Jim Kershner’s this day in history


From our archives, 100 years ago

A Mardi Gras Parade, featuring “a 700-foot serpent,” was scheduled to launch the Spokane Pow Wow, a big new community celebration.

The men of the Mystic Order of the Serpent, made up of Spanish-American War veterans, were promising the most spectacular parade finale ever.

“Special electric features make it a fascinating and creep-inducing spectacle,” the paper said. “Two enormous electric lights serve as eyes for the creature, and along its sinuous, wriggling body, colored lights have been strung and wired in such a way as to produce peculiarly startling effects when manipulated from the keyboard carried in the auto at the head of the monster. To accompany this cross between a beast, a fish and a midsummer night’s nightmare, a cortege of 150 cannibals and aborigines, costumed in native warpaint, will precede, accompany and follow the serpent, presenting along the line of march special dances and cabalistic evolutions and pantomimes.”

These “natives and aborigines” were presumably the war veterans in costume.

The serpent and its entourage was said to occupy four city blocks.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1939: The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum was dedicated in Cooperstown, N.Y.

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