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Special Collections at the University of Idaho Library offers a changing showcase of highlights from our collections. Here are the entries for 1995:

Photo: Idaho stunts at WSC, 1921

November 1995

Pep rallies and half-time events have a long tradition on the university campus; one of the earlier manifestations was the Harvard Yell Contest. In 1919, the Harvard Clubs of the University of Idaho and nearby Washington State College jointly offered a prize to the school "showing superior sportsmanship and entertainment at the WSC-Idaho game." (Argonaut, October 19, 1920. p.1 ) The rivalry between the two schools had reached such a point that some inducements seemed to be in order. In both 1920 and 1921, Idaho won the yell contest in spite of losing the football games. As the yearbook pointed out:

In no other way is the true spirit of a school expressed so unmistakably as in its rooting at any athletic contest. is the school behind the team? Are its members true sportsmen? Are they big enough to take defeat and smile? Can they win a victory without becoming arrogant? All those questions are answered by the way in which the rooters conduct themselves and are conducted by the yell leader at a game. For any school to win a prize for its rooting in a compliment to its ideals. (Gem of the Mountains, 1922. Moscow, April 1921. p. 11.)

The principal stunt in 1921 had over a thousand students troop down from the stands and create a huge interlocking UI on the field. Once in position, each student dropped confetti at their feet; leaving a taunting imprint on the WSC field.

To prepare for this event, a rally was organized a few nights earlier. School spirit was required, however; as the Argonaut reminded its readers: "Representatives of the Vigilance Committee will be on deck to give an especial invitation to all Freshman who are not present." (October 4, 1921. p. 1)

This photograph, part of a series, was taken by the staff photographer from Hodgins' Drug Store in Moscow, at the 1921 contest at Rogers Field in Pullman.

Caption: Idaho stunts at WSC, 1921. Special Collections, University of Idaho Library, Historic Photograph Collection. #2-133-8

Photograph: Trailer village, Moscow, ca. 1950.

August 1995

The close of World War II meant great changes for the University of Idaho, as it did for the country as a whole. For the first time in nearly a decade, military uniforms were not the most common form of apparel. The return to university studies was accelerated by the GI Bill, an unprecedented benefit. Hordes of military veterans, accompanied by their wives and small children, returned to campus to continue their interrupted studies or, for the first time, to begin them. Enrollment more than doubled. As might be expected, the universities were not prepared for the change. Neither fraternities nor dormitories could handle the influx. Married student housing, almost never seen before, became the norm as older veterans returned to campus.

By 1947, the University of Idaho had acquired 150 trailers and over 200 surplus temporary buildings from the Hanford atomic works and other federal installations, and placed them in three "Vet Villages." In the spring they were muddy, in the summer they were hot, and in the winter they were cold. And all the time they were small and cramped. Eventually they were replaced with purpose-built married student apartments, but for many veterans, they served, however briefly, as home.

In this photograph, apparently taken just before their removal about 1951, two students await the city bus. The open door of the fourth trailer and the meterless electrical service on the first trailer are indications that their time has passed.

Caption: Trailer village, ca. 1951. #1-120-3, Historical Photograph Collection, University of Idaho Library.

Book jacket: The Strange Autobiography of Frank B. Robinson.

May 1995

Psychiana, founded by Frank B. Robinson in Moscow, Idaho, in 1929, became, over the next two decades, the world's largest mail-order religion. Robinson advocated a personal appreciation for what he called the "God Power" within.Through careful study of his bi-weekly lessons he promised happiness, health, and success with a money back guarantee.

The lessons were advertised in over 180 magazines and 140 newspapers. Responses to eager students exceeded 60,000 mailings a day. In addition, Robinson wrote twenty-five books, traveled the nation giving speeches, and used the power of radio pass on his message of hope and triumph through self-help.

There are some that wonder whether he believed in Psychiana even though he was perhaps its greatest success story. Through its power he became wealthy. Attacks on his establishment for mail fraud and attempts to deport him as an illegal alien were all turned aside. And though he lived well, with a big house and fancy car, he is more often remembered locally for his charities and benefactions to individuals and to the community.

After "Doc" Robinson's death in 1948, the Psychiana organization withered; closing for good in 1952. The Robinson family donated eight linear feet of Psychiana materials to the University of Idaho Library in 1955 and ordered them sealed for twenty-five years. They were opened in 1980 but contained little in the way of surprises.

For more information about Frank Robinson and Psychiana, see: Keith C. Petersen. Psychiana: the psychological religion. Moscow, Latah County Historical Society, 1991. Also, see the inventory for the Frank B. Robinson Papers, 1929-1951, in the University of Idaho Library. In addition, a Web-page for Psychiana has been developed by John Black of Moscow.

Book cover: The Strange Autobiography of Frank B. Robinson, Founder of the Psychiana Religion. Moscow, Idaho. 2nd edition, 1949. Special Collections, University of Idaho Library.

Image: Letter, May 30, 1878, from Captain Edward Ball.

March 1995

The interlocking relationship between Native Americans and the U.S. Army in the intermountain frontier is exemplified by this authorization for the Chief of the Lemhi Bannocks to purchase or trade for ammunition on the eve of the Bannock Indian War of 1878. Tin Doy, or Tendoy, maintained a policy of friendship to the interloping white miners and settlers who thronged into the mountains of Idaho in the 1860s and 1870s. At the beginning of the hostilities, Tendoy and his band removed themselves from the conflict and returned to their reservation on the Lemhi River. Tendoy provided militia leader George L. Shoup, a local merchant and later Governor and Senator, with scouts and protective warriors as he had during the Nez Perce retreat of 1877.

This form of authorization was not uncommon. The Boise newspapers attacked the Territorial governor, Moses Brayman, for issuing a similar letter to Bannock Chief Buffalo Horn, leader of the hostiles, about two weeks before the fighting began. It has been said that Buffalo Horn , who served as a scout with General Howard trying to follow the Nez Perce in their epic defeat, came to the conclusion that he was a better general than Howard and would have greater success than did the Nez Perce.

Although the Shoup papers, including the records of the Shoup store in Salmon, Idaho, were donated to the library in 1958 by Shoup's grandson, this letter, along with several others, was a gift from Salmon lawyer Charles Herndon (UI '31) in 1956. The implication from the Captain's letter would be that Tendoy acquired the ammunition from Shoup, giving up the letter in the process. Although this is probably the case, it can not be proven by the existence of the letter in Shoup's files at this date.

Letter, May 30, 1878, from Captain Edward Ball, Horse Prairie, M. T., authorizing Chief "Tin Doy's" purchase of ammunition. G.L. Shoup Papers, Correspondence, 1878. Special Collections, University of Idaho Library.

Image: S-Bridge train wreck photograph, 1903.

January 1995

Winter storms in the mountains of Northern Idaho often bring transportation to a standstill. The railroads first attacked the problem with human power. Labor gangs, Japanese in one case, would be sent out with shovels to clear the ravines of snowdrifts that could reach thirty or more feet deep. Later, the rotary snowplow applied steam-power to the problem.

On February 10, 1903, betwen Saltese, Montana, and Wallace, Idaho, one Northern Pacific rotary met the full onslaught of the winter snows. A breakdown had trapped them in the deep snow and the crew worked by hand to dig out the train. Inching their way along the tracks in the middle of the night, they halted the train at the "S" Bridge, an 839 foot sinuous trestle, that offered them respite while the snow accumulated in the gulch. A pusher engine and a caboose were left in the open while the remainder rested on solid ground. At seven in the morning a massive snowslide raced down the gulch and ripped out a portion of the bridge. The rear engine and the caboose plunged into the gorge, burying the engine in the deep snow while the caboose and its seven sleeping occupants lay shattered on top. A passenger car, with eight aboard, hung off the end of the broken trestle, dangling from the coupler. Although no-one was killed, it took doctors eleven hours to get the shocked and dazed survivors to the hospital at Wallace.

Before the wreckage was cleared, Wallace's Barnard Studio sent out a photographer to capture the scene of the tragedy. The photographer's shadow, just barely visible in the snow at the left foreground, indicates the position standing next to the large-format wooden camera covered with the photographer's focusing cloth. Eight 8x10 inch glass plate negatives of the wreckage have survived and are in the University of Idaho's Barnard-Stockbridge Collection.

The remaining question is who took the photographs? T. N. Barnard, founder of the studio, had by 1903 turned most, if not all, of the operational details of the studio over to his assistant of several years, Nellie Stockbridge. Miss Stockbridge, then thirty-five, was according to one observer "slim, small and bespectacled." Yet she became known as a fearless adventurer seeking commercial photographs high in the mountains and deep in the mines. Still active into her nineties, Nellie Stockbridge documented the history of the Silver Valley for decades. A legacy that is preserved in the University of Idaho Library's Historical Photograph Collection.

Caption: S-Bridge train wreck, above Mullan, Idaho, 1903. Barnard-Stockbridge Collection, University of Idaho Library, 8-X253.

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