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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: German autocracy ‘can never come back,’ editorial declares

The Spokesman-Review declared loudly and proudly that power had been stripped from German military leaders so completely that the nation could never again threaten the rest of the world with war. History would prove otherwise. (Spokesman-Review archives)
The Spokesman-Review declared loudly and proudly that power had been stripped from German military leaders so completely that the nation could never again threaten the rest of the world with war. History would prove otherwise. (Spokesman-Review archives)

On the day after the end of the European war, The Spokesman-Review editorial page took the opportunity to celebrate.

“The big achievement, the glorious consummation, is that autocracy’s banners are trailing in the dust; that the old regime is routed, scattered and in exile; that Germany’s military masters are beaten and broken on the great wheel of fate,” said the editors. “They can never come back. Even though the German people should want their return, which is improbable to a high degree, the forces of righteousness in Britain, France America and Italy would not stand by and permit their ‘restoration.’”

The editors had no premonition what lay ahead over the next two decades.

From the flu beat: A columnist wrote, “Now, if only they would let the movies open up, our cup of joy would be overflowing.”

He was referring to the continuing ban on all public gatherings, including at schools, churches and theaters.

There was renewed optimism that the ban would be lifted over the weekend. City health officer Dr. John B. Anderson said he would recommend that the ban be lifted on Sunday, and schools be opened on Monday. The statewide rule requiring people to wear flu masks in public had already been lifted.

Spokane schools were already planning to make up the lost time. The school day would be lengthened a half-hour and the school year would be extended a week. There would be no lengthy Christmas vacation.

The school board had 28 days to make up.

Officials believed that the Spanish flu epidemic was waning. Their optimism would not prove warranted.

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