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Sunday, May 31, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Editorial offers impassioned defense of Spokane as aviator’s training ground

The newspaper offered a catelogue of Spokane’s qualities as grounds for an aviation camp. (Spokesman-Review archives)
The newspaper offered a catelogue of Spokane’s qualities as grounds for an aviation camp. (Spokesman-Review archives)

The Spokesman-Review wrote an indignant editorial about the reasons federal authorities rejected Spokane as a wartime aviation training site.

A Spokane delegation reported that it had become obvious right away that the cards had already been dealt, “chiefly to the southern interests, and a new player was not wanted.”

Arguments for adding Spokane to the list fell on deaf ears.

Those arguments included:

    That American aviators should be trained under climatic and topographic conditions similar to those in which pilots would be fighting.

    Spokane’s proximity to spruce forests – spruce being one of the key materials used in aircraft production.

    Spokane’s advantages as a transportation center, and the relatively uncongested state of its railroad network.

    The “tremendous importance” of distributing war industries equally among different regions.

The editorial concluded, “Spokane has long been under a conviction that it was up against a cold deck and a raw deal, and the report of the Senate committee proves it.”

From the circus beat: More than 10,000 people attended the Barnum & Bailey’s circus in Spokane.

The biggest attractions were the trained bears, which “used bicycles and roller skates in ways that amazed,” and Miss Bird Millman, an aerialist whose act was described as like “a fairy on a single strand of cobweb.”

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