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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

Thu., Sept. 16, 2010

From our archives, 100 years ago

The Spokane Daily Chronicle was crowing over 1910 U.S. Census figures showing that Spokane had leapt in 10 years from the 106th biggest city in the U.S. to somewhere around the 48th or 50th.

The paper could only estimate, because official figures for Spokane were delayed. Spokane’s 1910 census numbers were so eye-popping that census authorities were rechecking them.

Yet the figures already released for the other cities in the country made it clear that Spokane was poised to leapfrog over more than 50 of its “growing rivals.”

Spokane’s official 1910 population would eventually come in at 104,402, enough to make Spokane the 48th biggest city in the U.S. Its population had tripled in a decade.

Spokane’s boosters had no way of knowing that the boom was already over. Over the next 10 years, the city’s population would grow by only 35 people. In 1920, Spokane slipped to No. 66 on the list.

And today? It’s around No. 104, not too far from where it ranked in 1900.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1908: General Motors was founded in Flint, Mich., by William C. Durant. … 1910: Bessica Medlar Raiche of Mineola, N.Y., made the first accredited solo airplane flight by a woman in the U.S.

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