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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

Mayor Hindley was finding that his self-imposed job as the city’s official censor had its drawbacks.

He was deluged with calls from outraged citizens demanding that he do something about “the bare-legged oriental girl dancers” of a show titled “The Princess of Kama” at the Pantages Theater.

The calls poured in on Sunday morning, and the mayor valiantly “gave up attendance at the Sunday evening religious services to watch the ‘priestess’ and her girls do their turn,” said the newspaper.

After sitting through the show, the mayor refused to interfere, because he said it was no more suggestive than the average “artistic” dance permitted on the stage.

But that did not assuage the outraged citizenry. They continued to call and send anonymous letters about this “suggestive and immoral” dance.

At the city commissioner’s conference a few days later, the mayor asked for a second opinion. Should he ban this bare-legged performance?

“There is nothing to this dance,” said Commissioner Fairley. “I have seen it and think that it is all right.”

With that corroboration, the mayor stuck to his guns and “The Princess of Kama” continued its run.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1929: The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre took place in a Chicago garage as seven rivals of Al Capone’s gang were gunned down.

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