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Jim Kershner’s This Day in History

Wed., June 2, 2010

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From our archives, 100 years ago

Spokane was making plans to appoint a board of theater censors to examine every proposed play, vaudeville show and movie before it could be shown in Spokane.

Spokane’s theater scene ranged from “legitimate” theaters, which presented touring shows and other high-brow fare, to “rustle box” theaters, which offered private viewing boxes for burlesque shows. Citizens had complained about indecent songs and jokes being performed at some of these theaters.

The censor board would also tackle a new scourge: indecent images at penny arcades.

This censorship board was one of several solutions proposed by a new mayoral committee seeking to quash immorality, especially among youth. The committee also proposed that the city do a better job of lighting the city parks, which contained “certain spots which invite to secrecy.”

The name of this committee? The “Boy and Girl Problem” Committee.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1897: Mark Twain, 61, was quoted by the New York Journal as saying that “the report of my death was an exaggeration.” … 1953: Queen Elizabeth II of Britain was crowned in Westminster Abbey, 16 months after the death of her father, King George VI. … 1966: The U.S. space probe Surveyor 1 landed on the moon and began transmitting detailed photographs of the lunar surface.

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