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Jim Kershner’s This Day in History

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From our archives: 50 years ago

Spokane voted in a new city government – the city manager form of government – and soundly rejected a business and occupation tax.

The tax was trounced by a 4-to-1 margin. The tax had been passed by the City Council but had been suspended pending this referendum. Spokane, to this day, does not have a business and occupation tax.

The city manager form of government was approved by a 3-2 vote and was sold to voters on the promise it would provide better, more professional management. The city had operated with a city commissioner form of government for 50 years.

This new government required a new round of elections to elect a mayor and council, so it did not take effect for six months.

The city manager form of government remained in place until 1999, when voters approved strong-mayor form of government.

Also on this date

1916: Mexican raiders led by Pancho Villa attacked Columbus, N.M., killing 18 Americans. … 1954: CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow critically reviewed Wisconsin Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy’s anti-communism campaign. … 1959: Mattel’s Barbie doll made its public debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

Top stories in Spokane

Freeman students march in unity to honor memory of slain classmate Sam Strahan

UPDATED: 9:38 p.m.

Drenched in sunshine and a sharp spring wind, more than 70 students marched Friday out of Freeman High School behind a “Freeman Strong” banner to the same football field where they sheltered in fear last September following the shooting that killed 15-year-old Sam Strahan and injured three girls.