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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

The posh Inland Club of Spokane had an eccentric idea of what constituted St. Patrick’s Day entertainment.

In the middle of a speech during its St. Patrick’s banquet, a “stout Swedish lumberjack” staggered into the room, got in a fight with the waiters and lurched into a table full of dishes, spilling them on the floor.

The indignant banquet guests began berating the Swede for his clumsiness. Only then did they realize it was George Griebler, a club member and manager of a local piano store, in disguise.

Griebler then proceeded to deliver a humorous monologue, in exaggerated Swedish dialect, and a Swedish song.

Yes, Scandinavian humor on St. Patrick’s Day. At least it had the element of surprise. The crowd roared with laughter.

The program later included more traditional St. Patrick’s entertainment, with a trio performing “The Shamrock, the Thistle and the Rose.” A tenor sang “Killarney, My Home Over the Sea,” and Ed O’Callaghan performed a song and dance act in traditional Irish costume.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

461 or 493 (depending on sources): St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, died in Saul. … 1762: New York’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place.

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