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Saturday, March 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 Years Ago in Spokane: Paper warns of revolutionaries’ gathering hall

The Spokane Daily Chronicle warns of a meeting hall attracting people with revolution on their minds. The paper made note of a “meeting of foreigners” the previous week at Socialist Hall. (S-R archives)
The Spokane Daily Chronicle warns of a meeting hall attracting people with revolution on their minds. The paper made note of a “meeting of foreigners” the previous week at Socialist Hall. (S-R archives)
Jim Kershner

The Spokane Daily Chronicle warned that a “soviet”-style gathering hall was planned in Spokane – unless it already existed.

The paper reported that federal and local officials confirmed that local revolutionaries were planning to open a headquarters in Spokane as part of a “nationwide plot for the establishment of the soviet (form of) government in the United States.” The solicitor general of the U.S. Post Office department had seized letters that indicated that such plans were underway and that possibly “a small office” was already in existence in Spokane.

The local League for Democracy was “credited with being the local bolshevik organization” and they were bringing in two speakers to Spokane from Portland, believed to be “emissaries from the revolutionary agitators.”

The Chronicle also made note of a “meeting of foreigners” held the week before at Spokane’s Socialist Hall. “The assemblage was made up of a large percent of Scandinavians, with large representations of Bulgarians, Germans, Austrians, Russians and Finns,” and the crowd totaled about 500.

The group passed a resolution decrying the “propaganda in the daily press” against the foreign working men of Spokane – referring, probably, to the increasingly alarmist Chronicle. The resolution said that “if our presence in this country is not desired we wish a clear statement to that effect from the United States government.” Yet what they really wanted was for the government to investigate the origin and purpose of antiforeigner propaganda.

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