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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Sat., Sept. 21, 2013

From our archives, 100 years ago

The Orpheum Theater was on a collision course with Spokane city officials over the theater’s determination to show a movie about Harry K. Thaw, notorious playboy and the murderer of architect Stanford White.

The fact that unsavory Thaw was the subject of these movies caused outrage, yet the issue soon became whether the Orpheum could be open at all on Sundays.

“If this defiance is kept up,” Mayor W. J. Hindley said, “it is going to precipitate an agitation against Sunday theaters in Spokane, as that sentiment is now smoldering. … Under the state law, Sunday theaters are barred in Washington, but may be allowed to run with the permission of the mayor.”

Hindley strongly hinted that such permission would be withheld if the theater insisted on running the Thaw picture. 

From the baby beat: William Sass, 6 months old, was declared the “champion tot of the Inland Empire,” concluding the Better Baby Contest held all week at the Spokane Interstate Fair.

Little William had scored a perfect 100 in the initial evaluation by physicians and nurses. Babies with perfect scores were evaluated again in a “most grueling reexamination.”

The little fellow “shook his fist with a baby grin at the applauding thousands and grasped in a chubby hand the envelope containing the five shining $20 gold pieces and the big gold medal.” 

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