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

From our archives, 100 years ago

Spokane claimed a religious milestone: the first Japanese-American man to join the Jesuit order.

Francis Masui, 21, who lived in Spokane, left for Los Gatos, Calif., with several other young men to “affiliate himself with the Catholic order as a brother.”

The Spokesman-Review said he had converted to Catholicism six years earlier and had since “been an exemplary Christian.”

The paper said this was of “historical significance” because of the troubled history between Japan and Catholicism. It said that Catholics in Japan were forced to worship secretly. Yet things were different among the Japanese immigrants in America.

“Of recent years, several Japanese have become Catholic converts, but Masui is the first in this country to enter the order,” said a front-page story.

From the music beat: Large crowds listened with “almost religious attention” to the New York Symphony, under the direction of Alexander Saslavsky, at Natatorium Park.

“It was rather surprising, and altogether gratifying, to find that the great master Wagner held the audience spell-bound and met with the greatest amount of appreciation,” wrote the paper’s music critic.

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