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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Two girls, Mona Ruark and Myrtle Lang, were “declared to have the best lungs” at Lewis and Clark High School.

They earned this proud distinction after Miss Nellie Miller, the girls’ physical education coordinator, tested all 700 girls at the school. Miss Miller also tested the girls in a related category, lung expansion. She discovered that both the lung capacity and lung expansion of Spokane girls was far above the national average.

The average lung capacity in the U.S. was 140 cubic inches, said Miss Miller, and hardly any Spokane girls fell below that figure, while most exceeded it easily. Mona and Myrtle both pushed the needle on the lung tester to a whopping 225 cubic inches. 

Miss Miller was emboldened to plan more tests to choose the strongest girl. She said strength tests including pullups and leg strength would be conducted privately in the gym. 

From the railroad beat: The Milwaukee Road, the newest of the transcontinental railroads to go through Spokane, announced a dazzling new innovation: searchlights on the observation cars, to light up the beautiful mountain scenery by night.

The searchlights, of “3,000,000 candlepower each,” would be mounted on the Milwaukee’s Olympian train. The lights “throw a beam three miles.”