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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Writer expresses optimism for world peace; city gives up hunt for bear that escaped Manito Park zoo

With war raging in Europe, a front page editorial cartoon in The Spokesman-Review on Dec. 25, 1916 showed Santa Claus in the clouds, laying a kindly hand on a bandaged and bruised planet Earth. (SR)
With war raging in Europe, a front page editorial cartoon in The Spokesman-Review on Dec. 25, 1916 showed Santa Claus in the clouds, laying a kindly hand on a bandaged and bruised planet Earth. (SR)

From our archives, 100 years ago

A front-page editorial cartoon showed Santa Claus in the clouds, laying a kindly hand on a bandaged and bruised planet Earth. Santa said, “Here I be again,” and the Earth replied, “I’d almost forgotten how to smile.”

The caption below said, “And he is welcome.”

Meanwhile, an editorial expressed the belief that the “midnight blackness” was not as deep at Christmas 1916 as it had been in 1914 and 1915. The writer expressed optimism that world peace would be restored before Christmas 1917.

This was not to be.

From the bear beat: The escaped Manito Park Zoo bear was declared the winner after a four-day chase.

The bear’s pursuers and their dogs were dog-tired and abandoned the hunt over Christmas. They jokingly conceded “the bear doesn’t chase well – it insists on selecting the direction of its chase.”

Even the dogs were demoralized, since every time they got the bear at bay, men made futile attempts to lasso it, and “the bear turns and runs, giving the dogs their work to do all over again.”

The bear had probably not eaten anything for four days, but parks Superintendent John W. Duncan said bears don’t eat much in winter. In the zoo, keepers throw some carrots and bread in every day, but the bears show little interest.

They guessed the bear would probably find a spot under a snowbank along Hangman Creek and hibernate for a few months.

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