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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: War readiness and censorship

From our archives, 100 years ago

Three National Guard companies in Spokane – along with National Guard units around the country – were mobilized and readied for war.

Not for the war in Europe, which had been raging for two years. Instead, they were readied for service on the Mexican border, where tensions had been rising for years.

Recently, Mexican bandits had been raiding American border towns.

The local National Guard reservists were destined for American Lake (today’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord), where they would join other units. Then they would be dispatched along the border to prevent any further incursions.

From the censorship beat: Spokane’s theater owners declared “open war” on the city’s new censorship law, scheduled to take effect on July 5.

They distributed petitions at their theaters protesting the new censorship law.

The petitions “met a ready response in most instances.”

The “theater men have been threatening for some time to bring on a fight to prevent the new ordinances from becoming effective, on the grounds that it is unnecessary.”

They said plenty of statutes were already on the books guaranteeing “sufficient protection against indecent performances.”

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