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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Socialist leader Eugene V. Debs arrived in Spokane to speak to a packed house at the State Armory in 1910.

Debs was a former presidential candidate for the Socialist Party and apparently a popular figure in Spokane. He was greeted with cheers and applause.

One part of his platform doesn’t sound particularly radical today: Votes for women.

“I heartily appreciate the amendment that proposes to enfranchise the women of Washington,” said Debs. “Each vote against it is a protest against progress. There are those who are frightened at the idea of votes for women.”

From the Big Burn beat: One-third of the Coeur d’Alene forest went up in smoke during the 1910 Big Burn – that was the preliminary estimate made by the superintendent of the forest reserve (what we now call the Coeur d’Alene National Forest).

He also estimated that one-fourth of the timber in the reserve was destroyed – the discrepancy arising from the varying density of timber in different areas. The total amount of burned timber: 2.5 billion feet.

The supervisor said that he hoped to salvage some of that burned timber with extensive salvage operations, which were already under way.