LA CROSSE HISTORY
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THE LA CROSSE AREA'S HISTORY, DIGITIZED

World War II


Resources

—World War II—


Subject:
Military bases--Wisconsin--Fort McCoy--History--Pictorial works
Fort McCoy (Wis.)--History--Pictorial works
Creator:
David Yates
Description:
During WWII, the US Army’s Fort McCoy, in Monroe County, Wisconsin, served as a location to house German prisoners of war (POWs). David Yates was stationed at Fort McCoy during this time and managed to take photographs that now give insight into daily life for soldiers and POWs alike. This collection consists of over 100 black and white photographs that capture day-to-day activities and military personnel during WWII at a German POW camp located inside the United States.
Subject:
La Crosse Tribune and Leader Press (La Crosse, Wis.)
Editorials -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
World War, 1939-1945 -- Public opinion -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
Creator:
Erickson, Darryle
Description:
Adolph Hitler, Chancellor of Germany, spent the years 1933-1939 preparing his nation for war, He spent the years 1939-1945 in war; in the process he caused millions of deaths and destroyed much of European society. In addition, in defeat he gave the Russians an unparalleled opportunity to dominate Europe and Asia. The purpose of this study is to determine editorial opinion on the coming of World War II as expressed in the area newspaper. The paper examined was the La Crosse Tribune and Leader Press, edited by R. L. Bangsberg, with Sunday editorials by M. R. Byers, from October, 1933 to December, 1941. A reading of this newspaper reveals several tendencies clearly. The editorials leaned toward a policy of strict isolation from the beginning of Germany's rearmament, through the Anschluss, the Munich Conference, the signing of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, the attack on Poland, the Soviet Union's invasion of Finland, and the conquest of Denmark and Norway. On the occasion of Hitler's invasion and conquest of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxemburg, the editorials softened the voice of isolation as rumblings for preparedness for war began to appear in them. The battles of France and Britain brought an awareness of the possibility that the United States might enter the war. The editorial voice urged and approved the war preparations the selection of a war cabinet, the destroyer-base exchange, the passage of the first peace time draft law, President Roosevelt's Four Freedom's speech and the Lend-Lease Act. As Hitler won more victories America moved closer to the brink of war in 1941. After Germany's conquest of Greece and Yugoslavia, the signing of the Russo-Japanese Neutrality Treaty, the freeze on Axis funds, the attack on Russia, and the Atlantic meeting of President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill, the editorials fully recognized that the United States was on the verge of complete participation in the war and gave approval.
UW-L Seminar Paper
Author:
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Oral History Program
Subject:
Flottmeyer, Albert E. -- Interviews
Housing developers -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
Neighborhoods -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
La Crosse (Wis.) -- Social life and customs
United States -- History -- 1945-1953
United States -- History -- 1953-1961
Description:
t Flottmeyer discusses his life in La Crosse, Wisconsin, focusing on his experiences and observations as a building developer. He details the housing industry, describing construction materials, building styles, interior design, and housing developments, in particular the Wedgewood Terrace and Wedgewood Valley developments.
Author:
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Oral History Program
Subject:
Medinger, Bernard -- Interviews
Oral history
Oral history -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
Interviews -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
La Crosse (Wis.) -- History
World War, 1939-1945 -- Veterans -- United States -- Personal narratives
World War, 1939-1945 -- United States
Veterans -- United States
Description:
Medinger discusses the following topics: Personal history, La Crosse, Wisconsin -- Drafted into U.S. Army, 1942 -- Reaction to Pearl Harbor Attack, December 7, 1941 -- Memories of Army base, Camp Butner, North Carolina, 1942 -- Assigned 339th General Service Engineer Regiment, Camp Butner, North Carolina -- North Carolina Camp Butner to Army Station, Brisbane, Australia to Milne Bay, New Guinea, 1943 -- Segregation of African Americans in Army, Replacement center, 1943 -- Japanese airfields, Leyte Bay, MacArthur present, 1943 -- Building bridges, Leyte Bay, Japan, 1943 -- Building air strips, San Marcelino, Luzon, Philippines, 1945 -- Building hospitals, north of Manila, Philippines, 1945 -- Health problems, "Jungle Rot" (skin ulcer) -- End of World War II, return to Santa Barbara, California, Camp Anns, 1945 -- Interactions with German prisoners of war, Camp Anns, 1945 -- Return to Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, 1945 -- Photos of indigenous people in new Guinea, built the camps with U.S. soldiers, presence of women in camps, 1943 -- C-Rations, Ten-and-One Rations; packs of cigarettes, corned beef, Spam, 1943-1945 -- Removal of Japanese soldiers’ teeth, sold, Capitan later Court Marshaled, 1943-1945 -- Impressions of Japanese people post-war, 1945 -- Censored letters from brothers in service, 1943-1945 -- Opinions of Hollywood’s portrayal of World War II, 1939-1945 -- Comparison between WWII and the events of September 11th, 2001 Terrorist Attacks.
