Tuesday Trivia

According to a reminder bit in my local newspaper, it was 100 years ago about now that the first World War I draft registration numbers were called. Most of us know about, and have happily used, the World War I Draft Registration records but have we thought further to WHY those little cards were created and HOW the men were called up? Check it out….. most interesting reading.

The World War One Draft – Reporting of the First Draft Lottery – 1917

The Secretary of War, Mr. Baker draws the first number in the World War 1 Draft and Announces ” 2 5 8″ Photograph Copyright 1917 by Committee on Public Information.

Draft lottery selects 1,374,000 men for examination to provide 687,000 of first increment troops others of 10,000,000 are definitely listed for future service; Baker draws the first number.
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Gen. Crowder, Gen. Bliss, Senator Chamberlain and Representatives Dent and Kahn also select capsules from the 10,500 in the great glass bowl in senate office building room where drawing continues until morning

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Newspapermen present drafted—society women in night throngs—scenes and incidents that thrill.

Read more: World War One Draft – Reporting of the First Draft Lottery | GGArchives http://www.gjenvick.com/Military/WorldWarOne/TheDraft/SelectiveServiceSystem/1917-07-20-Draft

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Tuesday Trivia

Wheat. Other than eating it, what do you know about wheat, especially Washington’s wheat??

There was a big article titled “Growing Grains,” all about wheat farming in eastern Washington, in last Sunday’s SpokesmanReview newspaper. The article began:  “Long before Boeing, Microsoft, Starbucks or Amazon, Washington was known for world-class agriculture. Our soil’s ability to grow so many types of crops makes it one of the nation’s most important farming states.”

Here are some statistics: There are “hundreds of varieties of wheat but they can be classified into six categories: Hard Red Winter, Hard Red Spring, Soft Red Winter, Soft White, Hard White and Duram. The major difference is the protein content and the gluten toughness.” These differences make the difference in bread, bagels, pasta, etc.

Washington beats out the other Northwest states in the number of bushels produced; some 157,200,000 million bushels last year. Some 79% of our wheat is white; and we are fourth on the list of Top Ten Wheat producing states but we exceed nine of them in “average yield of bushels per acre.”

Picture a big semi-circle drawn around the southeastern corner of Washington, encompassing parts of 17 counties; that’s our Washington wheat growing area. This really is a big deal.

Our Washington wheat is exported to markets mainly in the far East….. to the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam and Guatemala and even Yemen.

As you peanut-butter your bread for lunch, do thank a Washington wheat farmer. We’re tops!

Tuesday Trivia

Would you rather live on Beet Street or Frog Hollow Road?

These are two for-real street names near Walla Walla.

Don’t we smile to see Bluebird Lane, Cricket Street, or Kennedy Parkway but we scratch our heads at Itani Street (a real street in Pullman). How would you react to these…. found photos of each on a website so I’m not pulling your tail……….

Priest River, Idaho:  GOA Way

Story, Alaska:  Farfrompoopen Road (said to be 200 miles from a reststop)

Bainbridge Island, Washington: Toe Jam Hill Road

Troy, Michigan: Intersection of Crooks Road / Corporate Drive

Great Meadows, New Jersey:  Shades of Death Road

New Portland, Maine:  Katie’s Crotch Road

Blountville, Tennessee:  Meth Bible Camp Road / Dead End

Littleton, Colorado: Jackass Hill Road

Heather Highland, Michigan: Divorce Court


Tuesday Trivia


Washington State can add another item on its “Claim to Fame” list. Back in June, 1947, pilot Kenneth Arnold was flying over Mount Rainier and reported seeing “nine circular-type objects flying in formation at more than twice the speed of sound.” A report of what he saw blared “Supersonic Flying Saucers Sighted by Pilot.” His was the first widely reported UFO sighting in this country. But alas, the Air Force debunked what he saw, calling it a mirage. The point of the story here today is that from this event the term “flying saucer” entered the American language lexicon.

Tuesday Trivia

Ever heard of Tusko the Elephant? He was a figure in Washington history in the 1920s. Here is the first paragraph of the story about Tusko found on www.historylink.org (the website for Washington history):

On May 15, 1922, Tusko the giant circus elephant rampages through the Skagit Valley town of Sedro-Woolley.  No circus elephant in twentieth-century America engendered more outlandish and comical tales than he. Captured at age 6 in the wilds of Siam (now Thailand), the animal was a mere five feet high when he lumbered off a sailing ship at New York harbor in 1898. Yet by 1922 circus hawkers touted him as “the largest elephant ever in captivity.” Although, at 10-feet-2-inches tall, he was seven inches shorter than Phineas T. Barnum’s Jumbo of the 1880s, Tusko was a good ton heavier than that better-known pachyderm. Even before Washingtonians set eyes on Tusko, they’d read newspaper accounts of his antics, from the night he did a “moonlight dance on the newly laid asphaltic pavement” of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, to his unexpected defeat of six snorting killer bulls in an arena in Juarez, Mexico. But few stories rival the one about this tusker’s wild romp through the Skagit Valley logging town of Sedro-Woolley in 1922.

