Jim Kershner’s This day in history » On the Web: spokesman.com/topics/local-history
From our archives, 100 years ago
Spokane police were nervous about what they called “the gang spirit” among local boys.
The latest offenders: The Pirate Gang, about a dozen boys between the ages of 10 and 15 years old, who were discovered lurking in their gang “hangout,” a small room in the loft of a barn.
Some adults had expressed alarm about the Pirates’ presence in the neighborhood, near 615 Ermina Ave. So an officer approached the only entrance to the hangout, a ladder leading to a small cubbyhole. As he climbed up, the club members scampered out a “secret exit” and onto the roof of a nearby shed, from which “most of them jumped and disappeared in the darkness.”
The officer nabbed only six of the boys. They spilled the beans about the gang’s initiation rites, which they referred to as “the spanker” and the “water spray,” although, sadly for history, few details were provided.
The gang’s activities? “Playing cards, smoking and telling suggestive stories.”
The officer let the boys go on the condition they never return to their lair.
Also on this date
From the Associated Press
1861: Union Gen. John C. Fremont instituted martial law in Missouri and declared slaves there to be free. (However, Fremont’s emancipation order was countermanded by President Abraham Lincoln.)