Local news

Jim Kershner’s This Day in History

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From our archives, 100 years ago

Farmers in Hartline, Wash., sent a representative to Virginia on a controversial mission: To recruit black families to work on the region’s wheat farms.

Farmers throughout the region were suffering from a chronic shortage of labor. It took plenty of manpower to grow and harvest wheat in this pre-combine era.

Not everyone in the Hartline vicinity was in favor of the plan. The newspaper reported that “people for miles around” threatened to refuse to let the black families stay. They objected, they said, because there is “no church or school for colored people in the vicinity of Hartline.”

From the editorial page: Spokane was preparing to vote on a $1 million parks bond issue for a bold new parks system designed by the prestigious Olmsted Brothers firm. The Spokesman-Review editorial page was firmly in favor of the bond issue and had an answer for money- minded citizens who say they’d rather spend money on something “that counts.”

Good parks, said the paper, inevitably raise property values for everybody.

The bond would eventually pass, laying the basis for today’s park system.

Also on this date

1918: Congress approved daylight- saving time. … 2003: President George W. Bush ordered the start of war against Iraq. (It was early March 20 in Iraq.)

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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