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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

From our archives,

100 years ago

A Spokane haberdasher successfully pursued, wooed and won the hand of what the newspaper called a New York “prima donna.”

But not exactly an operatic prima donna. The man first saw her at Spokane’s Orpheum Theater starring in a vaudeville “girl act” – specifically, a “bathing girls act.” He fell in love from afar and later that week figured out a way to meet her backstage.

Then, when her vaudeville act hit the road, he followed the 20-year-old “actress” from city to city.

The plan worked. The couple announced their engagement in New York and was planning a September wedding.

From the forest fire beat: A short news item noted that the Coeur d’Alene region had received four “rail velocipedes” (handcars) to aid in suppressing forest fires started by sparks from locomotives.

The handcars were to be based in Wallace, Avery, Grand Forks and Prichard.

Two months later, the biggest fire in the region’s history would sweep through that area – possibly aided by sparks from locomotives.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1897: The government signed a treaty of annexation with Hawaii. … 1903: Ford Motor Co. was incorporated.

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