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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: More than 60 unions converge for massive Labor Day celebration

Members from more than 60 local unions turned out for a massive Labor Day parade and celebration. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Members from more than 60 local unions turned out for a massive Labor Day parade and celebration. (Spokesman-Review archives)

About 10,000 people – representing 62 unions – took part in a gigantic Labor Day celebration at Manito Park.

It began with a “monster parade” through downtown and then continued with a series of games and athletic events.

The tug-of-war was won by the members of the Northern Pacific car men’s union, who defeated the the steam and operating engineers’ union in the finals. The engineers had defeated both the hod carriers and the bricklayers to get to the finals.

About 30 women entered the nail-driving contest. Mrs. C.F. Cummins won it by driving in five 20-penny spikes in 20 seconds. Mrs. Cummins also finished second in the “baby cab race,” in which women pushed empty baby carriages for 50 yards.

The revelers consumed 50 gallons of free ice cream and 60 gallons of fruit punch.

From the fair beat: Meanwhile, the Interstate Fair was continuing. A writer for The Spokesman-Review went into raptures about 600 U.S. Navy sailors, who performed drills at the fairgrounds.

“What men! It’ll be a hard day for the German jackie (sailor) if he ever runs into these fellows in battle. … War is hateful, but the sight of these strong and splendid men at drill casts a glamor of glory over its horrors and makes the old man wish that he were one with these boys.”

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