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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: ‘Twilight’ falls on Spokane during near-total solar eclipse

Thousands flocked to rooftops to view a near-total solar eclipse. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Thousands flocked to rooftops to view a near-total solar eclipse. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Spokane residents flocked to the streets and hotel roofs to watch a near-total eclipse of the sun.

“During the latter part of the eclipse, almost a twilight fell on the city, compelling many business houses to turn on their electric lights,” said The Spokesman-Review.

Hundreds of pairs of colored or “smoked” glasses were sold by drugstores and optical dealers. Conditions were not perfect – there were some high clouds – but the sun was totally obscured by heavy clouds for less than a minute. Most observers were “satisfied” with the spectacle.

From the theater beat: Famous actress Sarah Bernhardt brought the audience to tears in her performance at the Auditorium Theater – and tears were flowing in her dressing room, as well.

Reporter Hannah Hinsdale went backstage for an interview right after the performance. Hinsdale confessed to Bernhardt that she was still weeping “from the impact of her art.”

Then Hinsdale noticed Bernhardt’s makeup was running.

“Are you weeping, too?” asked Hinsdale.

“Yes,” said Bernhardt. “I cannot act that part and not weep.”

From the burlesque beat: The women of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church were planning to stage a comedy-drama titled “The Spinsters’ Convention.”

It was “a burlesque on a gathering of maiden ladies over 61, members of the “Young Ladies’ Blessedness Society.”

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