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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Half Spokane Indians baseball team could be forced to quit under new federal draft law

A new federal law mandated that every man of draft age must either work or fight, and Spokane officials backed the idea wholeheartedly, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on May 23, 1918. (Spokesman-Review archives)
A new federal law mandated that every man of draft age must either work or fight, and Spokane officials backed the idea wholeheartedly, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on May 23, 1918. (Spokesman-Review archives)

A new federal law mandated that every man of draft age must either work or fight, and Spokane officials backed the idea wholeheartedly.

They saw it as “an opportunity to clean up the pool halls” and other dens “of hundreds of idle or semi-idle men,” said the Spokane Daily Chronicle.

Those “idlers” had long “been aggravating” to the officials.

“Gamblers, race track and bucket shop attendants and fortune tellers head the list” of the people who were targeted by the new law. Theatrical performers would be exempted, but not jockeys or professional athletes.

About eight members of the Spokane Indians baseball team – about half the squad – might be affected by the new law. The new law raised the possibility that ballparks around the country might have to close.

From the hygiene beat: Spokane was launching a summertime “Swat the Fly” campaign. The idea was to “keep flies and mosquitoes from bringing disease with them.”

A related drive was aimed at stifling insects at the source. The paper recommended cleaning up pools of stagnant water and other breeding places, and keeping “streets, alleys and homes” in the highest possible state of sanitation.

“Clean Up and Screen Up,” was the summer motto.

Also on this date

(From Associated Press)

1934: bank robbers Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were shot to death in a police ambush in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.

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