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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

Sun., Oct. 16, 2011

From our archives, 100 years ago

The rough-and-ready soldiers at Fort George Wright were told that there was one sport too rough for them: football.

The fort’s officers announced that “the milder English pastime, soccer,” would take the place of football on the athletic fields of the fort. A story in The Spokesman-Review noted that the soldiers must be in top physical shape and that football caused too many injuries.

In 1911, a nationwide debate was raging over whether football was too brutal. The college game had resulted in numerous fatalities.

Besides soccer, two other pastimes made it onto the fort’s eligible list: three-card monte and blackjack.

From the literary beat: The Spokesman-Review made an enticing offer to its readers. For the price of only 98 cents, “along with six consecutively dated coupons” from the paper, readers could obtain a brand new copy of Webster’s New Standard Dictionary.

And what a dictionary.

It was bound in leather, “printed on Bible paper, with red edges and rounded corners.” It also had 600 illustrations, many in color, and 16 pages of “valuable and official charts.”

The usual price was a whopping $4.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1901: Booker T. Washington dined at the White House as the guest of President Theodore Roosevelt.

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