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Jim Kershner’s This Day in History

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From our archives, 100 years ago

Pullman was buzzing about a scandal involving “indecent” picture postcards brazenly displayed in the window of the Washington State College bookstore.

The Pullman city marshal was outraged by the amount of skin – or alabaster, since these were apparently pictures of classical art – exposed in these postcards. He marched in and bought a bunch of postcards, strictly for the purpose of sending them to the county prosecutor in Colfax.

The feisty bookstore manager responded by posting more pictures in the window, some showing works of art in leading magazines and others, mischievously, showing the “local track teams in their abbreviated track costumes.”

That day, the store set “a new record in postcard sales.”

More college hijinks: Washington State College was pondering the mysterious disappearance of Aesculus Hippocastamus, a wooden horse used by the forestry department for pack-saddle-tying practice.

“Probably one of the fraternities has it now,” said a professor.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press.)

1989: The supertanker Exxon Valdez ran aground on a reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound and began leaking 11 million gallons of crude oil.