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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Spokane came to a standstill for the funeral of assassinated former acting police chief John T. Sullivan.

At the request of the Spokane mayor, all streetcars came to a “dead stop at 10:30 a.m.” and all business houses were closed from 10:30 a.m. until 11 a.m.

Sullivan had been shot on Jan. 5, 1911, as he sat at the window of his home, reading a newspaper.

The Spokesman-Review wrote a long and heartfelt eulogy to Sullivan on its editorial page. It noted that Sullivan had once expressed the wish that, at the end of his police career, he would be able “to say that I never killed a man and never took a dishonest dollar.”

“He has his heart’s desire,” wrote the S-R. “Spokane’s martyr to civic duty, the sacrificial victim of the spirit of lawlessness, is acclaimed by all as one whose hands were forever clean from the stain of blood and the taint of corruption.”

Police continued to round up suspects for questioning, but were doing so in secret for fear that the “highly wrought up” public would be provoked to “deeds of violence.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1815: U.S. forces led by Gen. Andrew Jackson defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans, the last of the War of 1812. … 1964: President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “War on Poverty” in his State of the Union address.

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