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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

The paper took a poll of Spokane pastors on the following issue:

Should churches allow mothers to check their babies at the door?

The question referred to a practice in which mothers dropped off their babies at the church nursery so they could “enjoy the sermon in peace.” It had become common in Eastern churches. Some pastors believed it was a good idea and would encourage more mothers to attend church.

Other pastors thought it was a pernicious fad, one that was “not appreciated by the average mother” and of “no benefit to the baby itself.” Many pastors said babies in the congregation were “no trouble at all.”

One pastor had a particularly alarmist objection to the practice. He said some parents might “check their babies at the door and then go joy-riding.”

He claimed he had heard of exactly such a thing happening in Pennsylvania. The parents didn’t show up to retrieve the baby until midnight.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1913: More than 5,000 suffragists marched down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., a day before the presidential inauguration of Woodrow Wilson. … 1943: In London’s East End, 173 people died in a crush of bodies at the Bethnal Green tube station, which was being used as a wartime air raid shelter.