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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

From our archives, 50 years ago

The Spokane Coliseum was preparing to host one of the biggest events of 1961, the Inland Empire Show.

This was a two-week event that combined elements of a circus with a Vegas-style stage show.

Caged African lions, cougars, wildcats and badgers were loaded into one exhibit room. Another area was being fitted with an archery range and a trout tank.

The stage shows were to be headlined by the Ink Spots. The rest of the bill had an Ed Sullivan-style range: the Jim Baker Orchestra, Aldo Christiani and his precision-trained Doberman Pinschers, Jimmy Troy (“comedy king of the air”) and Ursula & Gus, Balancing Virtuosos.

From the restaurant beat: Spokane’s restaurants were gearing up for Mother’s Day. The Mother’s Day specials included a Hawaiian Luau at the Ridpath Roof, complete with waitresses in sarongs and grass skirts.

If you wanted a little European glamour, you could take Mom to the Matador Room at the Davenport Hotel, offering “the charm of old world Spain,” or to Knud’s Copper Grill & Copenhagen Dining Room, featuring “roast Danish duckling with apple and prune stuffing.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1937: Britain’s King George VI was crowned at Westminster Abbey.