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Jim Kershner’s This day in history » On the Web:

From our archives, 75 years ago

The toy displays in downtown Spokane department stores were a little too popular in 1935.

The Crescent and the Palace resorted to putting their toys behind wire-mesh fences.

“Had to be done,” said the Crescent’s toy department manager. “These new toys are too fascinating. In spite of all we could do, they were run so much they showed signs of wear. Hence, the fence.”

A few sturdy items remained on display where “grasping hands” could hold them and play with them. But the electric trains and other more delicate toys had to be sequestered.

At the Palace, a guard stood sentinel over the toy train display. The most popular toy, however, had recently been stashed safely away. It was a “G-Man” gun, a toy submachine gun “which warms the cockles of childish hearts with a stream and a crackle of fire when the trigger is pressed.”

Apparently, too many kids had been “ridding Spokane of an undesirable underworld element” and opening fire on other kids.

“Seems a shame to make the kids wait until Christmas to try out these new toys, but it has to be done,” sighed the Palace toy manager.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1965: The U.S. launched Gemini 7 with Air Force Lt. Col. Frank Borman and Navy Cmdr. James A. Lovell aboard.

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