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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

Sun., March 20, 2011

From our archives, 100 years ago

Here’s a problem that had Spokane all aflutter: naked hobos.

The hobos living under the Great Northern trestle near Natatorium Park were making a practice of going down to the river, stripping and doing their laundry.

While hobo cleanliness was considered a good thing, the problem was that they were doing their naked laundry in plain view of the nearby houses.

A police officer was dispatched to order the hobos to put their clothes back on, no matter how damp.

From the railroad accident file: George B. Loucks, 42, the conductor of the Soo-Spokane passenger train, was mangled and killed by his own train.

He stepped off his train at the Tekoa platform while it was still slowly moving, as was his usual practice. However, his foot landed on a “match stem,” which rolled and caused him to stagger backward into his train. A journal box, extending from a wheel hub, hit him and knocked him onto the rails. He was tangled in the brake rigging and dragged 50 feet.

Loucks was “one of the most popular railroad men in the Northwest.”

Also on this date

From the Associated Press

1956: Union workers ended a 156-day strike at Westinghouse Electric Corp. … 1969: John Lennon married Yoko Ono in Gibraltar.

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