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

100 years ago today in Spokane: Whitworth College trustees turn school over to government for military training use

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

The trustees of Whitworth College agreed to allow the school to become a military training college for the duration of the war.

They agreed to suspend the regular college curriculum and offer the entire college campus to the government “for the purpose of training men in special courses for overseas service.” The courses would be mostly in automobile service and mechanics.

This came at the request of the War Department, which had sent representatives to the campus earlier and “reported the plant (campus) as ideal for the work contemplated.”

“It is expected that 1,500 men will be trained in the institution before next June,” the Spokane Daily Chronicle said.

From the Wobbly beat: Wobbly leader W.E. Hall was defiant in captivity.

“I will accomplish this end if I am shot down in the street,” Hall told a federal commissioner at a hearing.

He was suspected of attempting to foment a general strike. Spokane police arrested him with a trunk full of Wobbly literature and pamphlets. He had come from Chicago and had stopped in Butte to meet with Wobbly leaders there. He was bound for Seattle when he was arrested.

Hall said believed that if the laboring men of the nation would unite in a strike, the government would be forced to release all of the Wobbly leaders recently convicted in Chicago.

Hall was bound over to a federal grand jury on a charge of violating the Espionage Act.

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