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Archive for Sunday, March 18, 2012

100 years ago: KU student jumps into freezing Kaw on a bet

March 18, 2012

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for March 18, 1912:

  • "Just to show the fellows that he was 'game' Jack Williams, a K.U. student, pulled off the peculiar stunt yesterday of taking a plunge in the icy Kaw. Of course there was a little $2 bet on the affair and to be sure Jack got the money. The affair started out at the Phi Gam house and culminated at the foot of Ohio street. The bet was made and then the fellows piled into two autos and drove to the foot of Ohio street. Jack calmly removed his hat and overcoat but neglected the formality of otherwise undressing, stepped down to the water's edge and simply jumped in. He swam around in the cold water much to the edification of the fellows on the bank for a short time, and then came out, ran up to the house, changed his clothes, and appeared none the worse for the cold bath. Williams has spent much of his life in Canada and has become fearless of cold weather and stunts of this nature hold no terrors for him."
  • "Facing one of the largest crowds that ever gathered at the University of Kansas for a Vespers service, Henry Churchill King, President of Oberlin College, yesterday afternoon delivered a powerful address on 'Facing the Facts of Life.' Not only was the downstairs crowded, but the balcony also was filled. President King told of the fact of the need of help of other men, of the facts of life and death and the general facts that make the foundation of life. 'A father can bequeath his boy a fortune,' he said, 'but he can not bequeath his convictions. If a man has convictions they must be his own. It is a question of individual development.... [The] refusal of a man to face the facts is cowardly; it is a lazy attitude, surely a foolish attitude. Because facts are not changed by our ignoring them. Man has much to do with the shaping of his character.'"

Comments

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

"Character"?

Isn't that a rather old fashioned concept?

FlintlockRifle 2 years, 9 months ago

And the first Polar Bear Club was started that day----Burrrrrr

sjgreen 2 years, 9 months ago

"Because facts are not changed by our ignoring them."

A lesson we're still learning.

classclown 2 years, 9 months ago

"Williams has spent much of his life in Canada and has become fearless of cold weather and stunts of this nature hold no terrors for him."

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While I enjoy this column in general, I always get a kick out of the enunciation back then.

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