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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

Tue., Nov. 9, 2010, midnight

From our archives, 50 years ago

The 1960 presidential election dominated the news: Democrat John F. Kennedy had just won a squeaker over Republican Richard M. Nixon.

Spokane – and the entire state of Washington – didn’t exactly contribute to Kennedy’s election. Nixon carried Washington by about 2 percentage points. Nixon carried Spokane County by about the same margin.

The state did re-elect Democrat Albert D. Rosellini, although Spokane County went narrowly for his Republican opponent, Lloyd J. Andrews.

Some 1960 issues might seem familiar to today’s voters. One statewide initiative called for loosening up the state’s liquor laws. Voters rejected it.

One anecdote illustrates the relatively limited outlets for news that existed in 1960. The Spokane Daily Chronicle received a call from a boy the morning after the election.

“Can you tell me who is president?” asked the boy. “My mother wouldn’t let me stay up and watch last night.”

From the party beat: Spokane police said they were cracking down on card games, bingo games and stag parties. An Elks Club spokesman said the ruling was like “a bolt out of the blue.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1872: Fire destroyed nearly 800 buildings in Boston.

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