Jim Kershner’s This day in history
From our archives, 100 years ago
About 300 people converged on Eltopia just north of Pasco to join a massive rabbit roundup. Every place of business in town was closed all day for the event.
People formed a 1 ½-mile line and then “advanced in crescent shape, beating the bushes and yelling like Comanches.” They drove the jack rabbits into a big wire enclosure. At one point, a coyote was trapped in the dragnet “but made his escape by means of a spectacular rush through the lines.”
The “seething, struggling mass of jacks” were then dispatched by boys with clubs. About 200 rabbits met their fate.
“Huge fires were then built and pots slung, in which coffee was prepared,” said The Spokesman-Review. “… All present enjoyed the hospitality of the ranchers. … These hunts are attracting people from a distance, who come to enjoy the day’s outing.”
It sounds jarring today, but it was believed to be a necessity in those days.
“The jacks are foragers, and when they are numerous, they create havoc in a wheat field,” said the paper. “Acres upon acres have been mown clean by the destructive pests.”
Also on this date
(From the Associated Press)
1909: The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded.