June 21, 2011 in City

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

By The Spokesman-Review

From our archives, 100 years ago

A former Spokane police officer was convicted in federal court of “white slavery,” meaning prostitution. He had been accused of sending a 17-year-old Spokane girl to a Missoula bawdy house.

The judge sentenced the officer to three years at McNeil Island and then had some harsh words for him.

“I do not know what we are coming to,” said the judge, “if mothers will permit their daughters to roam the streets at will and they are seduced and debauched by an officer of the law.”

From the beer beat: A number of Spokane beer drinkers were complaining about a potentially paralyzing problem: strychnine-contaminated beer.

They claimed that brewers were replacing the hops in the beer with strychnine-laced rice.

The men, described as “mostly local Germans,” claimed that the strychnine affected their legs.

“At first I told them that it was merely the result of intoxication from too much beer drinking,” said the city health officer. But he said that he would investigate, just to make sure.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1788: The U.S. Constitution went into effect as New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify it. … 1989: The Supreme Court ruled that burning the American flag as political protest was protected by the First Amendment.

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