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

Sat., Dec. 18, 2010

From our archives, 75 years ago

Spokane authorities were pondering a mystery. A boy, about 16, showed up in the county’s juvenile hall. He said he had no idea who he was or where he came from.

He said he thought maybe he came from Santa Barbara, Calif., and maybe his name was Ralph. Yet his clothes had labels from Lewiston and Boise.

Authorities believed he was from Spokane and was suffering from amnesia. The Spokane Daily Chronicle ran a photo in hopes someone would recognize him.

From the charity beat: Bob’s Chili Parlor, a Spokane institution in 1935, was making plans to feed 1,000 guests on Christmas.

“No questions will be asked; no tickets are required,” said co-owner H.L. Steenberg. “We promise a good, substantial meal to anyone who is hungry.”

The restaurant was bringing in a dozen extra cooks and waitresses to handle the rush. This free chili feast was a long-standing tradition at Bob’s.

From the booze beat: The State Liquor Board announced it was giving a present to New Year’s Eve revelers.

The board said that taverns could stay open two extra hours, until 3 a.m.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1892: Tchaikovsky’s ballet “The Nutcracker” publicly premiered in St. Petersburg, Russia.

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