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Jim Kershner’s This Day in History

Tue., May 4, 2010, midnight

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From our archives, 100 years ago

An 18-vote margin in an election 100 years ago determined the way Spokane looks today.

A $1 million parks bond issue surpassed its necessary 60 percent majority – barely – paving the way for a huge new parks system that created many of the city’s open spaces.

The parks bond plan was based, in part, on a sweeping design by the Olmsted Bros., a nationally renowned landscape architecture firm.

The bonds would eventually purchase the land that would become Lincoln Park, the Finch Arboretum, Minnehaha Rocks, Palisades Park, Downriver Golf Course, Downriver Park Conservation Land, High Bridge Park, Indian Canyon Park, Indian Canyon Golf Course, Qualchan Hills Park, and Hangman Park – to name just a few.

From the health file: The fine for spitting on the sidewalks in Spokane was only $1, compared to $25 in New York. Some local citizens were pushing for a bigger fine, not only for reasons of etiquette.

People feared that tuberculosis was spread by spitting.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1961: Astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr. became America’s first space traveler as he made a 15-minute sub-orbital flight in a capsule launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

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