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100 years ago in Spokane: Soldier’s arrest nearly leads to wholesale riot

More than 400 soldiers and navy men rushed to the defense of one of their own, a George Moore, after the man tried to rush the owner of a local dance hall. (Spokesman-Review archives)

About 400 soldiers raced madly down Main Avenue in an attempt to free one of their own, George Moore, from the clutches of the police.

The trouble began when a Spokane police officer “remonstrated with Moore,” a soldier in the quartermaster’s department, after Moore and a party of soldiers “tried to rush the owner of the Washington Dance Hall up the stairway of his place at Main Avenue and Washington Street.”

“The arrest was made only when Moore and his associates ignored his protest,” said The Spokesman-Review.

The officer collared Moore and put him in a police “greyhound” – meaning a fast patrol car.

As the greyhound drove to headquarters, “400 men, headed by soldiers and sailors, raced madly” alongside. Upon reaching headquarters, the crowd “yelled for the release of the prisoner.”

The police did not comply. They phoned Fort George Wright to learn the wishes of the commandant. He told them to hold Moore until morning.

Two sergeants were sent to the station, and they approved of Moore’s detention. They “deplored the action of the prisoner and said such acts … made an ordinary soldier ashamed to come downtown.”

Police planned to charge Moore with disorderly conduct.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1974: President Gerald R. Ford granted a “full, free, and absolute pardon” to former President Richard Nixon covering his entire term in office.