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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Local leaders work to form ‘army of ideas’ against bolshevism

A group of 23 civic leaders met at the Davenport Hotel and vowed to form “a great army of ideas pitted against the spirit of unrest, disloyalty, revolution and bolshevism,” the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Feb. 22, 1919. (Spokesman-Review archives)
A group of 23 civic leaders met at the Davenport Hotel and vowed to form “a great army of ideas pitted against the spirit of unrest, disloyalty, revolution and bolshevism,” the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Feb. 22, 1919. (Spokesman-Review archives)

A group of 23 civic leaders met at the Davenport Hotel and vowed to form “a great army of ideas pitted against the spirit of unrest, disloyalty, revolution and bolshevism.”

The group included educators, university presidents, religious leaders and business leaders. They “set the machinery in motion” for a new organization “to bring ideals of patriotism and thought to the alien, to citizens of America and to educators of the American youth.”

This reflected the post-world-war anxiety over increased labor unrest in the U.S. and the rise of the Bolsheviks in Russia.

“We should attempt to reach the mass of the people, those who do not think in the abstract as well as those who do,” said the Rev. James M. Brogan, president of Gonzaga University.

From the health beat: Dr. J.B. Anderson, the city’s health officer, returned to Spokane from Olympia with news about the state’s flu situation.

“Little is heard of the influenza epidemic on the Coast,” Anderson said. “Of course, the disease is still there, as in Spokane, but is not serious and no attention is being paid to it. Although there have been a larger number of cases in Spokane this week, I do not think there is any danger of a recurrence in its virulent form. As has been stated many times before, the flu will be with us until warm weather, and will have its ups and downs for weeks yet.”

Anderson was preparing to take over his new office in April as the state health commissioner.

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