Click to the above link and do a search for “Tusko elephant” to read the entire story. Who knew???


Tuesday’s Trivia

Today’s trivia is just fun-fun-fun.  Son in Port Angeles took me on a whale watching cruise and yes, we did spot some humped backs of the animals. But the quips of the 22-ish captain were great. We saw a bunch of basking harbor seals on the end of Ediz Hook…… “those are orca bon-bons.” Later, “Whale watching is a lot of whale waiting but it’s whale worth it.”

Much later with few sightings, they rolled out the big ones. “Why did the whale cross the sound? To get to the other tide.”  And “Did you hear about the whale that ate Seattle? It’s a whale of a tale.”  Ouch, eh?

But yes, these Puget Sound whale watching trips guarantee that you’ll see whales or you can come again for free until you do.

Tuesday Trivia

*** Washington’s State Song….. can you sing it?

This poem by Helen Davis, and musically arranged by Stuart Churchill, was adopted as the Official Song of Washington State on March 19, 1959. I’ll bet you’ve never heard it…….or even of it, right?  Here tiz:

This is my country; God gave it to me.

I shall protect it; Ever keep it free.

Small towns and cities; rest here in the sun.

Filled with our laughter; Thy will be done.

Washington, My Home; wherever I may roam

This is my land, my native land, Washington my home.

Our verdant forests green, caressed by silvery stream

From mountain peak to fields of what

Washington, My Home. 

There’s peace you feel and understand

In this our own beloved land

We greet the day with head held high

And forward ever is our cry

We’ll happy ever be; as people always free

For you and me—-a destiny; Washington My Home.

Sorry, but sounds kinda corny to me. What do you think???


Tuesday Trivia

Ever been to the Eastern Washington Agricultural Museum in Pomeroy, Garfield County, Washington? Might be worth the effort!

My newspaper here in Spokane, The Spokesman Review, recently had a nice spotlight on this museum. Now to learn more about the museum and it’s focus and collections, click to www.co.garfield.wa.us/museum/home

What I wanted to share with you today were some thoughts from Jay Franks, a board member of the museum. He was saying that he “hopes the museum will help preserve the mostly oral history of what life was life on the region’s early wheat farms before that generation farms out.”

Franks continued, and this is my point: “Interest in the displays is greater among older people who remember using butter churns and sewing clothes by hand at home. As the generations thins out, the people go through faster.” 

Now isn’t this sadly the truth? The older ones remember using “that.” The middle-younger ones remember Grandma using “that.” The youngest ones ask “what is that?”

Learning history takes time whether it be reading or visiting a museum.

Tuesday Trivia

Surnames; we all chase family surnames, right? And many of our lineage-surnames go back into Merry Old England, right?

“Surnames were brought into England by the Normans. About the year of our Lord 1000 surnames began to be taken up in France…but not in England until about the time of the Conquest under King Edward the Confessor (ruled 1042-1066). Surnames were not settled among the common people until about the time of King Edward III (ruled 1327-1377). It is now settled that all surnames fall into one of four classes: (1) patronymics, (2) place names, (3) occupations, and (4) nicknames. In summary, it was towards the end of the 13th century in England when surnames were generally adopted. Do keep that in mind with your early-early English genealogy.

(Sons of the Conqueror: Descendants of Norman Ancestry,”  by L.G. Pine, 1973.)

Tuesday Trivia

Do we have tornadoes in Washington? And why so many in the U.S.??

Yes, we (unfortunately) do experience tornadoes in Washington….. KOMO news in Seattle caught the one on the right; one on left is from WSU in Pullman.

The Ask Marilyn column in Sunday’s Parade Magazine posed this question: Do we really have more tornadoes in the U.S. than around the world? The answer is YES. “The U.S. experiences an average of 1000 tornadoes yearly while Canada, which ranks second, gets only about 100. The rest of the world gets a total of about 200.” 

Why is that because? (The phrase I repeated endlessly as a 3-yr-old.) Marilyn didn’t say; do you know why? And do you think our ancestors would have so happily settled in the American Midwest if they really knew about tornadoes???