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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

From our archives, 75 years ago

More than 2,000 people showed up at a big outdoor tent just east of the city on Appleway Boulevard to see the latest 1935 fad: The Dance Marathon.

Actually, this event was dubbed a “walkathon,” during which 30 couples and two solo contestants competed to see who could stay on their feet the longest in a combination of dancing and walking. The winners would get a cash prize.

The Spokesman-Review noted that the show’s announcer, Tiny Epperson, was “six feet tall and five feet wide, weighing 400 pounds on the hoof,” outweighing one contestant by 300 pounds.

From the employment beat: Jobs were hard to come by in Spokane in 1935. So when the city announced that it needed a new assistant sanitary inspector, 117 applied for the job.

Of those, 44 applicants passed the exam required for the job, which paid $117 a month.

From the pension beat: Things were looking up for a certain Miss Mary Ann Miller, age 81.

She became the first woman in Spokane County to receive an “old-age pension check,” apparently a state precursor to Social Security.

The amount? $25.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1977: A blackout lasting 25 hours hit the New York City area.

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