May 29, 2011 in City

Jim Kershner’s This day in history

By Correspondent

From our archives, 100 years ago

The president of the Spokane Chamber of Commerce floated a modest proposal: Establish Spokane as the site of the summer capital.

As in: The summer capital of the United States.

With an apparent straight face, E.T. Coman offered to build President William Howard Taft a summertime residence – a virtual summer White House – on a beautiful natural park on one of the region’s lakes (exact lake to be determined).

Coman also offered to build a summer Capitol on the site, along with the presidential home.

What reasons did he give for believing that Spokane would be the “finest location in the country” for a summer capital?

He enumerated Spokane’s charms in a letter he intended to send to Taft: The summer climate is “incomparable,” the moderate elevation is “stimulating to a tired executive,” mosquitoes are rare, wildlife is abundant and the trout fishing is divine.

Somehow, Taft managed to resist Spokane’s charms.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1953: Mount Everest was conquered as Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tensing Norgay of Nepal became the first climbers to reach the summit.

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