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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

A new state law guaranteed that Medical Lake would continue to be the site of a state mental hospital. The law even appropriated $29,000 for additional land for the hospital.

This was accomplished through the efforts of the Spokane delegation. Some West Side lawmakers, unhappy with the location of the hospital, denounced the bill as “the greatest steal ever perpetrated in the state.”

Actually, in 1911, the Spokane Daily Chronicle did not call it a mental hospital. The paper referred to it, in what seems a shockingly insensitive phrase today, as “the home for the feeble-minded.”

From the music beat: Josef Hofmann, one of the greatest pianists in the world, enthralled a crowd of hundreds in a concert at the First Presbyterian Church in Spokane.

He played Liszt, Chopin, Bach, Beethoven and Schumann. When he was finished, the crowd “refused to leave the church until Hofmann came back to delight them with a thrilling Chopin waltz.”

A Chronicle reviewer praised his “common sense attitude,” which had “no hint of the long-haired effeminate type.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1796: Napoleon Bonaparte, married Josephine de Beauharnais. (The couple later divorced.)

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