00:00:10—Personal history, La Crosse, Wisconsin
00:00:50—Drafted into U.S. Army, 1942
00:01:20—Reaction to Pearl Harbor Attack, December 7, 1941
00:03:10—Memories of Army base, Camp Butner, North Carolina, 1942
00:03:50—Assigned 339th General Service Engineer Regiment, Camp Butner, North Carolina
00:05:45—North Carolina Camp Butner to Army Station, Brisbane, Australia to Milne Bay, New Guinea, 1943
00:11:15—Segregation of African Americans in Army, Replacement center, 1943
00:16:15—Japanese airfields, Leyte Bay, MacArthur present, 1943
00:20:30—Building bridges, Leyte Bay, Japan, 1943
00:27:45—Building air strips, San Marcelino, Luzon, Philippines, 1945
00:32:15—Building hospitals, north of Manila, Philippines, 1945
00:36:15—Health problems, "Jungle Rot" (skin ulcer)
00:38:45—End of World War II, return to Santa Barbara, California, Camp Anns, 1945
00:39:40—Interactions with German prisoners of war, Camp Anns, 1945
00:40:30—Return to Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, 1945
00:42:10—Photos of indigenous people in new Guinea, built the camps with U.S. soldiers, presence of women in camps, 1943
00:44:30—C-Rations, Ten-and-One Rations; packs of cigarettes, corned beef, Spam, 1943-1945
00:46:20—Removal of Japanese soldiers’ teeth, sold, Capitan later Court Marshaled, 1943-1945
00:48:30—Impressions of Japanese people post-war, 1945
00:50:00—Censored letters from brothers in service, 1943-1945
00:52:20—Opinions of Hollywood’s portrayal of World War II, 1939-1945
00:53:50—Comparison between WWII and the events of September 11th, 2001 Terrorist Attacks
Part of the WWII Veterans Collection-2001 Central High School Oral History Project.
Author:
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Oral History Program
Subject:
Miyamoto, Bud -- Interviews
Oral history
Oral history -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
Interviews -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
La Crosse (Wis.) -- History
Description:
00:00:20 -- Introductions, born at Gundersen Clinic lived in apartment above Guggenbuehl and Nekola Department Store
00:01:20 -- Mother's background before she met Miyamoto's father, moved to La Crosse at nineteen, working at the Auto-Lite factory, work tasks, shift management
00:02:36 -- Father's service in the 100th Infantry Battalion, U. S. Army, (predominantly Japanese American unit from Hawaii) during World War II, father's transfer to Camp McCoy for basic training, missions in the Pacific Islands interpreting Japanese communications, father shot in shoulder and discharged from U.S. Army, parents meeting in La Crosse
00:04:20 -- Childhood, social life, spending time with friends and classmates at local sporting events, school dances, and The Sweet Shop, North Side neighborhood, comparing teenage years to scenes from the movie American Graffiti (1973), drag racing cars on Main Street on Friday and Saturday nights for entertainment, dining at Country Kitchen, student rivalries between Central High School and Logan High School
00:09:50 -- Riviera Theatre, seeing the Wizard of Oz as a child at the theater, seeing color film for the first time, being afraid of film character the Wicked Witch of the West
00:12:10 -- Childhood, recreation, swimming at the North Side Beach, spending days at the beach, getting sunburnt, sunburn remedies, taking vinegar baths, playing recreational softball at Copeland Park, fishing on the Black River, visiting the county fair and circus
00:14:50 -- Religion, being baptized and confirmed at St. Luke's Methodist Church, attending church camps in the summer at Pine Lake, Wisconsin, friendships with Catholic children, attending different grade schools than Catholic friends, Catholic parents not allowing their children to talk to other children who were non-Catholic
00:17:00 -- Being Japanese American, friendships with people of other races, families of color on in the North Side neighborhood, the Moss family, first encountered racism while playing high school football, players on other teams using racial slurs
00:21:30 -- School, extracurricular activities at Logan Junior High School and Logan High School, Student Council President and Class President, respecting football coaches, Joe Thienes (1926-2013) and Jack Fent, Athletic Director Ron Johnson, Assistant Principal and basketball coach Rod Martin (1908-1990), Logan High School being on the "other side of the tracks," students coming from blue collar families
00:24:10 -- North La Crosse, solidarity, feeling of community within the neighborhood, shared experiences of blue collar families, community caring for one another, community bond throughout the North and Lower North Side
00:25:56 -- Community gatherings, picnics with neighboring families in Copeland Park, North Side neighborhood or at County Park in West Salem
00:27:15 -- Auto-Lite factory, 1959 lay-offs at Auto-Lite, mother loses her job, community grief caused by factory closing, Miyamoto family discussed moving to Iowa, staying in La Crosse because of community connections, mother worked three jobs to provide for her family, late 1950s
