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.
Almost 40 percent of La Crosse County homes are at risk.
In January of 1967, the La Crosse Chamber of Commerce entered a contest for the National Cleanest Town Achievement Award. The contest had been in existence for about 40 years, and La Crosse hoped to win because of the Man-Lay Garden project. In '66, the city cleaned up the wreckage left behind by the 1961 fire at the Linker Building at 4th and Main. The building's basement area was converted into a sunken garden with a fountain and stone benches. A national publication printed pictures of the garden, before and after, calling it a 'Miracle on Main Street.' The Man-Lay Garden only lasted nine years, before it was replaced by a McDonald's in 1975. It's now the site of Howes Diamond Jewelers.
The pro football season of 1966 ended on January 15th of '67 with a new championship game between the AFL and the NFL...pitting the Kansas City Chiefs against the Green Bay Packers. The Packers won the original Super Bowl, a late afternoon game shown on two networks, CBS and NBC. Only one original videotape of that game, secretly recorded by a fan, is known to exist today. Super Bowl number 1 was played in 1967, 50 years ago, Yesterday in La Crosse.
La Crosse Dem. Jill Billings talks about some of its plans.
In January of 1976, La Crosse District Attorney Ed Nix complained that the county courts were being clogged with too many cases waiting to be resolved. But a committee of the county bar association studied the complaint, and found the backlog only existed in traffic court, where about one thousand cases were pending. There was a minority report suggesting that Nix was partly right, that there were about 200 lingering criminal cases in Branch 2 when he became D-A the previous year, but those had been cleared up.
Local government watchers could keep an eye on La Crosse City Hall without having to leave their homes. U-W-L began broadcasting TV coverage of La Crosse city council meetings live on Teleprompter cable channel 4, adding visuals to the existing public radio broadcasts of the twice-monthly meetings. Those council sessions would often last until midnight or later.
And Reader's Digest magazine was getting credit for helping Americans...digest. An article in the magazine touting the health benefits of bran cereal apparently led the sales of bran products to double nationwide in less than two years. Before that magazine report, the only popular variety of bran cereal in stores was raisin bran. Now that was a scoop...or maybe two scoops, 41 years ago, 1976.
Policy in place for decades pulled after discussions with police, hospitals
In September of 2001, Oktoberfest organizers were speaking publicly about plans to enlarge the southside festgrounds. Those plans included a cultural arts building, and extending the festival area east of the main gate on 2nd Street. Those planned changes didn't happen.
The expansion was introduced the same week that parade marshals for the 2001 fest were announced. Retired UW-L football coach Roger Harring was the Maple Leaf parade marshal, while the Torchlight Parade was led by Western Tech instructor Ken Wing.
Even though the Bobcats basketball team had gone out of business that year, the La Crosse Center still wanted a new basketball floor to replace the original one used since the Center opened in 1980.
Three prisoners in the Monroe County jail were caught hiding saw blades which they used to try cutting through a door to a fire escape. The men didn't actually make it out of the jail. The leader of the plot was a cook accused of 1st degree murder in the killing of his boss, a restaurant owner.
La Crosse was opening its new parking ramp to customers. The Market Square ramp only had a couple of levels, but the 380 stalls provided more than twice the parking spaces available on the old surface lot.
The Packers had just shut out the Giants, 37-0, on New Year's Eve to win their first NFL championship in 17 years, and their first under Coach Vince Lombardi. At the movies, you could see 'Pocketful of Miracles' with Bette Davis, and the Western comedy 'The Second Time Around' starring Debbie Reynolds and Andy Griffith.
Fifty-five years ago, 1962, Yesterday in La Crosse.
In January of 1972, the Marcus Theater group, which owned the Rivoli, was planning to build a twin-screen theater on Ward Avenue between the Pizza Hut and the New Villa restaurant. The Cinema Theaters would be completed by June. Not long after that, another twin theater would open on King Street downtown. The Cinema has several more screens at its Ward Avenue building now...and the New Villa was torn down years ago to make way for theater parking.
President Richard Nixon was getting ready to run for a second term. Nixon told Dan Rather of CBS that he would announce his plans by mid-January, but hinted that he would run again with Spiro Agnew staying on as his vice-president. The president led the list of most admired men in a Gallup poll at the end of 1971. Billy Graham came in second, followed by Ted Kennedy. Also in the top 10...Ralph Nader, the Pope, and Bob Hope.
Fans of TV game shows had plenty of choices on daytime TV early in '72. Those shows included The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, Password, Jeopardy, Hollywood Squares, Let's Make a Deal, and The Who, What. or Where Game. Forty-five years ago, Yesterday in La Crosse.
The county had zero traffic deaths in all of 2016.