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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

The Café St. Germain, one of Spokane’s most popular and elegant restaurants, was advertising its big New Year’s Eve celebration, featuring music by Wagner’s Orchestra and a “table d’hote 75 cent dinner.” The cafe had recently doubled its seating capacity by purchasing an adjoining room.

However, The Spokesman-Review’s editorial page said it hoped Spokane revelers would show some restraint on New Year’s Eve. It called for “good order and decency.”

The paper wasn’t against having some fun.

“In fact, within bounds, this yearly loosening up is not without its advantages,” said the paper. “Barring silly excesses and public disorder, it does no community any particular harm to take a joyous holiday, with the winter accompaniments of lights, music, good cheer and the fellowship of soul that goes therewith.”

However, it noted with approval that Butte was seeking to dampen down New Year’s Eve disorder by ordering all of the music in cafes to cease at 1 a.m.

Meanwhile, an unrelated story in the paper foreshadowed a trend that would soon affect all manner of public revelry. The story mentioned that 78 percent of all jurisdictions in the state of Washington were already “dry” – i.e., under prohibition laws.

Complete statewide prohibition would arrive in 1916, followed three years later by Prohibition on a national scale.