Monday - October 9, 2017 8:48 am

The biggest crowd in the city's history, 54 years ago

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Just after the 1963 Oktoberfest, organizers claimed the crowd that attended the 3rd annual festival was the largest ever in La Crosse.  Festgoers drank 1000 half-barrels of beer at the Sawyer Auditorium festival site...more than twice the total of the year before.  They also gobbled down about four tons of brats and 250 gallons of sauerkraut. 

The president of South Vietnam declared that the Communists were losing the war in his country.  Ngo Dinh Diem said in early October that the Viet Cong faced inevitable defeat.  Less than a month later, President Diem was assassinated in a coup, partly supported by the U.S.  Also in October, the White House announced that President Kennedy was planning trips to four states in the fall, including a two-day tour through Texas on November 21st and 22nd.

Danny's House of Music in La Crosse was selling a combination TV, radio and stereo in a fancy cabinet with "NO HIDEOUS CONTROLS" on the outside.  If you had that TV on at 3:00 on a weekday afternoon and heard the song "A Swingin' Safari," you were probably watching the original "Match Game," hosted by Gene Rayburn...in 1963, yesterday in La Crosse.

 

 

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Brad Williams

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from U-W-La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area.  Brad 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.  He's been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.  

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