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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Spokane city inspectors uncovered a clever scam being pulled on the railroad companies. Men were getting free rides to British Columbia by posing as workers on the way to jobs.

It seems that certain mining and construction companies in British Columbia made a deal with the railroads to provide free fares to men recruited out of Spokane employment agencies. The conductors were supposed to recognize these men by a bundle they were all issued, nicknamed “the turnkey.” It was essentially a pack containing blankets and a few other necessities.

Some enterprising souls in Spokane started selling fake “turnkeys” – bundles stuffed with worthless rags. Men were buying these fake bundles for a quarter and then dumping them as soon as they got their free ride to Canada.

From the weather beat: Spokane was experiencing unusual August weather. The high for Aug. 30, 1912, was only 53 degrees, the coolest maximum temperature on record (at the time) for Spokane in August.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1954: Hurricane Carol hit the northeastern Atlantic states; Connecticut, Rhode Island and part of Massachusetts bore the brunt of the storm, which resulted in nearly 70 deaths.