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Thursday, April 2, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: Governor says federal troops not needed to handle Wobbly unrest

UPDATED: Wed., April 4, 2018

 (Michael Stephens / The Spokesman-Review)
(Michael Stephens / The Spokesman-Review)

Gov. Ernest Lister ended his visit to Spokane by saying that “there will be no martial law” in the region to deal with the Wobbly situation.

Local authorities had asked Lister to declare martial law, but he told them he “did not think the I.W.W. situation was such that it could not be handled by the local authorities.”

“There are many things of an undesirable nature in martial law and we do not wish to bring them on in this situation, where conditions do not seem to me to be serious enough to justify it,” Lister said. “There will be no federal troops used in this work.”

Lister said he would be taking other steps to deal with the situation and would announce them later in the week. He said it might be necessary for the state to take “full charge of all the police powers of the city and county of Spokane.”

From the education beat: The Inland Empire Teachers Association was gathered in Spokane for its annual convention, and it was dealing with serious wartime problems – namely staffing shortages.

There were widespread teacher shortages because many male teachers had gone into the military. Also, the war had driven up wages in private employment, and teachers were leaving to take those jobs.

The agricultural manpower shortage also meant that students were increasingly called upon to help with farm work. For that reason, the teachers discussed moving to an all-year school system, with lengthy breaks between quarters.

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