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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

President William Howard Taft arrived by train in Spokane at 8:45 p.m. and addressed a crowd of 12,000 at the Interstate Fairgrounds.

The Spokesman-Review called it the “biggest reception” of Taft’s entire trip. Meanwhile, 10,000 more lined the streets to cheer the president’s motorcade as it wound from the Northern Pacific depot to the fairgrounds.

The Spokesman-Review somewhat cattily reported that Taft’s “jolly big face” was “perhaps redder and perhaps fleshier than when he was here two years ago.”

Yet in general the paper and the city were overflowing with goodwill and hospitality.

“Hello there, Bill!” shouted a woman from a fourth floor window on Riverside. The president looked up and tipped his hat to the woman.

He began his speech by noting that it was hard to make himself heard over “a 40-acre lot of people,” but he complimented Spokane on its explosive growth. He devoted the main portion of his talk to the subject of tariffs.

Then he hopped back on his train and headed for Tacoma – after being in Spokane a grand total of two hours and 15 minutes.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

2001: U.S. and British airstrikes started the war in Afghanistan.



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