In 1959, Bingo games were illegal in Wisconsin. Some Milwaukee lawmakers tried to get a referendum on the ballot to permit Bingo. It didn't happen until the 70's. TV Bingo games were tried for a brief time in 1966, including on La Crosse's WKBT. But the state shut down the games because businesses that didn't offer TV Bingo cards were at a competitive disadvantage.
There was still a grocery store every few blocks in La Crosse in '59. The Model Market stood at 9th and Vine. National Foods was at 5th and Cass. La Crosse had two Super Valus, on the Causeway and at Jackson Plaza. The A & P had stores on 6th Street, and on West Avenue near St. Francis Hospital.
The biggest hit movie of 1959 was also the winner of the best picture Oscar that year...'Ben-Hur,' starring Charlton Heston. Number 2 at the box office was the Disney cartoon 'Sleeping Beauty.' Rounding out the top 5 were 'North by Northwest' with Cary Grant...'Some Like It Hot,' with Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon, all wearing dresses...and the Doris Day-Rock Hudson comedy 'Pillow Talk.' Fifty-eight years ago, 1959, yesterday in La Crosse.