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

Sat., Jan. 29, 2011

From our archives, 100 years ago

Police cracked down on an epidemic of cocaine use by the city’s messenger boys. A number of the older messenger boys – in their 20s – had already been arrested. Police believed that the messenger companies were “reaping a harvest by the disposal and distribution of the drug,” and that the messengers themselves were increasingly getting the “snow” habit.

Police were determined “to stop it before it reaches the younger members” of the messenger companies. One 15-year-old was already hooked.

From the Chinese New Year beat: Spokane’s police chief reached a deal with Spokane’s “Celestial” (Chinese) community to allow a more unfettered celebration of the Chinese New Year. The chief was allowing firecrackers between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. during the celebration. “Bombs” and “cannons” were outlawed, but this deal was less restrictive than in previous years.

However, the chief banned the use of dogs in “pit-fights.” A year earlier, a rat “sunk his fangs” into a dog and killed it during a pit-fight, shocking everyone. Now, only rat-on-rat fighting would be allowed.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1919: The ratification of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which launched Prohibition, was certified by Acting Secretary of State Frank L. Polk.

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