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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

Sun., Feb. 6, 2011, midnight

From our archives, 100 years ago

Spokane police swooped down on an unlikely group of miscreants: the members of a literary discussion club.

Why? Because the club meetings were held on Sundays and always ended with a dance. The police chief had recently announced a crackdown on Sunday dances, which were apparently in violation of the Sunday-closing laws.

The police warned the club to “stop the merriment.” But when the members refused, police arrested the club secretary and doorkeeper.

The discussion club was part of Spokane’s Scandinavian Society.

The secretary said the club had 300 members, including the most prominent members of the Scandinavian community. He said the club had a library, conducted debates, and then had a social hour with dancing.

They hardly thought of their meetings as wild debauchery. The secretary said their meetings were “educational, instructive and social,” in that order.

From the social club beat: On the same day, the city’s Italian community announced plans to form the Italian-American Club, with an initial membership of 700.

They said its purpose would be to “aid its members in becoming better American citizens.”

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