April 21, 2012 in City

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

By The Spokesman-Review

From our archives, 100 years ago

The Spokane County Democratic Convention erupted in “pandemonium” and “almost riotous scenes” between forces supporting rival candidates Champ Clark and Woodrow Wilson, according to The Spokesman-Review.

The most raucous scenes occurred when the convention chairman ruled that the vote would be held by secret ballot. A delegate named Fred Schade jumped up and demanded that it be a roll call vote.

Cries of “Shut up,” “Keep still, Schade” and “Throw him out” rang out through the hall.

The aisles were soon clogged with Clark delegates “fairly wild” over the secret ballot ruling. The convention became a “mass of confusion, with delegates shouting and calling.” 

Finally, the chairman called for a “standing vote” on Schade’s motion, and the Clark forces loudly demanded that they had won, but a precise count was impossible in the chaos. The chairman called for a secret ballot anyway, and the Clark forces were “red with rage.” 

As it turned out, Clark’s forces won the delegate vote anyway, although the opposition chanted “Stuffed ballot, stuffed ballot!”

Yet remarkably, said the reporter, no one came to blows.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1910: Author Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, died in Redding, Conn.

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