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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 years ago in Spokane: Shortage of nurses raises call among area hospitals

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

Spokane was coping with another wartime worker’s shortage, and this one was particularly critical.

“War to Drain the City of All Registered Nurses,” said a Spokane Daily Chronicle headline.

The Red Cross was taking almost all of the graduating nurses and “new volunteers must go into training to take their places,” according to area hospitals and doctors.

From the war beat: The most famous German warplane aviator, Captain Baron von Richtofen, “The Red Baron,” was shot down over France and killed, according to sketchy reports from the front.

From the jail beat: An unusual competition played out at the Spokane County Jail: A “song battle.”

It began when a small band of evangelist missionaries gathered at the jail to conduct a service and sing hymns for the inmates.

However, many of the prisoners were Wobblies, and they had no interest in listening to the hymns. One wanted to know what the “big idea was”?

As the missionaries began to sing, the Wobblies drowned them out by singing “Onward Fellow Workers.” The song duel lasted for a half-hour before the missionaries gave up and left.

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