Local news

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

A.W. Swenson said his former boss, Spokane city commissioner D.C. Coates, was defeated at the polls earlier in the week because of opposition from the city’s “saloon men.”

Swenson, for one, was fed up with it.

“I am sick and tired of knowing, as I do, that every time laboring men try to elect a candidate representing their class, the saloon men – who owe their sustenance to the working men – ally themselves with the big business and the corporations to defeat the laborers’ champion,” Swenson said.

He planned to move to Seattle and devote the next two years to the cause of prohibition, in order to minimize the saloonkeepers’ “pernicious influence.”

“Before I am through, I shall make these men engaged in liquor traffic decent, producing members of society by putting them all on the end of a No. 2 shovel,” Swenson declared.

He predicted that the fed-up people of the state would enact prohibition within two years. 

He was correct. Washington voted for a statewide prohibition law a year later – and several years before national Prohibition took effect.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1990: About one-fifth of the Universal Studios backlot in Southern California was destroyed in an arson fire.



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