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Jim Kershner’s This day in history » On the Web: spokesman.com/topics/local-history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Word arrived that one of Spokane’s early heroes – Ensign James Monaghan – was about to posthumously receive one of the Navy’s top honors. A new torpedo boat destroyer was to be named the USS Monaghan.

Monaghan’s daughter, Ellen Monaghan, was asked to go to Newport News, Va., in February 1911 to christen the destroyer at its launching.

Her father died in 1899 on the island of Samoa, defending his seriously wounded captain. Their ship had been sent to Samoa to quell warfare between island factions.

The USS Monaghan would eventually serve during World War I. Another destroyer would later carry the name during World War II.

From the censorship beat: Spokane’s Society for the Promotion of Social and Moral Hygiene declared that it would “investigate the character” of a play that a local troupe was planning to stage in a week.

Some members had already “severely criticized the play on moral grounds.” It was titled, “Three Weeks,” based on a book by Elinor Glyn, a notorious British author of steamy fiction.

A Spokane pastor was being sent to the dress rehearsal to check it out.

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