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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Spokane’s chief health officer issued an odd pronouncement: “Impure air or ‘canned atmosphere’ was the cause of 60 percent of the deaths in Spokane.”

“People close themselves up in hot rooms, with stifling air, and in this way get their systems weakened,” the health officer said.

He warned against rooms with low humidity or no humidity at all. He also warned against bedrooms that had “stagnant or impure air” near the ceiling. Pneumonia and tuberculosis would result, he said.

From the romance beat: Yet the most dangerous air of all was to be found in Elk River, Idaho. A young married man told Spokane authorities that there was “a sort of contagion in the air,” which had caused 10 wives to run away from their husbands.

Including his own. She “got stuck on a musician,” who played the piano and was a good entertainer, the man said. His wife deserted their 3-year-old son and followed the musician to Spokane. She was a good woman who never would have left him, except for the “contagion.” He was in Spokane trying to track her down.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1909: The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded. … 1940: The radio play “The Adventures of Superman” debuted, with Bud Collyer as the Man of Steel.