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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

The Spokane Indians baseball team offered Lang Akana, a fine Hawaiian-Chinese baseball player, a tryout in the spring.

Akana had recently been let go by his team in Portland because of what the paper called “the color line.”

A team executive in Portland said he was not in favor of discrimination, but he let Akana go because he “feared trouble among” the other players. He added that Akana “is as black as Jack Johnson.”

The Spokane Indians hoped that Akana would be a star.

From the sliding beat: McGowan Bros. store was holding a post-Christmas sale on the most coveted items of winter: Flexible Flyer sleds.

The Fire Fly model, normally $1.50, was on sale for $1.

The drawing on the ad showed a happy youngster racing down a street on his sled, while saying, “Oh, you Flexible Flyer!”

The subtitle said, “Vacation days are happy days.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1170: Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was slain in Canterbury Cathedral by knights loyal to King Henry II.

1890: The Wounded Knee massacre took place in South Dakota as an estimated 300 Sioux Indians were killed by U.S. troops sent to disarm them.

1916: Grigory Rasputin, the so-called “Mad Monk” who’d wielded great influence with Czar Nicholas II, was killed by a group of Russian noblemen in St. Petersburg.

1934: Japan formally renounced the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922.

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