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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

Wed., Jan. 5, 2011, midnight

From our archives, 100 years ago

Women recently won the vote in Washington, yet some people were still finding it hard to accept.

Spokane’s city clerk (male) declared that the ballot was a “new toy for women” which they “don’t want to play with anymore.”

He based his speculation on the voter registration figures for the new year, which were light on women registrants.

The trouble was, the new year was only 5 days old. The clerk would soon be proven wrong.

Meanwhile, another big voice weighed in. A reporter asked the wonderfully named Madame Luisa Tettrazini – “the greatest coloratura singer in the world” in Spokane for a concert – what she thought about women being involved in politics.

“A woman’s place is in her home,” declared Madame Tettrazini, in her Italian accent. “It is the duty of every woman to furnish a home for her husband and family.”

This, from an opera singer who spent most of her time traveling all over the world.

From the political beat: Spokane was buzzing over the news that former President Teddy Roosevelt had accepted an invitation to speak in Spokane in April 1911. Details were pending.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1781: A British expedition led by Benedict Arnold burned Richmond, Va.

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