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History of University

First Words
Winter 2015

First Words

Forgotten fruits

Around the beginning of the twentieth century, William Jasper Spillman, one of Washington State’s first faculty members, recognized that eastern Washington farmers were committed to lucrative wheat as their primary crop. Spillman experimented by crossing wheat varieties to find traits desirable for the Inland Northwest.

Variations didn’t appear in the first generation, but Spillman soon observed that the second generation of plants had combinations of the parents’ traits. He then applied a mathematical formula to predict inherited traits, to the benefit of the wheat farmers.

Many of us know the basics of this research from high school science: Gregor Mendel’s laws of inheritance, … » More …

Ozette cover
Winter 2015

Ozette: Excavating a Makah Whaling Village

Ozette cover

Ruth Kirk

University of Washington Press: 2015

Although the professional literature is rich and extensive, not enough had been written for the public on the extraordinary archaeological exploration at Ozette, the ancient whaling village on the Olympic coast between Neah Bay and La Push. There is Hunters of the Whale, by Northwest chronicler Ruth Kirk, written for young readers in 1974 when the expedition was barely half finished. Archaeology in Washington, coauthored by Kirk and WSU … » More …

Video highlights of 1916 Rose Bowl
Winter 2015

1916 Rose Bowl highlights

Highlights of the 1916 Rose Bowl, when Washington State College defeated Brown 14-0.

Video by WSU Athletics

 

Silent footage of the 1916 Rose Bowl game played between Washington State College and Brown University. Washington State was coached by Pop Warner’s protege, Lone Star Dietz, in his first season as head coach. Brown’s star halfback, Fritz Pollard, was held to 40 yards by WSC’s tough defense and muddy field conditions. Also includes footage of the parade and players.

Video posted by Tom Benjey

Cover of Chance for Glory
Winter 2015

Chance for Glory: An excerpt

An excerpt from Chance for Glory, about the 1915 Washington State College football team, Coach William “Lone Star” Dietz, and their improbable run to the 1916 Rose Bowl.

A century later, this 2015 book by Darin Watkins ’84 puts the team and WSC sports into the context of the period, when the college was striving to expand.

Read more about Chance for Glory.

Read Chapter 2 of the book, about the crucial game against Oregon on October 9, 1915 (PDF)

The Oregon football team had a number of good reasons to be confident. On paper, the game would be lopsided. … » More …

Spring 2015

A Nagasaki letter

Minutes before the B-29 bomber Bockscar dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, the crew of the accompanying B-29 released a canister holding testing equipment. A letter was Scotch-taped inside. The canister fell on the outskirts of the city and its contents withstood the second and, to date, last nuclear attack in a war.

The letter, addressed to “R. Sagane, Imperial University, Tokyo,” was an appeal from three Manhattan Project physicists to fellow physicist and former colleague Ryokichi Sagane. They asked Sagane to confirm the power and devastation of the nuclear attack to the Imperial Japanese government, and to urge Japan’s surrender.

» More …

The TUB
Spring 2015

Down “The Drain” in the TUB

In the 1950s Patty Ernst and Marian Baldy Kenedy would pass time between classes at the TUB. The former women’s gymnasium, built in 1901, became the Temporary Union Building while a new student union was being built. A structure of many uses, it had also served as an ROTC armory, a bookstore, a bowling alley, and temporary housing for a surplus of students just after World War II.

Playing on the bath-like name, the building even had “The Drain,” a basement café and hangout filled with booths and a jukebox. Friday and Saturday night dances there were very popular, with more than half the student … » More …