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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Police commissioner vows to arrest anyone passing out socialist flyer calling for ‘social revolution’

Under cover of night, Spokane radicals distributed handbills throughout downtown calling for, among other things, “Social Revolution,” the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Feb. 14, 1919. The newspaper also reported that former President William H. Taft would be arriving in Spokane the next evening. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Under cover of night, Spokane radicals distributed handbills throughout downtown calling for, among other things, “Social Revolution,” the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Feb. 14, 1919. The newspaper also reported that former President William H. Taft would be arriving in Spokane the next evening. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Under cover of night, Spokane radicals distributed handbills throughout downtown calling for, among other things, “Social Revolution.”

The Spokane Daily Chronicle said the publications were of a “highly inflammable character” – perhaps meaning inflammatory. They were addressed to “American workers” and they urged workers to organize against capitalism. They applauded the Russian Revolution and said that “for the first time in the history of the world a social order is being established that is founded upon the self-interest of the world – from Russia it is spreading westward over Europe and then over the world!”

John H. Tilsley, Spokane’s commissioner of public safety, said police were ordered to arrest anyone caught passing out the handbills. He speculated it was part of an effort to drum up enthusiasm for a speech by Max Eastman, an “international revolutionary leader,” scheduled for Spokane that evening.

From the amusement park beat: A new ride at Natatorium Park called “The Whip” was being installed at the eyebrow-raising cost of $10,000. It was intended as a permanent fixture and has “created a sensation among the bigger and more up-to-date summer resorts.”

The Washington Water Power Co., which owned the park, said it was also renovating the swimming pool that gave Natatorium Park its name.

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