World Gone By 12/15

75 years ago, February 15, 1938

• The last two charter members of Aberdeen lodge No. 52, F. and A.M. went “across the river to the lodge meeting” again last night as nearly 100 Masons from throughout the state gathered to celebrate the lodge’s 50th anniversary.

L.J. Kolts and Charles F. Drake, the two remaining charter members, were drawn into the main lodge room in a symbolic boat last night, a figurative reenactment of the way members crossed the Wishkah River many years ago on their way to meetings. The Masonic quartet sang “Old Man River” as the two entered the lodge room.

• R.K. Tiffany, executive officer of the Washington state planning council, rapped false statements that the council is in favor of the proposed Wallgren bill to create a national park in the Olympic peninsula.

“The next objective of the ultra-conservationists definitely recommended by Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes is to establish a national park to include a wide strip along the summit of the Cascades from the Canadian border to the Columbia River,” he said. He asserted such a proposal would tie up the entire mineral area of the Cascades and would threaten the economic and social development of the state.

50 years ago, February 15, 1963

In 1898, Congressmen were demanding the ouster of Spain from Cuba in much the same way they now demand Russia be chased out. Then — 65 years ago today — the situation exploded into war with the sinking of the battleship Maine.

At 9:40 p.m., massive explosions shattered the Maine, sending her to the bottom of Havana Harbor. Exactly what caused the explosions still is a mystery.

On April 19, Congress passed a resolution declaring Cuba independent and directing President McKinley to use force to compel Spain’s withdrawal from the island. Six days later war was declared.

Spain lost the war and was finished as a world power. The United States emerged for the first time as a major power.

25 years ago, February 15, 1988

• A group of parishioners gathered at 4 a.m. this morning outside St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church watching Aberdeen firefighters subdue a stubborn fire of “suspicious origins” that roared through the Sunday school rooms.

Mercifully the sanctuary at the intersection of 1st and G streets was untouched by the fire, though there was smoke and water damage throughout the building.

The fire appears to have started on a small porch that faces the Aberdeen School District Administration Building. It shot up a story, charring Sunday school rooms in Giles Hall, which was added to the church after World War II.

• Shawn Godfrey captured a district championship in the Southwest Washington District AA boys’ swimming championships Saturday at The Evergreen State College pool. Aberdeen’s Godfrey won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.1 Jay Simons was the Bobcats’ other individual qualifier, placing third in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:08.3

Compiled by Karen Barkstrom from the archives of The Daily World.