00:32:10 -- early employment experiences, shoveling snow for business community on Caledonia Street, Manke Hardware Store, M. Lokken & Son Grocery, Neumeister's Butcher Shop, Guggenbuehl and Nekola, Nelson's Clothing Store, and Berg's Pharmacy, delivering newspapers for Milwaukee Sentinel, working at The Sweet Shop, Sandy's fast food
00:36:10 -- U.S. President John F. Kennedy, memories of the day President Kennedy was assassinated, November 22, 1963
00:37:55 -- 1965 Flood in La Crosse, city preparing for the flood, using sandbags as a preventative measures, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse college students' assistance to the upper North Side before and during the flood, damage on the Causeway, damage to businesses North Side businesses, severity of the flood
00:39:25 -- Fast food management employment with Hardee's Restaurant chain throughout Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana
00:40:30 -- Memories of the train depot on the Lower North Side, visiting mother's family in Alma, Wisconsin by train, meeting actor Alan Ladd on one of the trains, love of the movie Shane, actor Lloyd Bridges visited La Crosse
00:46:50 -- Telephones, party lines, waiting for other neighbors to finish their phone conversations to use the shared line
00:47:55 -- Doctors' house calls, transition from house calls to visiting the hospital when in need of care
00:49:40 -- Listening to the radio, listening to sports on 580 WKTY, announcers Charlie Kearns and Mike Kearns, listening to rock stations, 102 Eagle
Author:
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Oral History Program
Subject:
Haiden, Frank C. -- Interviews
Oral history
Oral history -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
Interviews -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
La Crosse (Wis.) -- History
German Americans -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
Railroad companies -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
Breweries -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
La Crosse (Wis.) -- Social life and customs
United States -- History -- 1945-1953
United States -- History -- 1953-1961
Description:
Haiden discusses growing up in a German immigrant family in La Crosse, Wisconsin. He discusses family life, work life, and the development of La Crosse. He details his work in the railroad industry, mentioning several companies operating routes through La Crosse. He also describes the downtown district, including the breweries that operated there.
Author:
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Oral History Program
Subject:
Banasik, Ed -- Interviews
Banasik, Helen -- Interviews
Oral history
Oral history -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
Interviews -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
Families
Recreation -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
La Crosse (Wis.) -- Social life and customs
United States -- History -- 1945-1953
United States -- History -- 1953-1961
Description:
Mr. and Mrs. Banasik discuss their marriage and family life in La Crosse, Wisconsin. They describe work, home, recreation, and entertainment activities. They also comment on changes in society and politics.
Description:
Henry Keimowitz was born in Hungary. He moved to the U.S. after serving in WWI. He discusses many topics, including his childhood in Hungary, his Jewish heritage, experiencing antisemitism and Facism during and in between the World Wars, his experience as a POW,
Tape 2
Tape 3
Tape 4
Tape 5
Tape 6
Tape 7
Description:
Hoeschler touches on many subjects, but mainly focuses on his family history and his professional career. He also spends quite a bit of time talking about his uncle, Frank Hoeschler, who was a known dentist and developer in La Crosse.
Tape 2
Author:
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Oral History Program
Subject:
Lysaker, John -- Interviews
Oral history
Oral history -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
Interviews -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
La Crosse (Wis.) -- History
Description:
00:01:34 -- Education, Logan High School, Teacher's College
00:12:32 -- School programs
00:15:14 -- Religion, Catholicism
00:18:15 -- Ethnic groups, relations, businesses
00:22:44 -- Race relations
00:26:15 -- Employment, Rivoli Theatre, carpenter
00:30:00 -- Transportation, La Crosse
00:31:20 -- Movie theaters, La Crosse
00:34:30 -- Copeland Avenue
00:35:50 -- Employment, railroad
00:39:17 -- The Great Depression, 1929
00:43:15 -- Businesses, World War, 1939-1945
00:49:00 -- Korean War, 1950-1953
00:51:40 -- Vietnam War, 1961-1975
00:55:18 -- Veterans, Vietnam War, 1961-1975, La Crosse
00:56:38 -- Flood, La Crosse, 1965
00:58:58 -- Train depot, La Crosse
1:07:30 -- Technology, computers, calculators
Description:
Myer Katz (b.1910 - d.1993) grew up in La Crosse in a Jewish family. He would later become a prominent local La Crosse historian. In his interview, he mostly covers topics about his family heritage. The subjects include local Jewish history and immigration, Judaism, family customs and practices, antisemitism, education experiences, and general Jewish history.
