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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Railroad construction in the Inland Northwest was suffering because the men in the work gangs were “leaving by the score.”

Why? Because of the spreading European war. The laborers were Austrians and “Servians” (Serbs) and were “returning to their respective fatherlands to enter military service.”

“There will be a serious labor shortage as a result,” warned one of the construction bosses. Meanwhile, Inland Northwest farmers were feeling optimistic because of a widespread belief that the war would result in record prices for wheat and other commodities. Spokane bankers, however, were cautious, warning that “disaster to a foreign country might not mean unusual prosperity for us.”

From the labor beat: The Spokane County Graduate Nurses’ Association was adamantly opposed to a proposed eight-hour day for nurses. They were concerned that home nursing care would become impossibly complicated.

“The law works the greatest injury to the patient,” said Miss Carrie A. Adcock, a nurse. “No patient can get used to three nurses, and few of them can afford to hire that number. And that is what they would have to do, for the patient could not be left alone overnight without a nurse.”

Another nurse warned that it would “simply drive all the sick into the hospitals, and there will be nothing for the nurses in private homes.”

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