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History of University

Simple Summer Living
Spring 2016

Simple summer living

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 …

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 …