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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

From our archives, 50 years ago

Let’s take a look at the way Spokane was entertaining itself in 1960:

• Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller, “Psycho,” was a huge hit in Spokane. It was being held over for a third week.

• The Spokane Civic Theatre was getting ready to open its season with a famous guest star: Hollwood and Broadway character actor Billy Gilbert. He was set to star in a comedy called “I Like It Here.”

Gilbert was a 235-pound actor, famous for movies such as “His Girl Friday,” “The Great Dictator,” “Destry Rides Again” and for providing the sneeze for Sneezy in “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

• Two new acts had been booked into the Spokane Coliseum: Danish pianist and comedian Victor Borge (“the funniest man in the world,” said an ad) and singer Johnny Mathis (“the nation’s singing sensation”).

• Three other films, now regarded as classics, were playing in Spokane: “Ben Hur,” starring Charlton Heston, “Mr. Roberts,” starring Henry Fonda and Jack Lemmon, and “The Searchers” starring John Wayne.

• At least one nonclassic was also playing: “Illicit Love” (adults only).

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1880: Author and journalist H.L. Mencken was born in Baltimore.

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