Jim Kershner’s This day in history


From our archives, 100 years ago

A “fine, clean-built young fellow” named William Cunningham had just signed the papers to enlist in the U.S. Marines.

Suddenly, a “pretty young woman” burst in the door of the Spokane recruiting office and asked Cunningham what he was doing. He said he was enlisting in the Marines. She told him to cancel it. He said it was too late.

She said that if he didn’t cancel it, she would. So she marched over to the recruiter, Sgt. Chamberlain, and ordered him to forget about it. She was Cunningham’s sweetheart, and she did not want him to enlist.

He told her that, in essence, it was not her decision to make.

“She wept and sobbed and seemed so heartbroken that, after a while – well, I weakened, tore up the papers and told him to go,” said the sergeant.

She “marched” Cunningham out of the office with a triumphant smile.

But just when he was almost out the door, Cunningham turned and whispered, “I’ll be back in two or three weeks.”

Also on this date

From the Associated Press

1956: President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a measure making “In God We Trust” the national motto, replacing “E Pluribus Unum” (“Out of many, one”). … 1965: President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Medicare bill, which went into effect the following year.

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