Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 33° Partly Cloudy
News >  Spokane

Jim Kershner’s This day in history

From our archives, 75 years ago

The Spokane Daily Chronicle’s editorial page praised the late George Conniff, the night marshal in Newport, Wash., as an “unsung hero.”

Conniff had been gunned down earlier in the week after he accosted some men in a Newport alley. The gunmen escaped. The Chronicle speculated that “they were fugitives, possibly parolees.”

The editorial said that law officers in small towns are especially vulnerable because “outlaws seek these places for their depredations” knowing that police forces are small and undermanned.

The irony: This was the same case later made famous in Timothy Egan’s book “Breaking Blue.” The book argues forcefully that Conniff wasn’t shot by any “fugitive.” He was shot by a rogue Spokane detective.

From the movie beat: Here’s a perfect example of how a word has changed meaning over the past 75 years. A movie titled “Diamond Jim,” starring Edward Arnold, was playing the State Theater in Spokane. The tagline on the ad reads: “The Gay White Way’s Gayest Play Boy.”

It was a movie about Diamond Jim Brady and his romance with Lillian Russell.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1850: Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act, which created a force of federal commissioners charged with returning escaped slaves to their owners.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.