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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

Wed., Dec. 29, 2010

From our archives, 100 years ago

Spokane voters overwhelmingly adopted a new city charter calling for a city-commissioner form of government.

This was considered a step toward government reform, at a time when many cities were dominated by powerful political patronage “machines.”

The Spokesman-Review hinted that the main opposition to the new charter had come from “favored contractors and their allies.”

The editorial page weighed in with a triumphant message, saying that the vote is evidence that the city is “righteously determined on a clean, economical administration” that will “make Spokane not only one of the great commercial cities of the Northwest, but a community of homedwellers second to none in its high moral and civic character.”

Women voters were credited with giving this issue such a high approval margin. This was the first city election in which women were allowed to vote.

The commission form of government lasted until 1960 when a city-manager form of government was voted in – also under the banner of reform.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1890: The Wounded Knee massacre took place in South Dakota as an estimated 300 Sioux Indians were killed by U.S. troops sent to disarm them.

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