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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Writer alarmed by German immigrants

From our archives, 100 years ago

An editorial writer for The Spokesman-Review noted with alarm that 12 million Americans were foreign-born.

“Radicals among these foreign-born residents of the United States must not be permitted to undermine our institutions, treat with contempt our flag, or trample upon our laws,” said the writer.

He was most worried about German and Austro-Hungarian immigrants, some of whom, he said, “avow superior allegiance for the distant country of their birth.” The consul general of Germany in San Francisco had recently been quoted as saying that he did not like the U.S. and wanted to return to Germany.

The writer said that these “ultra-pacifists” – meaning Germans who vehemently opposed the U.S. intervention in the war with Germany – were trying to extinguish the flame of American patriotism.

He believed that “the great majority” of German-Austrian immigrants were patriotic to America, but they were being “maligned by a noisy and vituperative minority.”

From the maternity beat: Passengers in a Pullman (sleeper car) on the eastbound Northern Pacific train from Spokane were surprised to hear a baby crying in the car. No baby had boarded the train.

However, Mrs. Theresa Junk, of Silverton, Oregon, had boarded the train – and given birth along the way. A doctor was summoned at a stop in Whitehall, Montana, and both mother and baby were doing fine.

In a nod to the Northern Pacific, Mrs. Junk named the baby Nora Patricia.

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