Local news


Jim Kershner’s This day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Spokane was up in arms about an alleged “white slave” plot that nearly entrapped five innocent young Spokane women – “white slavery” being the common euphemism for prostitution.

The five women had all been seeking jobs at an employment agency when two mysterious men told them they needed a cook and waitress at a work camp on Loon Lake. The women separately embarked on the train to Loon Lake and found that they had all been hired for the same “job.”

They became suspicious, got off the train and wired the chief of police.

“I have no doubt that it was the intention of these men to lead the girls into a life of shame,” said a state labor commissioner.

From the suffrage beat: Women now had the vote in Washington, but some apparently thought this went against the natural order of things.

One anti-suffrage Spokane matron told the men at her dinner party that if women were learning politics, men would have to learn how to cook.

“I meant it as a joke,” she said. “But I’m ready to make good. … When women vote, the dinners should be ready when the women come home after the strenuous day’s work in uplifting the politicians.”

She added that men also needed to learn “the most important part, the dishwashing.”

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