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WSU, Washington well represented in online architecture database

A raft of local buildings has joined the Society of Architectural Historians’ Archipedia database as part of a statewide effort to showcase 100 sites that represent the social, economic and historic impact of Washington’s built environment.

Coordinators of the information for Washington said a fixation on narrative as a way to interpret the state’s built environment allowed them to include some seemingly humble structures, including Pullman’s Dumas Seed Warehouse, the city proper’s only contribution to the site.

Now a Frontier Communications retail location, the structure was once a storage warehouse for dry peas, garbanzo beans and lentils harvested on the Palouse. While the building is no beauty to behold, it was once owned by Edwin Dumas, who is credited with helping to establish a toehold for Washington agricultural products in markets in Japan and East Asia.

Robert Franklin.

“He was instrumental in helping build that relationship which is now a big chunk of the market for Palouse products in East Asia,” said history instructor Robert Franklin, who is one of the state’s two coordinators and assistant director of the Hanford History Project at WSU Tri-Cities. “So that little warehouse … it’s emblematic of that not only agricultural history but the connections between eastern Washington and East Asia.”

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Moscow-Pullman Daily News

WSU Insider

Evangelicals Love Donald Trump for Many Reasons, But One of Them Is Especially Terrifying

The story of Gog and Magog is central to the bloody eschatology long embraced by millions of American evangelicals. In recent years, End Times has gained special political currency as believers have seen any number of Middle East conflagrations as fulfilling Ezekiel’s prophecy, notably the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the war in Syria. Gog and Magog took on fresh relevance earlier this month, when the Trump administration assassinated Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force.

What may be less obvious is how Trump’s disdain for international governing bodies like NATO also dovetails almost perfectly with End Times theology, whether he realizes it or not.

Matthew Avery Sutton.

Matthew Avery Sutton, a Washington State University history professor and author of American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism, says evangelicals who believe the end is near have always been hostile to any sort of international organizations. That’s because they believe biblical prophecies that say that in the last days, a world leader who preaches peace will emerge and move toward a one-world government. In fact, the prophecy goes, that leader will be the Antichrist who will force the world to accept a false religion and persecute people who don’t accept him as a Messiah.

Evangelicals love Trump’s talk of pulling out of NATO, his attacks on the UN, and his trashing of the Paris climate change accord. “They hate the UN,” Sutton says. “Trump’s unilateralism is also music to their ears.”

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Mother Jones

Five Best: J.D. Dickey on Books About American Preachers

Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America  (2007), by WSU history professor and chair Matthew Avery Sutton, is among the top five books about American preachers.

Even among the Hollywood stars of the 1920s and ’30s, Aimee Semple McPherson stood out as a celebrity. A master of mass communication and entertainment, she blended both into her spectacular evangelism. One of the first women in radio, McPherson began broadcasting in the 1920s. Her monumental Angelus Temple in Los Angeles was decorated “half like a Roman Coliseum, half like a Parisian Opera House.” Here, the audience watched as she worked miracles: “The blind saw, the paralytic walked, the palsied became calm.”

Matthew Avery Sutton.

A magnetic figure in Matthew Avery Sutton’s portrait, McPherson summoned the fury of critics, who said she caused “hysteria, mob psychology, or religious hypnosis.” Her two divorces and her openness to black ministers preaching from her pulpit — almost unheard of at the time — fueled more controversy. Her sudden disappearance led to a frenzy in the press, as did her explanation, upon her return, that she had been kidnapped — though most of the evidence pointed to a tryst with a married man. A potent mix of religion, sex and mass media, her story “cut to the heart of modern American culture” and made McPherson a template for countless media evangelists to come.

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The Wall Street Journal

WSU project tells untold story of WWII soldiers

The Fallen Cougars Project sheds light on former students who died in battle

The Washington State College students who would go on to fight in World War II were very much like the Washington State University students of today.
But when it was their turn to serve their country, they were called upon to perform extraordinary acts of heroism and sacrifice.

Samantha Edgerton.

That was one of the major takeaways Washington State University graduate student in history Samantha Edgerton said she found after completing extensive research into the lives of Cougars who fought and died in the war.

She spent months delving into the soldiers’ letters to loved ones, newspaper clippings, school yearbooks and other documents to create a digital archive of biographies on 20 servicemembers.

The archive represents the beginning of The Fallen Cougars Project, an effort started by Edgerton’s adviser Ray Sun, a WSU associate professor of history.

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Moscow-Pullman Daily News

Why protests around the world often involve public transportation

In Hong Kong, Santiago, and New York City, protesters have disrupted, delayed, or even boycotted subways.

In acts of civic resistance, protesters have taken up space in stations, sometimes disrupting or delaying services. And since transit systems are often seen as an extension of local government and of the officials that run them, they’ve become a ripe setting for civil disobedience.

For people in major metropolitan areas, transit systems are vital, connecting them to jobs, schools, and social communities. They’re largely perceived as a public service, funded by taxpayer money and fares although owned and operated — either partially or completely — by the government.

And since transit systems are an extension of the local government, it’s fair to assume that specific policies (like fares, increased policing, or service hours) reflect the priorities of the state.

Andra Chastain.

As Andra B. Chastain, an assistant professor of history at Washington State University, writes in her explanation of how the metro system is a microcosm of Chile: “Transportation is not just about having a well-run system from the standpoint of economists or engineers, but about people’s basic dignity.”

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