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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

From our archives, 75 years ago

Little girls all over Spokane were entering the “Find Spokane’s Shirley Temple Contest.”

The Palace department store and the Fox Theater sponsored the contest, divided into two divisions:

• Division One: “For girls who most nearly resemble Shirley Temple in appearance (no talent ability required).”

• Division Two: “For girls who resemble Shirley Temple and who demonstrate the greatest ability of dancing or singing.”

All contestants were asked to show up at the Fox Theater the following Saturday, where they would all be loaned a “Shirley Temple Frock,” a new dress line endorsed by America’s favorite 8-year-old movie star.

Those in Division One would then line up on the stage and show off their dimples.

Those in the talent division would show off their singing and tap-dancing.

Spokane mayor Arthur Burch, the Chronicle drama critic Murlin B. Spencer, and dance instructor Caris Sharp Riley were the judges.

And the eventual winners? Joanna Jonko, Mary Swandy and Muriel Cunningham each won a Shirley Temple Frock for winning Division One. Doris Barta, the sole winner of Division Two, won a new Grunow radio.



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