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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Spokane City Commissioner D.C. Coates went on record as opposing the return of a “wide-open town” in Spokane. 

“Wide-open” in this context meant a town that allowed prostitution and unsavory saloons.

“It brings corruption and is a detriment to the town, and I am opposed to it whether it brings dollars and cents or not,” Coates said.

He alluded to an unnamed commissioner candidate who advocated an open town. He said that candidate would never be elected.

“We have a clean city; not as clean as it ought to be, or as clean as it will be if you give me a chance,” he said.

He said he was less concerned about saloons offering free lunches – that was just a ruse to get more business. He was more concerned about cafes that served liquor to women and young people. 

He proposed that all cafes that served liquor have a sign saying “Liquor Served In Here,”  “but not a boy or girl shall go past that barrier.”

From the baseball beat: Home Run Baker and the Philadelphia Athletics were playing the New York Giants in the World Series, and Spokane fans could watch the action – sort of – at the Spokane Theatre. 

Beginning at 11 a.m. each day, a device called the Star Mechanical Ball Player was in operation, simulating “all movements during the game.”