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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Sun., July 13, 2014, midnight

From our archives, 100 years ago

The temperature hit 99 degrees in Spokane, which caused the Park Board to open the new swimming pool on East Mission Avenue a few days ahead of schedule.

More than 300 men showed up to the men’s bathing pool, along with 700 more people in the children’s wading pool.

The men and boys were “clad in all kinds of raiment, some of them in regulation bathing suits and others in every costume imaginable, one man habited in only a pair of bib overalls, and a small boy with only a flour sack to comply with the conventionalities.”

The women’s pool and the public bath houses were scheduled to open in a few weeks.

From the accident beat: Meanwhile, a swimming tragedy occurred in the Spokane River, not far from the city’s biggest pool, Natatorium Park.

Mayo Craig, 22, a soldier at Fort George Wright, dived into the Spokane River at a beach just below Natatorium Park. His companions watched him swim for about a minute and they noticed his stroke ceased and he yelled for help. Then he disappeared below the surface.

His fellow soldiers struck out after him, and a boy ran to the Natatorium Plunge and fetched the lifeguard. Meanwhile, spectators saw Craig swept swiftly under the bridge. The lifeguard dived off the bridge and was able to emerge with Craig under his arm.

However, a two-hour resuscitation effort proved unsuccessful.

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