Tape 2
Tape 3
Tape 4
Tape 5
Tape 6
Tape 7
Tape 8
Tape 9
Author:
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Oral History Program
Subject:
Lange, Norman -- Interviews
Breweries -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
Labor unions -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
La Crosse (Wis.) -- Social life and customs
United States -- History -- 1945-1953
United States -- History -- 1953-1961
Fraternal organizations -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
Description:
Lange discusses returning to La Crosse, Wisconsin, following service in World War II. He details his work history and union involvement, describing the brewing industry and his work for Peerless Brewery and his career with the La Crosse Cooler Company. He also discusses his membership in fraternal organizations.
Author:
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Oral History Program
Subject:
Fitzpatrick, Patricia L. -- Interviews
Families
Neighborhoods -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
Recreation -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
La Crosse (Wis.) -- Social life and customs
United States -- History -- 1945-1953
United States -- History -- 1953-1961
Description:
Fitzpatrick discusses growing up in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She details family life and marriage; neighborhoods where she grew up and raised her own family; recreation activities; and local social life and practices.
Author:
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Oral History Program
Subject:
Rynning, Rolf -- Interviews
Oral history
Oral history -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
Interviews -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
La Crosse (Wis.) -- History
Families -- Wisconsin
Work -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
Recreation -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
La Crosse (Wis.) -- Social life and customs
Description:
Mr. Rynning discusses the following topics: Alcohol and smoking habits in the home,1910s -- After the army, back to work at Union National Bank, 1920s -- Anti-German discrimination, 1920s -- Klu Klux Klan presence in La Crosse, Wisconsin, 1920s -- Prohibition, 1920-1933, home-brews for sale -- Political influence and affiliations, La Crosse, Wisconsin, 1920s -- The Great Depression, 1929, job loss -- La Crosse Normal School, sisters’ attendance 1909 -- St. John’s Catholic church, North Side La Crosse, Wisconsin, 1910s -- Religious and national prejudice, Catholics vs. Protestants, Germans vs. Irish, 1910s -- Public schooling vs. Parochial schooling -- Rivalries between North Side and South Side La Crosse, Wisconsin, 1910s -- World War Two (1941-1945), Fort McCoy, Wisconsin -- Major changes in La Crosse, Riverside Park and university development, 1940s -- Changes in social activities, lack of community activity, lack of business on Main street, 1940s to 1970s -- Youth mentality and activity, 1910s compared to 1970s -- Prospective future for U.S., international relations, Russia and China, 1970s -- Opinions of Water Gate trial status, 1973 -- Major changes in U.S. government, opinions of welfare, Social Security, Medicare, 1970s -- The Spanish American War, 1898, lasting influence on international policy -- Farm lifestyle and chores; milking cows and ice cutting, 1900s.
00:00:10—Alcohol and smoking habits in the home,1910s
00:02:30—After the army, back to work at Union National Bank, 1920s
00:03:20—Anti-German discrimination, 1920s
00:03:50—Klu Klux Klan presence in La Crosse, Wisconsin, 1920s
00:04:40—Prohibition, 1920-1933, home-brews for sale
00:06:30—Political influence and affiliations, La Crosse, Wisconsin, 1920s
00:10:00—The Great Depression, 1929, job loss
00:13:20—La Crosse Normal School, sisters’ attendance 1909
00:15:00—St. John’s Catholic church, North Side La Crosse, Wisconsin, 1910s
00:15:45—Religious and national prejudice, Catholics vs. Protestants, Germans vs. Irish, 1910s
00:19:10—Public schooling vs. Parochial schooling
00:23:15—Rivalries between North Side and South Side La Crosse, Wisconsin, 1910s
00:27:50—World War Two (1941-1945), Fort McCoy, Wisconsin
00:31:00—Major changes in La Crosse, Riverside Park and university development, 1940s
00:33:20—Changes in social activities, lack of community activity, lack of business on Main street, 1940s to 1970s
00:34:40—Youth mentality and activity, 1910s compared to 1970s
00:38:10—Prospective future for U.S., international relations, Russia and China, 1970s
00:42:10—Opinions of Water Gate trial status, 1973
00:43:35—Major changes in U.S. government, opinions of welfare, Social Security, Medicare, 1970s
00:46:00—The Spanish American War, 1898, lasting influence on international policy
00:50:00—Farm lifestyle and chores; milking cows and ice cutting, 1900s
Tape 3 of 4.
