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Jim Kershner’s This Day in History

Mon., March 29, 2010, midnight

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From our archives, 100 years ago

A minor tree-planting controversy at North Central High School was symbolic of a far bigger controversy roiling Spokane and the nation in 1910: women’s suffrage.

A group of Spokane suffragists asked the Spokane School Board if they could plant an Arbor Day tree on the grounds of North Central, in honor of the late women’s rights heroine Susan B. Anthony.

The school board said they had no objection to that – but they did balk at a further request by the local suffragists.

The Spokane women, led by May Arkwright Hutton, wanted to stage a planting ceremony in which the student body would sing “the suffragists’ national anthem,” which apparently included a chant of “Votes for Women!”

So the school board wrote to Hutton and conveyed the board’s “regrets” that her ceremony could not be carried out.

Instead, the school decided to plant an Arbor Day tree in honor of the school’s first principal.

Women won the right to vote in 1920.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1951: Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage. (They were executed in June 1953.) … 1973: The last United States combat troops left South Vietnam, ending America’s direct military involvement in the Vietnam War.

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