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Saturday, November 16, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Yakima: Wobblies accused of planning germ attack

Three members of the Industrial Workers of the World were arrested in North Yakima on suspicion of a shocking plan to release deadly germs throughout the Yakima Valley, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Jan. 30, 2018. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Three members of the Industrial Workers of the World were arrested in North Yakima on suspicion of a shocking plan to release deadly germs throughout the Yakima Valley, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Jan. 30, 2018. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Three Wobblies (members of the Industrial Workers of the World) were arrested in North Yakima on suspicion of a shocking plan to release deadly germs throughout the Yakima Valley.

Their alleged plan was to “attack cattle and growing crops” with the germs.

In addition, they were accused of “planning the destruction of irrigation works and food factories.”

One of the men was alleged to be the Wobbly secretary in North Yakima and had “attracted attention by pro-German expressions.”

The United States Secret Service and other state and local agencies apparently caught wind of this plan weeks earlier and met in Spokane earlier in the week to coordinate action. They decided to arrest the men after they obtained information that connected them with “German plots and a definite plan for attack on food resources with explosives and germs.”

Agents and local police swept down on their “shack” in North Yakima (today called simply Yakima) and found cameras, acids and textbooks about germ culture. They also found $200 in gold.

The Spokane Daily Chronicle said neither the governor nor the U.S. officials were willing to discuss the matter on the record.

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