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Jim Kershner’s This Day in History

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From our archives, 50 years ago

Spokane’s local census takers in 1960 were encountering two different, yet opposite, problems.

In some cases, residents greeted them with snarling dogs and shouts of, “I’ll have my lawyer on you!”

In other cases, residents greeted them with too much courtesy. One crew leader said that her census takers were slowed by residents insisting that they sit and have a cup of coffee. One family invited a census taker for lunch.

“They treated me like a royal guest,” said the census taker.

Yet in other cases, census workers found suspicion and mistrust. One was bitten by a dog on his very first call. Others encountered people who simply slammed the door in their faces.

From the April Fool’s file, 100 years ago: It was raining cats on the landlady of the Reliance Apartments on Second Avenue. A prankster put an ad in the paper on April Fool’s Day asserting that the landlady would “pay a large price” for cats, the bigger, the better.

The landlady’s family “got little sleep last night” because the phone rang so incessantly.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1513: Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon landed in present-day Florida. … 1865: Confederate President Jefferson Davis fled the Confederate capital of Richmond, Va., because of advancing Union forces.

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