Brad Williams

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.  

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Friday - September 22, 2017 10:32 am

Wisconsin declares war on marijuana...79 years ago

In 1938, the attorney general of Wisconsin warned that the "marijuana evil" was not yet a major problem in the state.  But A.G. Orland Loomis wanted prompt action, to prevent the weed from becoming a "serious menace."  Loomis was a Progressive Party member from Mauston who was elected governor four years later in 1942, but died from a series of heart attacks a month before taking office.

La Crosse's vocational and adult school, now known as Western Technical College, was about to build an addition on 6th Street, to be finished in late 1939.  The centerpiece of that building would be a 1400-seat auditorium, which was a popular site for community events until the Mary E. Sawyer Auditorium was built across the street in the 1950's.

Radio was the popular stay-at-home entertainment in 1938, with some of the biggest stars performing on Sunday nights.  WKBH radio carried "Jack Benny and Mary" on Sundays at 6 p.m.  "Mary" was Mary Livingstone, Benny's wife in real life and his "girlfriend" on radio.  A newspaper listing showed "Charles McCarthy" at 7 o'clock...meaning Charlie McCarthy, the puppet sidekick of ventriloquist Edgar Bergen.  Radio stars 79 years ago, 1938, yesterday in La Crosse.




Firm working on designs now offering to do study, which would take month or two 


PRAT is .5% sales tax on most goods in county 


Several popular songs call attention to the 9th month of the year.  "September" by Earth, Wind, and Fire is one of the more recent, coming out in 1978.  Others have become standards.
"Try to Remember" dates back to 1960, from the musical "The Fantasticks."  The La Crosse Community Theatre put on that show in September of 2001, just before taking it to a theatre festival in Japan.  
"September Song" also came from a Broadway show, "Knickerbocker Holiday," in the 30's.  Jimmy Durante was among the performers who covered the tune about an older man recalling his life. 
Also from the 30's..."September in the Rain."  It can be a slow song, but British singer Cilla Black did a swinging version in the 60's on "The Ed Sullivan Show," on one of the nights the Beatles appeared on "Sullivan." 
You also have songs like "September Morn" by Neil Diamond, "See You in September," and the Green Day hit "Wake Me Up When September Ends."  September may not be everybody's favorite month, but it's easier to write about than August.




Five-month project should be done this week 


The 1973 Oktoberfest medallion hunt ended abruptly when George Mekvold found the prize in the water at a fountain outside the south entrance to La Crosse City Hall.  Mekvold said he had been waiting outside the building for his wife to get off work when a couple started walking around the fountain, apparently looking for the medallion.  When they left, he looked into the fountain and saw the medal.

Billie Jean King handily won the tennis "Battle of the Sexes" in the Houston Astrodome on this night in 1973.  King responded to the challenge by past Wimbledon champ Bobby Riggs, who claimed that even in his 50's, he could beat the best female tennis pros.  The King-Riggs contest has inspired a new movie in 2017 starring Steve Carell and Emma Stone.
And on the same night as that tennis match, singer Jim Croce performed his last concert, and then died in a plane crash in Louisiana.  Croce had three hit songs on the charts in the two years before he was killed...and his new single, "I Got a Name," was released the day after his death.  New Jim Croce music would continue to be released in 1973, 44 years ago, yesterday in La Crosse.

Wednesday - September 20, 2017 12:20 am

New McDonald's on George St. ready for grand opening

Old building was torn down in February for road improvements 


Tuesday - September 19, 2017 8:43 am

Drive-through banking was a big deal, 50 years ago

Drive-through banking was a big deal...50 years ago, Yesterday in La Crosse.
In September of 1967, an ad in the Tribune asked "What serves you with real people, at four drive-up windows, loves to say 'Yes,' and gives away peanuts?"  It was a promotion for the grand opening of drive-up lanes at the 1st National Bank at 5th and King.  There's still a bank with drive-through lanes at that spot...but now, it's Wells Fargo.  
Michigan Governor George Romney was running for president in the fall of '67, and made a remark in a TV interview which experts blamed for ruining his campaign.  Romney had supported the war in Vietnam, but told a Detroit TV host that military leaders had given him a "brainwashing" to get him to back the war.  After the "brainwashing" comment, Romney's poll numbers dropped below 20% and never recovered.  
Jerry Lewis got his own weekly show on NBC that September.  Other shows that appealed to a younger audience included "The Monkees," "I Dream of Jeannie," "Lost in Space"...and "Batman" with Adam West, which added Yvonne Craig as Batgirl to the cast that fall.
Holy women's lib!  Fifty years ago, Yesterday in La Crosse.


Bail for 50-year-old  set at $10,000 


Recently approved state budget included $5 million for Center 


Page 1 of 225