January 10, 2012 in City

Jim Kershner’s This day in history » On the Web: spokesman.com/topics/local-history

By Correspondent
 

From our archives, 100 years ago

An official of Spokane’s city health department declared war on a serious threat to the morals of Spokane’s boys and girls: public dance halls.

He was convinced that they were full of unsavory characters.

“Only the other day a husband of 19 was sentenced to the reformatory for grand larceny,” said the official, in a speech to the Child Welfare League. “He would not be there if his young wife had not persuaded him to accompany her to public dances. Through these dances, he associated with loose companions and the associations made him a criminal.”

The only threat even more dire: restaurants that served liquor, especially noodle restaurants.

“From the public dance hall the next step is the noodle joint,” he thundered. “Then comes the drinking of intoxicants. Then what of the girls?”

Another member of the Child Welfare League said that restaurants are well-lighted, attractive and they serve drinks to boys and girls of high school age. He said these youngsters wouldn’t think of going to a dark and gloomy saloon, but “the young people are wild to go to restaurants, and when they go, they drink.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1971: “Masterpiece Theatre” premiered on PBS with host Alistair Cooke introducing the drama series “The First Churchills.”


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