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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

 Samuel Glasgow, Spokane’s “censor of public amusements,” went to Seattle to see D.W. Griffith’s sensational new movie, “The Birth of a Nation,” and to judge whether it should be shown at the Clemmer Theater in Spokane.

Apparently, there had been “much opposition” to showing the film in Spokane “among Negroes and white citizens,” on the grounds “that parts of it show the colored race at its worst.”

Glasgow’s verdict?

“Magnificent!” he said. “Greatest thing I have ever seen. … I can see nothing that I would change.”

From the arson beat:  A 10-year-old boy confessed to setting two fires at his school and burning down a barn.

The boy said he first started a fire in a wastebasket in the administration building at the city’s “parental school,” apparently a boarding school for orphans. Then he burned the barn, which destroyed the school’s farm implements. The boy “frankly confessed that he planned to burn all the buildings” at the school, but he was caught before he could do so.

The boy’s mother was dead and his father had deserted the family. The boy had been “at the school for a year except the times he ran away.”

A city probation officer said the boy seemed unable to distinguish right from wrong and might be sent to the school at Medical Lake.

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