Jim Kershner’s this day in history
From our archives, 100 years ago
The Spokane Daily Chronicle editorial page offered its plan for preventing “crooks, sharpers, touts, thieves and thugs” from overrunning Spokane as summer approached: Run them out of town.
The headline on the editorial read: “Make This the Worst Campground in All the West for Thugs and Thieves for the Next Sixty Days.”
“Spring days are moving days for the lawless,” the editorial said. “A city in the path of five transcontinental railways cannot expect these pilgrims to pass by without a pause.”
The editors said criminals would be drawn by the summer horse-racing season. These types of people were responsible for an epidemic of “thefts, grafts, burglaries and occasional strong-arm work, holdups or even murder.”
“No effort should be spared to capture and punish the criminals; it is equally plain that no effort should be spared to round them up before there is a chance for crime,” the editorial said.
The editors justified this rather dubious pre-emptive strategy on the grounds that there would be many law-abiding citizens visiting the city in the summer, and it’s a “poor host indeed who does not protect his guests to the limit of his power.”
Also on this date
(From the Associated Press)
1993: The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum was dedicated in Washington, D.C., to honor victims of Nazi extermination.