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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

A 37-horsepower Cadillac touring car set a new speed record: Spokane to Walla Walla and back in 11 hours.

The car, driven by the manager of the Eastman Motor Co., averaged a little over 27 miles per hour for the 326-mile round trip. The car reached the astonishing speed of 60 miles per hour at one stretch.

“No serious accident marred the trip, and the big car plowed through the sand beds around Lyons Ferry and over the rock beds near Sprague with wonderful endurance,” said one of the passengers, a Spokane Daily Chronicle reporter.

People along the route turned out to cheer on the fancy Cadillac.

“The streets of Washtucna were lined, and people were standing on the tops of buildings and box cars,” said the reporter.

The intrepid motorists dealt with a few mishaps. At one point, they drove hard into a sand bank, tearing away one fender. A broken spring slowed them down ten miles south of Sprague, but they were able to repair it. They also had to stop for a ferry crossing on the Snake River at Lyons Ferry.

Yet they pulled back into Spokane, convinced that they had set “a record that will not be beaten for some time.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1940: The quiz show that asked the “$64 question,” “Take It or Leave It,” premiered on CBS Radio.