Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Spokane’s first “night” school opened at the Lewis and Clark High School building, and the teachers were unprepared for the “stampede” of learners.

More than 700 people showed up seeking to register for classes, ranging from elderly “men with heavy whiskers” wanting to read and write, to young high school students who wanted supplementary courses in subjects such as cooking, typing and machine-shop.

The overwhelmed staff immediately applied to the school board to add more classes and more instructors to handle the load.

A second enrollment evening was planned for those who were unable to get in classes on the first attempt.

Demand was heavy in such areas as shorthand, stenography, dressmaking, cooking, sewing and manual arts. 

A number of adults were seeking to learn basic English reading and writing skills, including “19 foreigners, many of who are 40 years of age” at the least.

The principal of the school said they were also caught off guard by the fact that many of the students wanted to enroll in two classes, which meant that they might have to schedule two one-hour classes in each classroom.

A columnist later remarked that the area’s small boys professed to be baffled about why 700 people would sign up for school if they didn’t have to.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1889: The Moulin Rouge in Paris first opened its doors to the public.