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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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 

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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 

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Recently approved state budget included $5 million for Center 

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Monday - September 18, 2017 8:43 am

Abe Lincoln at the state fair...in 1966?

During the Wisconsin State Fair of 1966, a plaque was unveiled to commemorate Abraham Lincoln's 1859 address to the Wisconsin Agricultural Society.  That was a year before he was elected president...and somebody noticed that the plaque depicted the bearded Lincoln speaking to that 1859 crowd.  Some spoilsport pointed out that Honest Abe didn't grow his beard until after his election.
 
The U.S. government was giving Thomas Jefferson the boot...deciding to retire the $2 bill.  The Treasury said there was a lack of demand for the 2...except, perhaps, among people betting on horse races.
 
Ronald Reagan was running for governor of California that fall.  The former movie actor and TV host of "Death Valley Days" was being criticized by Democrats, and a former mayor of San Francisco chided Reagan for his Hollywood background.  Reagan won that election, and the rest is history.  
 
CBS began showing movies two nights a week in the fall of '66.  They split "The Music Man" into two parts, with the first half airing on a Thursday night opposite "Bewitched" and "That Girl" on ABC, and the second episode of "Star Trek" on NBC.  Ya got trouble, and Tribbles...yesterday in La Crosse.
 

Friday - September 15, 2017 8:46 am

Calling Crime-Stoppers...33 years ago

In 1984, La Crosse joined the growing Crime-Stoppers program, known for running commercials about unsolved crimes and offering rewards for tips from citizens.  The local Chamber of Commerce donated $1000 to La Crosse Police Chief William Reynolds to organize Crime-Stoppers here.

Doerflinger's department store was going out of business in '84.  The downtown store had a closeout sale after operating for 103 years.  Doerflinger's was selling hats and wigs for 20% off, and almost everything else was 25%.

About a block down 4th Street, the Bodega was preparing to re-open, after shutting down the previous January because of "business conditions."  The Bodega was primarily a restaurant in the early 80's, and is now a brew pub. 

The top song in America in early September was "What's Love Got to Do with It" by Tina Turner. Other chart-toppers came from the movie soundtracks of "Purple Rain," "Footloose," and "Ghostbusters"...33 years ago, 1984, yesterday in La Crosse. 

Vets leave early Saturday morning and return late that night 

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Five types of ash trees nearly extinct in U.S. because of emerald ash borer 

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Thursday - September 14, 2017 8:43 am

The centennial spirit in La Crosse, 76 years ago

La Crosse's city charter was signed in 1856, but La Crosse was considered a settlement as early as 1842.  That means a centennial for the city was being planned in 1941.  The centennial would be celebrated July 1st through the 4th of '42.  Local businessman Ray Bice was president of the centennial celebration.  An Ohio company was hired to produce the pageant, and the contract included a clause that the event would be cancelled in case of a national emergency.  It was signed months before Pearl Harbor brought the U.S. into World War II.

Listening to the radio was a lot different in 1941.  Back then, La Crosse had one radio station, WKBH (now WIZM).  Instead of having programs like Rush Limbaugh or "American Top 40" in hour-long blocks, local programs often lasted just 15 minutes at a time.  In a single hour, there might be 15 minutes of devotions, another 15 minutes of home economics, and a segment of accordion music.  And if announcers were just playing popular records of the day, the music might be packaged as "Morning Melodies" or "Timely Tunes."  That was 76 years ago, 1941, yesterday in La Crosse.

 

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