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Jim Kershner’s This day in history » On the Web:

Sat., Jan. 1, 2011

From our archives, 100 years ago

An ear-splitting, booze-soaked party in downtown Spokane ushered in 1911.

“Squads of young men paraded the streets with cow bells tied to their legs and arms,” reported The Spokesman-Review.

Riverside Avenue was jammed “to the clock posts” with revelers, while the districts closer to the railroad tracks had their own way of celebrating.

“Along Front and Main avenues, the festivities resolved into drinking bouts in many of the saloons, which were packed to the doors with men of the laboring and roving classes,” said a reporter. “The Chinese quarters gave vent to their feelings at midnight by firing cannon crackers.”

A sober-minded squad of roaming ministers apparently had little effect on the revelry.

One young woman, “not out of her teens,” got dead-drunk at the Silver Grill and had to be carried out. A waiter said the “little thing” was pouring down gin rickeys, which will knock down a mule.

Despite all of this, saloon proprietors complained that it was “the quietest New Year’s Eve in Spokane’s history.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1863: President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that slaves in rebel states were free. … 1959: Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries overthrew Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista.

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