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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Police were cracking down in 1910 on a popular summertime pastime on Hangman Creek: nude swimming.

Neighbors overlooking the lower part of Hangman (Latah) Creek complained that numerous “urchins” had taken to “discarding even the scanty apparel they had been wearing.”

“It is simply terrible the way those boys are going in the water,” one woman told police. “They go right in without anything on at all, and there are so many of them, we don’t know what to do.”

From the court beat: One of “the most unusual scenes in the history of the court” played out in the middle of a trial of a 15-year-old girl on charges of delinquency.

She stood up in the middle of the courtroom, pointed her finger at a spectator, and said, “Yes, he is the man who first wronged me!”

The spectator was a 50-year-old man. He had hired the lawyer to defend the girl but until that point did not seem to be otherwise involved in the case.

Police arrested the man and put him in jail while they investigated the girl’s claim. Police then discovered he had been a fugitive for two years on similar charges. He ran a boarding house where the girl lived.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1965: President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Medicare bill.

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Before the falls: Spokane and the history of river cities

The falls are beautiful, they’re powerful and they’re the reason for the city. Spokane is one of a small number of American cities that have falling water in their hearts, and it’s no accident. The reasons for a city are many, but chief among them is water – for drinking, for transportation, for industry and, most recently, for beauty.