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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

A delegation of six “telephone girls” went to the office of Mayor Hindley to make this heartfelt appeal: Please save our jobs!

At issue was a proposal to switch the city to an automated phone franchise, “which would require that automatic telephones be substituted completely for the girl-operated phones in Spokane, within a period of two years.”

It would result, said the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Co., in 350 telephone girls “being thrown out of employment.”

Mayor Hindley appeared to be sympathetic, saying that this issue would “influence his vote.” He also said, somewhat enigmatically, “I am sorry, but it is the history of the world that the introduction of machinery throws people out of employment.”

City Commissioner Fairley said he would also take the phone girls’ plea into consideration. However, neither came out and promised they would vote against the automated phone franchise.

Meanwhile, a separate story in the Spokane Daily Chronicle noted that many of the cities in the Northwest had already switched to automated phone systems.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1970: The People’s Republic of China launched its first satellite, which kept transmitting a song, “The East Is Red.”