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Jim Kershner’s This Day in History

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From our archives, 100 years ago

Railroad tycoon James J. Hill (aka “The Empire Builder”) rolled into Spokane and made a momentous announcement: He planned to build “mammoth” railroad shops in Spokane and nearly triple the amount of work done here.

Hill hadn’t decided yet whether he would simply expand the existing Great Northern yards at Hillyard (named after him) or add new shops somewhere else in greater Spokane. But he implied that he might do both.

“Spokane is the place for them,” he announced.

From the theater beat: Spokane’s entertainment prospects, on the other hand, were looking bleak. One of the nation’s theatrical syndicates announced it would boycott Spokane and other Northwest cities over a dispute with the Cort theater chain.

This reduced the chances of “high- class” productions visiting the city.

Vaudeville, on the other hand, continued to thrive. The Orpheum advertised a vaudeville bill featuring “Walker and Strum, Comedy Tennis Racquet Manipulators.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1945: American soldiers liberated the Dachau concentration camp. … 1992: Deadly rioting erupted in Los Angeles after a jury in Simi Valley, Calif., acquitted four Los Angeles police officers of almost all state charges in the videotaped beating of Rodney King.

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