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.  

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Second line would include service in La Crosse. 


Tuesday - August 8, 2017 8:42 am

Heileman went for a Blatz, 48 years ago

The Heileman Brewery of La Crosse was eager to buy Milwaukee's Blatz Brewery in the summer of 1969.  Heileman offered $8.5 million for Blatz, competing with two other breweries, including Grain Belt of Minneapolis.  The local company argued that letting an out-of-state company purchase Blatz would be "adverse" for the state's academy. 

In the late 60's, many communities still sent fog machines out on summer nights, spraying a white cloud of pesticide to kill mosquitoes.  The La Crosse Tribune published notices, describing which part of town would be sprayed that night. 

The Apollo 11 astronauts had to spend several days in quarantine after their historic flight, but early tests indicated that the three men had not brought back any alien life from the moon.  On just one day, August 13th of 1969, astronauts Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins took part in a cross-country celebration of their feat, starting with a ticker tape parade in New York and ending with a dinner in Los Angeles.

And on August 8th of 1969, the Beatles took a stroll across a London street, for the cover of what would be their last album together.  A photographer took six poses of the band walking single-file across Abbey Road.  Forty-eight years ago, yesterday in La Crosse.


In the summer of 1965, the University of Wisconsin was talking about building a second campus in Madison...predicting that the school couldn't hold more than 40,000 students on the existing U-W campus.  The guess was that Madison would reach the 40,000 mark by 1970.  A suggested site for the second campus was on farmland at the west side of the general area where West Towne Mall eventually was built.  By comparison, the La Crosse State campus had just under 4000 students in the fall of '65.
The Villa Louis mansion in Prairie du Chien was getting ready for its half-millionth visitor, who would be showered with prizes from local businesses.  The former home of fur-trading millionaire Hercules Dousman had been the property of the State Historical Society since 1962.
A newspaper ad announced that there were only six tickets left for a Beatles bus trip to Minneapolis on August 21st.  The band played its only Minnesota concert ever on a Saturday night at Met Stadium in Bloomington, the home of the Twins and Vikings.  
A touring production of the musical "Bye Bye Birdie" played for two shows at the Coleman Auditorium.  The biggest name in the cast was Jack Bailey, the long-time host of the TV show "Queen for a Day."  Bailey took on the father role played by Paul Lynde on Broadway and in the 1963 movie.  Hello to "Birdie"...52 years ago, 1965, yesterday in La Crosse.

Hope is Foxconn could utilize businesses from all over state. 


Event begins in Washington state Aug. 21, ends in South Carolina. 


During the summer of 1956, a committee planning a ramp on Market Square met at the Hotel Stoddard, and was told that a lack of downtown parking was keeping customers away from city businesses.  The panel heard that shoppers from Black River Falls and Whitehall were going to Eau Claire instead of La Crosse, and that folks from Decorah would rather drive to Minneapolis for shopping than La Crosse.  A ramp referendum was planned for September, and one supporter asked voters to concentrate on passing the referendum instead of being distracted by things like going to the circus.
The Ringling Brothers circus performed in a big top tent for the last time that summer.  From that time forward, until the Ringling circus folded for good this year, the "Greatest Show on Earth" would be put on inside auditoriums.  
The Milwaukee Braves had a great year, winning 92 games in the National League.  But the Brooklyn Dodgers had 93 wins, so they took the pennant.  Brooklyn lost the '56 World Series to the Yankees, including the only perfect game ever thrown in a World Series, pitched by Don Larsen.  Milwaukee would come back the next season to beat the Yankees for the championship...but the Braves settled for second in 1956...61 years ago, yesterday in La Crosse.

Walls around hives, distance requirements among rule changes. 

ONALASKA, Wis. -- Amateur beekeepers living in Onalaska may have some rule changes to follow soon.

The Onalaska city council may be asked next week to approve a few changes regulating beehives, after consultations with a beekeeping inspector.

City administrator Eric Rindfleisch says the proposed rules wouldn't affect many people. Despite signs of the bee population dropping sharply in recent years, he doesn't see many city residents wanting to raise the insects.

The planned changes include eliminating high walls around hives, which bees can fly around anyway and dropping distance requirements from undevelopable land.

A beehive inspector suggested that hives be kept off property lines in Onalaska...and that beekeepers be required to submit to inspections at least every two years.


Thursday - August 3, 2017 8:43 am

Starting talk of a fall festival, 57 years ago

In 1960, La Crosse city leaders were making plans for a community festival like the Aquatennial in Minneapolis or the St. Paul Winter Carnival, but one that would not be at the same time of year as those events.  Two malt house workers at the Heileman brewery are credited with the idea of a festival resembling the Munich Oktoberfest.  The first La Crosse Oktoberfest would be a three-day event, one year later.

Collecting Gold Bond stamps was a popular pastime.  Major Drug in Jackson Plaza was offering 50 free stamps with the purchase of a $2 home permanent kit. 

The Hollywood Theater had a Korean War drama called "All the Young Men," with Alan Ladd, Sidney Poitier, boxer Ingemar Johansson, and comedian Mort Sahl. 

On the radio, the Hollywood Argyles sang about comic-strip caveman "Alley Oop," and Brian Hyland had a novelty song about swimwear..."Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini," in 1960, yesterday in La Crosse.


Heim blames redistricting for leading to extremes among members of Congress. 


Shot at police during chase that got up to 100 mph. 


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