Jim Kershner’s this day in history
From our archives, 100 years ago
About 200 Spokane schoolchildren were confined to home because of an outbreak of the mumps.
This was a fairly mild strain of mumps – sore throats and swollen glands were the only symptoms – but it was highly contagious.
The students had to stay home for at least a week after the symptoms subsided to avoid spreading it throughout the city’s schools.
The mumps “fad,” to use the paper’s odd wording, had begun among the telephone operators in several of the city’s leading hotels.
The symptoms were so mild that the “young women were unaware for several days” that they were suffering anything more than a sore throat, and they ended up exposing many hotel guests to the disease.
From the tragedy file: Albion, Wash., near Pullman, was still mourning the death of Wayne Lucas, 13, who died while playing football on the school playground.
The school was closed and the students took up a collection to buy flowers for his funeral. The boy’s mother, already in ill health, was so shattered by the loss that she was reported to be in “in serious condition.”
Wayne was “a bright boy and much esteemed by all,” and had recently won first place in a gardening contest.