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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

A woman writing a letter to the Spokane Daily Chronicle said she had a solution to a problem that the entire state would face within a year: what to do with all of the barroom “idlers” when all of the saloons closed for good because of statewide prohibition.

She suggested that the community should not “cater to man’s weakness for loafing amid companions.” Instead, the city should open a number of “council halls, where men who are expert in their professions may teach others and where there may be an exchange of ideas.”

The Chronicle seemed to agree with the idea, saying, “it would be a glorious reform if all saloon loungers could be converted to earnest seekers for general knowledge and mental improvement.” They said some men might indeed choose such a route. But the Chronicle injected a stiff shot of reality into the argument by pointing out that the possibility is “remote” that all saloon loungers would do so.

A percentage will remain “vicious idlers or harmless idlers” if given any opportunity. However, it wouldn’t hurt to give them a high-minded alternative, the paper said.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

2014: The captain of a ferry that sank off the coast of South Korea, leaving more than 300 dead, was arrested on suspicion of negligence and abandoning people in need.

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