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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Lottery for homestead sites on Colville Reservation draws thousands

 (The Spokesman-Review archives)
(The Spokesman-Review archives)

From our archives, 100 years ago

Was everyone in the Inland Northwest itching to get in on the Colville Reservation’s land lottery?

It seemed that way. A total of 62,777 people had already registered for the right to draw lots for recently opened areas of the reservation — and there were still four days left to register. Officials predicted that that there would be another huge rush of entrants before the deadline.

People were lured by the possibility of winning a homestead at dirt cheap prices. It cost only 25 cents to register.

From the war beat: A column on The Spokesman-Review’s editorial page probably seemed alarmist in 1916.

Yet it was also prescient.

The headline included the line, “A Spark May Fire the Powder Magazine and Plunge Us Into War With Japan.”

In 1916, most Americans were far more worried about Mexico and Germany, but this editorial writer said that a militaristic element in Japan was already agitating for a war with the U.S.

“Seizure of Hawaii and the Philippines and the colonization of California are the avowed objects of the proposed war,” said the story. “… The sinister fact remains that there exists in Japan a noisy and active spirit of resentment.”

The writer urged the U.S. to build up its Pacific fleet.

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