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100 years ago in Spokane: Unions celebrate Labor Day with elaborate floats in parade

 (Jonathan Brunt / The Spokesman-Review)
(Jonathan Brunt / The Spokesman-Review)

More than 1,500 union men marched through the streets of Spokane in celebration of Labor Day.

“Numerically, it was one of the most impressive demonstrations that the labor unions of Spokane have ever given. … The entire street was given over to the unions and not an automobile or street car was permitted to interfere with its progress,” reported the Spokane Daily Chronicle. “Nearly every local in the city was represented.”

Some of the delegations made their own floats. The bakers union was preceded by a “gaily decorated float, upon which was borne a huge white cake of fancy appearance … four prettily dressed children rode in the float, which was trimmed with various products of the oven.”

The motion picture operators union had a float filled with cameras and projectors.

From the fair beat: A “flood of humanity” converged on Spokane’s Interstate Fair.

As of 3 p.m. on opening day, 12,839 people had purchased tickets and passed through the turnstiles.

And that doesn’t even count the 3,500 union members and their families, who were given free admission to the fair on Labor Day. The gates of the fair were especially jammed around noon, following the Labor Day parade.


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