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100 years ago in Spokane: Minister rails against Ouija boards; Bing Crosby participates in debate

Dr. I.N. McCash said he did not consider the Ouija Board to be of “trivial” concern. (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
Dr. I.N. McCash said he did not consider the Ouija Board to be of “trivial” concern. (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)

Dr. I. N. McCash weighed in on a craze sweeping the country, the Ouija board.

At a meeting of the region’s ministers, the pastor and former Spokane University president said: “I believe that lack of religion and faith in the Bible fosters superstition and the attending belief in such things as the Ouija board, spiritualism and other fads and cults, as a means of revealing future events and the destinies of lives. God has revealed to humanity all that he considers it good for them to know.”

He did not consider the Ouija board to be of “trivial” concern, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported. He said such devices have “not contributed a single thing to the good of humanity, to science, religion or literature.”

From the Bing file: A brief story in the March 12, 1920, Chronicle mentioned that Gonzaga’s Senior Academic Debating Society held its weekly meeting. The question was: “Resolved, that President Wilson was justified in asking Secretary Lansing’s resignation from the Cabinet?”

Arguing the affirmative side was “Messrs. Harry Crosby and M. Cannon.”

Why is this significant? It’s an early newspaper appearance of Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby, who would later become Spokane’s most famous product. Crosby was a senior at Gonzaga High School.

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