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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Registration deadline closing for ‘enemy aliens’

German Americans faced a closing window to register with the U.S. Marshall’s Office. (Spokesman-Review archives)
German Americans faced a closing window to register with the U.S. Marshall’s Office. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Enemy aliens (i.e., Germans) in Spokane had three more days to register with the U.S. Marshal’s office.

In this current registration drive, the marshal had already found “fully 100” who had failed to register the previous summer. Now they had three more days, after which “no excuse will be accepted.”

Once they were registered, German enemy aliens were not allowed to leave the city without first securing a permit from the police chief. The law also restricted Germans from living within a half-mile of any “federal building, fort or armory” without obtaining a permit from the marshal.

The fear this engendered in Spokane’s substantial German population was evident in the story of one 21-year-old German man. He was afraid he would be interned for the duration of the war unless he could come up with the four photos of himself necessary for registration. Unfortunately, he had no money.

So he asked for contributions “from every person he could,” but still came up short. When he was brought to the police station, he explained his quandary. Police called a photographer, who was touched by the story and volunteered to take the photos for free.

From the divorce beat: A woman in a divorce case was asked whether she ever drank whiskey. She admitted that she often took “seven or eight drinks.”

An attorney asked, “Then your limit was eight drinks?”

Yes, she replied, but added she was “never under the influence of liquor in her life.”

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