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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: ‘Commander of civilian army’ plans meeting to ‘beat down bolshevik agitators’

From the Feb. 5, 2019 Spokane Daily Chronicle. (SR)
From the Feb. 5, 2019 Spokane Daily Chronicle. (SR)

A “round-table conference of prominent men and women” was planned in Spokane to “beat down the bolshevik agitators, I.W.W. advocates and soviet efforts in this part of the country.”

The conference was called by A.L. White, chairman of Spokane’s Liberty Loan committee and “commander of the civilian army” in the city. He was inviting the area’s college presidents, ministers, educators, publishers, labor leaders and business leaders to the conference.

“In yesterday’s Chronicle, I noticed where the radicals of Spokane were making an attempt to organize,” said White. “It is especially timely that we should call this big conference at this time to fight this wave of bolshevism that is threatening our better institutions of government. We want the people to have some weapons to fight off this thing that has its fangs extended to grasp and tear apart good order and lawful undertakings.”

From the transportation beat: Spokane’s transit companies were in financial trouble, but Spokane Mayor C.M. Fassett said he might have a modern solution: “auto buses.”

He suggested that the city could buy 150 buses to cover 100 miles of routes.

Fassett suggested that it would be cheaper for the city to provide municipal bus service than to prop up the streetcar companies. The two privately owned streetcar companies were losing money and cutting service, mostly because of competition from autos.

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