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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Joseph Rudersdorf, manager of the Spokane Humane Society, was taking the lead on a plan to protect circus and vaudeville animals from neglect and cruelty. The national headquarters had endorsed his plan and was working with him on guidelines to promote better conditions.

Rudersdorf said he first got the idea a few weeks earlier when he discovered a group of performing dogs “shivering in small, cold boxes behind the scenes” while awaiting their Spokane performance. He notified other humane societies on the vaudeville circuit to keep an eye out for similar problems.

Rudersdorf said that if all the local humane societies would cooperate, they could vastly improve the conditions for traveling animals.

Too often, he said, they were kept in tiny boxes to keep freight costs low and were not fed and cared for properly.

He said if audiences could see the conditions backstage, it would “provoke tears instead of laughter.”

From the elder beat: “Grandma” Sara Todd celebrated her 104th birthday in Walla Walla by chatting with friends and smoking her pipe.

The paper reported that she is still a “strong devotee of the corncob pipe, but she does not smoke as much” as she once did.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1945: The Soviet Union invaded Austria during World War II.

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