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Friday, October 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Drenching rain put a damper on the Fourth of July celebrations. Even the big fireworks display at Natatorium Park was canceled.

Meanwhile, the day was “dry,” in a different sense, in North Idaho. Coeur d’Alene holiday crowds were denied even “the semblance of liquor” by the Kootenai County sheriff. The Panhandle Brewing Co. had been selling a product called “near beer” after the county voted to become “dry.”

However, the sheriff went to the Idaho Bar and bought a bottle of “near beer” and sent it to Spokane for analysis. It was found to contain about 1 percent alcohol.

From the labor beat: A Finnish miner named Eric Lantala walked into the office of Butte Mayor Louis P. Duncan. He then demanded that the mayor deport a Finnish official of the Western Federation of Miners.

Mayor Duncan said he would not deport the official. Lantala then drew a large knife and said, “I’ll show you!” He lunged at the mayor. The mayor grabbed his revolver from his desk and shot Lantala in the abdomen. The mayor tripped over a trunk in the corner and Lantala continued to advance, slashing the mayor in the neck, back and shoulder.

An alderman and city official raced into the office and overpowered Lantala, who was arrested and taken to a hospital. The mayor’s wounds were not considered serious.

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