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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

One of Spokane’s most prominent Irishmen was not wearing any green on St. Patrick’s Day 1913.

“Sure, I don’t need to wear the good old shamrock,” said Spokane police Officer Dan Phelan, a native of Ireland. “Just to look at me is enough to tell that I am from the good old Emerald Isle, and not an Italian. Faith, I feel better this St. Patrick’s Day than I ever did before. You see, I caught a deserter from the Army last Saturday, and I start to Seattle with him tonight.”

Meanwhile, the Spokane Daily Chronicle’s editorial page noted that Spokane’s city directory listed 100 Murrays, 85 Kellys, 61 Sullivans and a variety of Sweeneys, O’Briens, Hogans, Monaghans and many other Irish monikers.

“Should not Spokane, then, celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?” asked the editorial. “Spokane, who owes to the little green land so many of her millionaires and her janitors, her railway builders and her hodcarriers, her bankers and her cottagers, her doctors, lawyers, laborers, teachers, men and women in every line of work that calls for brains or muscles or wit or risk or skill?”

The Chronicle urged the green flags to wave, “the bright badges to glisten and the old songs to fill the air.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

A.D. 461: St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, died in Saul, County Down.