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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

An International Dry Farming Congress may not sound too scintillating today, but in 1910, it was a huge event for Spokane. Even a couple of U.S. presidents got involved – remotely.

Hundreds of people arrived for the weeklong convention, which was being held in conjunction with the Spokane Interstate Fair.

What was the event all about? To share modern agricultural methods for arid areas – a subject of intense interest to Eastern Washington farmers.

Dry farming delegates were pouring in from Colorado, the Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Montana. Meanwhile, international delegates were arriving from Russia, Austria-Hungary, Great Britain, France, Algeria and Australia.

The opening ceremonies were highlighted by the singing of “America” by 200 Spokane students. Washington Gov. Marion E. Hay was on hand to greet the delegates.

President William Howard Taft made the formal opening declaration, “over direct wire from Washington.” Former President Theodore Roosevelt also wired his “good wishes,” which provoked a 60-second ovation.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1990: West Germany and East Germany ended 45 years of postwar division, declaring the creation of a reunified country.

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