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History

cover of Honored and Dishonored Guests
Summer 2017

Honored and Dishonored Guests

Cover of Honored and Dishonored Guests

Westerners in Wartime Japan

W. Puck Brecher

Harvard Univ. Asia Center: 2017

 

There was little surprise when the Japanese military police arrested and imprisoned a number of British and U.S. citizens on their soil after the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Some, like the Reverend Samuel Heaslett, were held and interrogated for a few months, then released and eventually sent back to North America. However, outside prison walls, Western … » More …

Book - Briefly Noted
Summer 2017

Briefly Noted

 

Atomic Geography: A Personal History of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation

Melvin R. Adams

WSU Press: 2016

One of the first environmental engineers at Hanford recalls his two decades of study of both the toxic soil and water at the nuclear site, and the wildlife and plants that thrive on the 586 square miles of central Washington desert. Adams helped determine the initial scope of the soil cleanup at Hanford, among other projects there. He shares his perspectives on leaking waste storage, the obsession with safety, and the paradoxical nature of a place that’s a sprawling wildlife refuge and one of the most complex environmental … » More …

Hang Them All cover
Spring 2017

“Hang Them All”

Hang Them All cover

George Wright and the Plateau Indian War

Donald L. Cutler ’76

University of Oklahoma Press: 2016

 

Questions about the viciousness of Col. George Wright’s month-long war against Indian tribes of the Upper Columbia Plateau typically are filtered through a lens of historical and cultural context.

The cruelty of Wright’s tactics during the Plateau Indian War of 1858 are undeniable. He hanged 16 Indians, including some who had surrendered after being told … » More …

Fred Kamaka in uniform
Spring 2017

The 1941 Attack on Pearl Harbor

A personal history by Fred Kamaka ’51

The morning of Sunday, December 7, 1941 proved to be clear with just a few clouds scattered above the Hickam Field/Pearl Harbor area. It would be extremely hot by 4 p.m. in the afternoon, the time scheduled for our Sunday parade for that month. During breakfast the cadets sitting at my table were all discussing the parade, for the competition between companies would be keen this year. It meant a lot to me as I was assigned to lead my squad for the competition from my company. My classmate, Rowland Melim, and I were dining room orderlies for … » More …

WSU exhibit of early Issaquah businesswoman Lucy Stevenson's collection. Photo by Robert Hubner.
Fall 2013

Gallery: Businesswoman and tailor Lucy Stevenson’s collection

An exhibit at WSU Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections exploring the story of Issaquah businesswoman and tailor Lucy Stevenson, fashion, and history at the turn of the last century. Lucy opened her own hat and dressmaking business in 1894. Her great-granddaughter Loralyn Young donated the collection to WSU. Courtesy WSU Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles. Read more in “A fitting business.”

Photos by Robert Hubner

Fall 2013

Water to the Promised Land

As an aquifer declines, farmers hope for water promised 80 years ago.

LAST SUMMER as we stood in the middle of Brad Bailie’s onion fields just north of Connell, the discussion, as discussions seem to do in the Columbia Basin, turned to water.

Bailie ’95 pumps irrigation water from a well drilled down 800 feet. Neighbors have pushed wells down to 2,000 feet. At such depths, the water is often laden with salts and minerals. After a while of irrigating with this water, a crust can form over the soil surface. Farmers must use a variety of means to break up the crust, including … » More …

Hop King cover
Winter 2016

Hop King

Hop King cover

Ezra Meeker’s Boom Years

Dennis M. Larsen ’68 

WSU Press: 2016

The demands of craft brewing in the last few years, along with declining European hops production, has driven the price of hops up as much as 50 percent, creating a windfall for growers in Washington. It’s not the first time in state history that hops brought a grower financial success.

Puyallup Valley pioneer Ezra Meeker first started planting hops as a cash … » More …

Fall 2016

From Dresden to Pullman, WSU’s Harvard glass flowers connection

It started with a sea voyage and a jellyfish.

Master glassblower Leopold Blaschka was already a successful maker of glass eyes when he fell ill in 1853. His doctor prescribed time at sea and Blaschka spent the journey from Bohemia to the U.S. and back drawing and studying sea creatures. Back home, Blaschka began making and selling cunningly accurate models of invertebrates, in part because he had already invented glass spinning, a technique that enabled him to create very detailed—and anatomically accurate—glass pieces.

Before the invention of photography, hand-drawn and blown glass models of organisms were highly sought after. Blaschka’s sea creatures were based not … » More …