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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

Wed., Oct. 6, 2010, midnight

From our archives, 100 years ago

Spokane succumbed to a serious case of aeroplane-mania when aviator J.C. “Bud” Mars demonstrated his Curtiss biplane at the Spokane Interstate Fair.

“The crowds fought with the police to get close to the machine,” said The Spokesman-Review. “They stormed, thundered their applause as he soared over their heads. … If the popular verdict is worth anything, Mars is the best card the Interstate Fair has ever provided.”

The reporter’s prose reached some impressive heights, as well.

“He soared into the blue empyrean for all the world like a majestic, yellow-winged eagle,” wrote the reporter. “… And let your mind grasp this idea, that this thing was a man, and not a bird, endowed by the Creator with the physical science of flying, and that this man rode a machine heavier than air, the weight of his engine, his plane and his body, aggregating more than 800 pounds.”

Mars also took a Spokane passenger on a short flight.

“Afraid? Not a bit of it,” said the passenger. “I saw that Mars knew just what he was doing, and I had just as much confidence in him as I would in an expert automobile chauffeur. It beats automobiling, too.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1927: The era of talking pictures arrived with the opening of “The Jazz Singer,” starring Al Jolson.

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