Arrow-right Camera
News >  Spokane

Jim Kershner’s This day in history

From our archives, 75 years ago

The subject of “relief” – which today we would call welfare or unemployment benefits – was urgent in Depression-battered Spokane.

An unemployed man was standing trial for disorderly conduct after he refused to leave a Spokane “relief depot.” He said he was desperate and needed “an emergency order” to feed his family of eight. He caused a disturbance when no one would give it to him.

He and another Spokane woman on relief testified that “relief orders for food were so meager that many families are virtually starving.” The woman said that two patrolmen came to her house recently and found that the only food she had for her family of four was a “half-eaten rutabaga.” The officers gave her a dollar to buy food.

The judge continued the case for further study but added that he had no authority to increase relief allotments.

In a related story, Harry Hopkins, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s work-relief director, said the government was planning to end “direct relief” by Dec. 1 and replace it with a massive jobs program.

Hopkins said the government planned to create 3.5 million jobs by the end of November, making relief unnecessary.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1945: The official charter of the United Nations took effect.