RSS Yesterday in la Crosse

  • A referendum on Dick Swantz? That was school board politics, 40 years ago February 21, 2020
    WIZMnews.com In February of 1980, La Crosse School Superintendent Dick Swantz got his contract renewed–narrowly, by a 5-to-4 vote of the school board.  Swantz had been in La Crosse only three years, arriving the same summer that five school board members were recalled for firing the principal of Longfellow Junior High.  Candidates for the board in the 1980 […]
  • America puts an astronaut in orbit, 58 years ago February 20, 2020
    WIZMnews.com On February 20th of 1962, astronaut John Glenn made three orbits around the earth aboard a Mercury capsule called “Friendship 7.” Glenn was the third American to go into space, after Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom.  Years later, John Glenn became a Senator from Ohio, and would fly another space mission in 1998 aboard the […]
  • It was only a test, 49 years ago February 19, 2020
    WIZMnews.com In February of 1971, the La Crosse State campus conducted a disaster drill for emergency workers.  They had to react to fictitious reports of tornadoes causing many deaths and building collapses at the college, along with businesses on fire and looting in the city.  The mock disaster happened on the same Friday when towns from […]
  • The first boss at the Sawyer didn’t stay long, 65 years ago February 18, 2020
    WIZMnews.com In late 1955, Joe Givens resigned as the boss of La Crosse’s Mary E. Sawyer Auditorium, claiming that he could not perform his duties as manager under existing conditions.  Givens had only been on the job for five months, and the Sawyer had opened that August with the “Holiday on Ice” skating show.  Givens planned to move to […]
  • JFK and HHH had a showdown in Wisconsin, 60 years ago February 17, 2020
    WIZMnews.com The April 1960 presidential primary in the Badger State proved to be a turning point for John Kennedy.  The Massachusetts Senator scored 56 per cent of the Democratic primary vote against Minnesota’s Hubert Humphrey.  A documentary about the Wisconsin campaign called “Primary” had scenes of Humphrey meeting voters on the streets of Tomah, and […]
  • O-le-o, oh no, 54 years ago February 14, 2020
    WIZMnews.com In 1966, Wisconsin Governor Warren Knowles predicted that the dairy state could repeal its ban on colored oleo-margarine within a few months.  Knowles said oleo is “going to come.”  The ban on oleo had been a Wisconsin law for 70 years.    Lean meaty barbecue ribs were the Saturday and Sunday special at Schmidty’s […]
  • The plan to put women in space was top secret, 47 years ago February 13, 2020
    WIZMnews.com In the fall of 1973, word got out that NASA was testing women to see if they could withstand the rigors of space travel, like weightlessness and the stress of re-entry.  This was 10 years after Russia sent a woman into orbit.  The space agency apparently tried to keep the tests top secret, and […]
  • A plan to end the Coon Creek riots, 29 years ago February 12, 2020
    WIZMnews.com In 1991, La Crosse got unwanted national publicity when a mob on the street overturned a city police car and set it on fire.  It happened during the weekend of the Coon Creek Canoe Races in Coon Valley.  For three years, people attending the races then went to La Crosse to drink on 3rd […]
  • Big Macs downtown, 45 years ago February 11, 2020
    WIZMnews.com In the fall of 1975, McDonald’s opened a downtown location in La Crosse at 4th and Main, across the street from Doerflinger’s department store.  The golden arches took the place of the Man-Lay Garden, a sunken garden developed after the Linker Brothers building burned at that site in the 1960’s.  McDonald’s on Main Street closed […]
  • How to choose a school board–a dilemma 50 years ago February 10, 2020
    WIZMnews.com In early 1970, more than 3700 people in the La Crosse School District signed petitions for a referendum affecting how the city schools would get funding, whether they would be financially independent from City Hall.  The idea was to form a “unified school district.”  There was also a debate about whether members of the La […]