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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

Hundreds of Methodist ministers converged on Spokane for the church’s regional conference, but one of them didn’t last very long. He was dismissed by a disciplinary committee.

His offense? He “both advocated dancing and participated in the amusement.”

The Methodist Episcopal Church in 1911 was opposed to “worldly amusements,” such as card-playing, dancing and even theater-going.

George B. Cole, a first-year minister from Whitman College in Walla Walla, was hauled before the committee and asked to explain himself. He surprised the other ministers by boldly stating that his conscience was clear and that he “didn’t see any harm” in dancing.

From the love and marriage beat: A long-distance romance had a happy conclusion in Spokane after a 34-year-old Italian woman “eluded” immigration officials in New York.

For 18 years, her “love had never waned” for her fiance, who worked in the Hillyard railroad shops. She finally was able to afford the trip from Calabria but was quarantined in New York because of a cholera epidemic in southern Italy.

But she managed to “escape from the immigration sheds.” Wedding bells rang in Spokane four days later.



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