The Innovation and Triumph of the 1916 Washington State Rose Bowl Team
Darin Watkins ’84
“I have decided to put my fate in your hands,” said Washington State College football coach William “Lone Star” Dietz to his players, as they prepared to take on Brown University in the 1916 Rose Bowl after an astounding 1915 season. Dietz promised to return as coach if WSC won.
After World War II, Bill Fitch left the Army, packed his duffel in Seattle and, with the U.S. government’s guarantee of free college tuition, headed to Pullman. When he and Al Smith, a fellow veteran and high school classmate, arrived at Washington State College, they found themselves on a campus crowded with thousands of GIs.
Spurred by unprecedented growth in student numbers from the “GI bulge” in the late 1940s, the small rural state college was becoming a modern higher education institution, and a decade later would bloom into a full-blown university. Wave after wave of student-veterans, a faculty newly empowered to govern itself, and … » More …
No roads. No electricity. Just long summer days filled with fishing, huckleberry picking, and exploring the northern shores of remote Priest Lake in Idaho with family and friends.
It was 1948 and plans to develop a private retreat for Washington State College faculty and staff were taking shape at Beaver Creek, a primitive 54-acre resort accessible only by boat. The site, purchased by former WSC President Wilson Compton (1944–1951) and his wife Helen, already had eight small cabins. It was eventually subdivided into about 40 private lots selling for as little as $300 each.
“There’d be potlucks and children’s activities,” recalls Lois Castleberry, whose late … » More …
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 …
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 …
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.