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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Opinion >  Editorial

Looking Back: Opinions offer historical perspective

Editor’s note: Looking Back reviews opinions published in The Spokesman-Review during this week in history.

March 9, 1936: An S-R editorial criticized President Franklin Roosevelt’s plan to tax corporate reserves to help stabilize the dollar and strengthen the nation’s credit. It concluded:

“But prudent people, viewing and increasing unemployment roll of more than 12,000,000, and more than 20,000,000 still on various kinds of government relief, see that the depression is still here, and are not disposed to go with the president’s proposal that they play strip poker with the government and let their underwear go with their other lost garments.”

March, 8, 1956: An editorial noted the significance of the state highway director’s call for construction bids for a Spokane River bridge. It began:

“Step by step the new bridge over the Spokane River draws nearer to reality. The actions of the Washington state toll bridge authority this week is as definite an assurance as has yet been provided tha the Maple street bridge actually will be built.”

The $6 million bridge would open on July 1, 1958. The toll ended in 1990, and for most of that time, it was a dime.

March 10, 1976: An editorial titled “Folly of Mideast Arms Sales” lamented how U.S dependence on OPEC oil had warped foreign policy. It concluded:

“Something is drastically wrong with a foreign policy that sits down at the peace table dramatically urging reconciliation between two foes and then provides both with the tools to fight. Such a diplomatic course is more likely to win enemies than influence friends.”

March 7, 1996: An editorial chastised the insensitivity of the U.S. Marshal’s Service for honoring a unit involved in a tragic confrontation at Ruby Ridge. It stated:

“Incredibly, (Marshals Service Director Eduardo) Gonzalez has presented his service’s highest award for valor to the reconnaissance unit that bungled into a firefight with Kevin Harris and 14-year-old Sammy Weaver on Aug. 21, 1992. It isn’t clear who fired first. But it is clear that you don’t reward experienced lawmen for a preventable gunfight that left a boy, his dog and a U.S. marshal dead.”

March 11, 2006: An S-R editorial criticized the Washington Lottery’s practice of mailing coupons for free tickets in the hopes of luring more players.

“Washington Lottery says they’ve done this several times before, and it is a common business practice. Coupons are certainly commonplace, but the state isn’t a business, and the product isn’t peanut butter. Should the state, in an effort to raise money from cigarette and liquor taxes, pass out coupons so people can sample those products in the hopes they will purchase them?”

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