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100 years ago in Spokane: After U.S. enters World War I, Davenport Hotel raises meal prices

The United States’ entry into World War I sparked multiple menu changes at the Davenport Hotel’s restaurant, The Spokesman-Review reported on April 18, 1917. (Spokesman-Review archives)
The United States’ entry into World War I sparked multiple menu changes at the Davenport Hotel’s restaurant, The Spokesman-Review reported on April 18, 1917. (Spokesman-Review archives)

The rise in the cost of food – attributable to war shortages – finally showed up in restaurant prices.

The Davenport Hotel’s 35-cent lunch rose to 40 cents. In the regular dining room, the price of steaks went up 5 cents and the price of baked potatoes also went up 5 cents.

Bread rolls, formerly free, were now 5 cents per person.

In an indication of a general anti-Germany sentiment, the Davenport’s “German fried potatoes” were now called “saute fried potatoes.”

From the war beat: A fervor for war bonds was sweeping Spokane. The federal government hoped to finance the war with war bonds, and Spokane’s “department stores, retail establishments, theaters and banks” already were expressing a willingness to sell them.

One theater was issuing application cards to all of its patrons. Several department stores were arranging to have application cards included in every parcel wrapped for delivery.

“It is presumed that the bonds will bear interest at about 3.5 percent and will be available in denominations as low as $25.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1942: During World War II, an air squadron from the USS Hornet led by Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle raided Tokyo and other Japanese cities. The first World War II edition of The Stars and Stripes was published as a weekly newspaper.


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