Jim Kershner’s This Day in History


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From our archives, 100 years ago

Today was the day Coeur d’Alene went dry.

Kootenai County’s own version of prohibition went into effect on May 1, 1910. This was all part of the “local option” movement, which gave cities or counties the option to vote to ban alcohol sales. Kootenai County had voted “dry” in a hard-fought election the previous November.

This final night of legal carousing was particularly wild, since saloons were having “close-out sales.”

“Casks of wine and barrels of beer were hoisted to the polished tops of the bars and volunteer bartenders worked the spigots,” reported a correspondent.

Most of the county’s nearly 60 saloons had already closed weeks or months before in anticipation of the law, but a number operated right up until midnight. In Coeur d’Alene, the holdouts included the Manitou, the Coney Island, the Idaho Hotel and Carlson & Johnson. Elsewhere in the county, two saloons at St. Joe, three at St. Maries and one at Fernwood stayed open until the deadline.

This particular dry period didn’t last long. Voters repealed the law in 1911.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1707: Union between England and Scotland goes into effect under name Great Britain. … 1948: The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, known as North Korea, is proclaimed.

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