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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: City health officer backs plan to create internment camps for prostitutes

Spokane’s city health officer favored a proposal under consideration by the U.S. Congress which called for interning “immoral women” for the duration of the war, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on April 2, 1918. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Spokane’s city health officer favored a proposal under consideration by the U.S. Congress which called for interning “immoral women” for the duration of the war, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on April 2, 1918. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Spokane’s city health officer favored a proposal under consideration by the U.S. Congress which called for interning “immoral women” for the duration of the war.

The legislation called for them to “forsake their lives of shame or face internment.”

The purpose was to prevent outbreaks of venereal disease among soldiers at training camps, but the law covered every part of the U.S.

The city health officer said he knew of two places in Washington that would be suitable as prostitute internment sites.

One was on a Puget Sound island and the other at “Old Fort Spokane,” which had unused government buildings.

From the crime beat: Clyde Bailey, 14, was fooling around with a revolver in an old barn near Hillyard.

Somehow, the gun went off and the bullet struck his friend William Conde, 13. Conde was rushed to the hospital, where he was being treated.

And then things got even worse for Bailey. When police questioned him, they noticed he had a watch and chain, similar to one missing in a recent burglary. Upon further questioning, Bailey confessed to burglarizing the home of former legislator A.E. Stratton, and some other nearby homes.

In fact, the revolver was one of the other stolen items.

Bailey was placed in custody of juvenile authorities, and Conde was resting well and expected to recover.

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