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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Thu., Oct. 10, 2013, midnight

From our archives, 100 years ago

The Spokane Daily Chronicle was present at an impassioned public meeting “that will go down as a red-letter day in the history of the city.”

“It had all of the elements of greatness,” the Chronicle said. “Practically everything was discussed, from pathos to politics, from the slit skirt to the public service commission, and from baby cabs to municipal ownership.”

What, exactly, was the subject of this momentous meeting? The location of Spokane’s street car stops.

Yes, apparently the issue of the “near-side stop” aroused a great deal of passion, especially among women riders. Apparently “near-side stop” simply meant that street cars would take on or discharge passengers at the beginning of an intersection instead of continuing on across the intersection and stopping at the far side. 

The 200 women who protested about the near-side stop said it was unsafe and difficult for them to get to with babes in arms.

They also protested about the high steps on some street cars, which caused women “to show their legs up to their knees, and right out in the middle of the public street, at that.”

The upshot of the meeting? The near-side stop in residential districts “is doomed.”

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