Author:
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Oral History Program
Subject:
Rasmusen, Viggo B -- Interviews
Oral history
Oral history -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
Interviews -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
La Crosse (Wis.) -- History
Graff, Maurice Otto, 1907- -- Interviews
Mitchell, Rexford Samuel -- Interviews
Gates, Samuel G -- Interviews
Wittich, Walter A. (Walter Arno), 1910- -- Interviews
Steinhoff, G. Lester -- Interviews
Wisconsin State Teachers College (La Crosse)
Wisconsin State College (La Crosse)
Wisconsin State University (La Crosse)
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
Universities and colleges -- Administration -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
Instructional materials centers -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
Student publications -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
Audio-visual education -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
Racquet (La Crosse, Wis.)
Description:
Rasmusen talks of his early years in Withee, Wisconsin, college days at River Falls, and a distinguished career in education. He describes his experiences in setting up and developing the audio visual department, including the film library. He discusses university administrators and faculty including Gates, Mitchell, Lindner, Wittich, Graff and Steinhoff. Topics also discussed include: Alcohol prices, late 1930s--Segregated housing, 1930s--College, course rigor, UW-River Falls -- Extracurriculars, public speaking--Peer discussion--Politics, Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration (1933-1945)--Notable people in the community, River Falls--Positive college experience--First teaching job-- Teaching, qualifications--Technology in the classroom, new media, 1940s--College of Education, La Crosse--School involvement, Minong, Wisconsin--Financial situation--Teaching, students--Coaching, refereeing--Teaching, faculty, Minong, WI--Teaching salary, Center, WI--Students, impressions of--Student reunions--Administrative role--University of Wisconsin Madison, master's degree--Working with faculty-- Administration, difficulties--Discipline--Discipline procedures--Physical altercations--Administration, pressures of--Community, pressures of--Administrative mistakes, inexperience, learn-by-doing-- Administrative salary--Controversy, church membership, switching to Methodist--Social function-- Marriage, Maddie, wedding story--Tough conditions, working--Wife, Maddie, characteristics-- Legacy, points of pride.
00:00:45 -- Alcohol prices, late 1930s
00:01:09 -- Segregated housing, 1930s
00:02:15 -- College, course rigor, UW-River Falls
00:04:35 -- Extracurriculars, public speaking
00:05:59 -- Peer discussions
00:06:41 -- Politics, Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration (1933-1945)
00:11:15 -- Notable people in the community, River Falls
00:14:02 -- Positive college experience
00:16:38 -- First teaching job
00:17:59 -- Teaching, qualifications
00:20:20 -- Technology in the classroom, new media, 1940s
00:20:57 -- College of Education, La Crosse
00:21:30 -- School involvement, Minong, Wisconsin
00:22:20 -- Financial situation
00:24:08 -- Teaching, students
00:26:40 -- Coaching, refereeing
00:27:57 -- Teaching, faculty, Minong, WI
00:29:27 -- Teaching salary, Center, WI
00:31:24 -- Students, impressions of
00:32:00 -- Student reunions
00:35:33 -- Administrative role
00:36:25 -- University of Wisconsin Madison, master's degree
00:38:20 -- Working with faculty
00:39:42 -- Administration, difficulties
00:40:42 -- Discipline
00:41:29 -- Discipline procedures
00:43:49 -- Physical altercations
00:44:53 -- Administration, pressures of
00:45:41 -- Community, pressures of
00:47:38 -- Administrative mistakes, inexperience, learn-by-doing
00:50:25 -- Administrative salary
00:51:58 -- Controversy, church membership, switching to Methodist
00:53:08 -- Social functions
00:54:24 -- Marriage, Maddie, wedding story
00:55:22 -- Tough conditions, working
00:56:08 -- Wife, Maddie, characteristics
00:57:02 -- Legacy, points of pride
Tape 2 of 5.
Subject:
World War, 1914-1918 -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
World War, 1939-1945 -- Wisconsin -- La Crosse
Creator:
Pifer, Richard L.
Description:
A master's thesis. Introduction -- Chapter I. The setting: Wisconsin and the nation -- Chapter II. La Crosse: neutrality to intervention -- Chapter III. Preparedness -- Chapter IV. La Crosse and the world wars -- Chapter V. Select groups and the world wars -- Chapter VI. The search for security -- Conclusion