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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

A near-riot broke out in Spokane’s Central Christian Church during a speech by former nun Anna M. Lowry.

It began when a young man in the gallery jumped to his feet, “raised an aggressive hand, and shouted denial.”

Soon, other people in the crowd started shouting Lowry down, to the point where the speech was unable to continue. “Order was restored only after two uniformed policemen and several plainclothes men entered the church,” The Spokesman-Review reported.

Why the ruckus?

Because it was perceived as a rabidly anti-Catholic address. Anna Lowry was delivering what she called an expose of Rome’s “slave pens” – i.e., convents. She claimed to have been a prisoner behind convent bars for 20 years. She was the author of a book titled “Martyr in Black” and had worked for a time on the staff of an anti-Catholic newspaper in Missouri.

This particular address went on as planned after police arrived.

Another address, a year later at a local rink, was interrupted by a rain of rocks on the roof of the hall.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1507: A world map produced by German cartographer Martin Waldseemueller contained the first recorded use of the term “America,” in honor of Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci. … 1859: Ground was broken for the Suez Canal.