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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Pastors of several churches voiced their shock and disapproval at a spectacle that played out at the University of Washington-Whitman College football game in Seattle.

A group of boisterous University of Washington fans made up a straw-stuffed effigy – apparently representing a missionary – and then one of them, dressed as a red-clad “devil,” attacked it with a pitchfork. The “missionary” was then hung in effigy.

Compounding the outrage was the belief, among some, that the effigy looked like the famous missionary Marcus Whitman, who was killed by Indians in an 1847 massacre.

“I must confess that the close resemblance to Marcus Whitman in the effigy shocked me,” said one Seattle minister, who had graduated from Whitman College. “The resemblance was startling.”

He called it a “heartless metaphor.” Others said it “overstepped the bounds of respect.”

Still others – possibly University of Washington rooters – said it was all in good fun and was cause for “nothing but laughter.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1957: The Soviet Union launched Sputnik 2, the second man-made satellite, into orbit; on board was a dog named Laika who was sacrificed in the experiment.

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