applegate Clack of La Crosse died.  She had taught education at La Crosse State for 21 years.  Later that year, the La Crosse School Board voted to change the name of State Road School to Applegate School in her honor.  But that didn’t please parents, or the State […]