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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

Wed., July 21, 2010

From our archives, 100 years ago

An actor and playwright named J.C. Nugent railed against the modern fad of allowing “suggestive” and “vulgar” lines to creep into plays and vaudeville acts.

Nugent declared that in the 50 plays he had written, he never allowed “one suggestive line.” Nugent was in Spokane’s Orpheum Theater in his own play, “The Squarer.”

“The stage,” he told reporters, is no place “to remind the average man or woman” that these “ills of society exist.” He referred to them as “cancers and sores.”

And what was Nugent’s own theatrical specialty?

He was famous for portraying a “bibulous society man,” i.e., a drunk.

He said that was OK because he did so “to fit a moral.”

From the weather beat: The local weather bureau reported that the previous 10 days had been the second-warmest on record for Spokane. Even more ominously, Spokane was nearly 5 inches below normal for rainfall – “one of the worst drouths on record, under a brazen sun.”

Conditions for a cataclysmic forest fire were building.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1930: President Herbert Hoover signed an executive order establishing the Veterans Administration (later the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs).

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