Jim Kershner’s This day in history

THURSDAY, DEC. 16, 2010

From our archives, 75 years ago

The Spokane River’s “sewage burden” in 1935 – from the city’s discharge of raw sewage into the river – was absolutely not a problem, according to Dr. Ralph Hendricks, public welfare commissioner.

“I don’t know of any towns below here on the Spokane River or Columbia which use river water for drinking purposes and cannot see how they could be affected,” said Hendricks.

That same year, the state director of health called the Spokane River “grossly polluted.”

The city didn’t build a sewage treatment plant until 1958.

From the political beat: Vice President John Nance (Cactus Jack) Garner briefly visited Spokane – but wasn’t exactly up and at ’em.

A crowd gathered at the station to greet his train, but Garner didn’t show. A Spokane Daily Chronicle reporter boarded the train and knocked on his room door.

“I’m sorry,” said his wife. “But Mr. Garner is still in bed.”

Roused later, Garner said he had just returned from a long trip to the Philippines and “slept too long, that’s all.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1773: American colonists boarded a British ship and dumped more than 300 chests of tea into Boston Harbor to protest tea taxes.

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