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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

A conference in Lewiston was devoted to a subject of vast importance to the Inland Northwest: The opening of the Columbia and Snake rivers to year-round steamboat navigation.

According to steamboat captains and government engineers, only a few improvements were necessary to opening the rivers year-round.

One of the key projects was the Dalles/Celilo Canal, scheduled to be completed in 1915. The Columbia-Snake River Waterways Association (the name of the group formed in Lewiston), “earnestly advocated” that appropriations be made to complete the project as soon as possible.

“When it is completed, the vast empire as far as Priest Rapids on the Columbia, and during the greater part of the year the Snake River to Pittsburg landing, over 200 miles, will be opened to steamboat navigation to the ocean,” said Whitman College professor W.D. Lyman.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1927: The era of talking pictures arrived with the opening of “The Jazz Singer,” starring Al Jolson, a movie that featured both silent and sound-synchronized sequences. … 1979: Pope John Paul II, on a week-long U.S. tour, became the first pontiff to visit the White House, where he was received by President Jimmy Carter.