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Wednesday, October 16, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

100 Years Ago Today: Spokane likely on route of transcontinental flight

Spokane was anxious about its chances to be on the route of an exciting transcontinental airplane expedition, featuring four army airplanes of the Curtiss JN-4 type. They were scheduled to take off from Mineola, N.Y., and to map out an air route from the Atlantic to the Pacific. An “observation balloon” would accompany the planes. (S-R archives)
Spokane was anxious about its chances to be on the route of an exciting transcontinental airplane expedition, featuring four army airplanes of the Curtiss JN-4 type. They were scheduled to take off from Mineola, N.Y., and to map out an air route from the Atlantic to the Pacific. An “observation balloon” would accompany the planes. (S-R archives)

Spokane was on the route of an exciting transcontinental airplane expedition, featuring four army airplanes of the Curtiss JN-4 type.

They were scheduled to take off from Mineola, New York, and to map out an air route from the Atlantic to the Pacific. An “observation balloon” would accompany the planes.

Actually, the Spokane Daily Chronicle admitted that the Spokane stop was not exactly a sure thing.

The route had only been confirmed as far west at Bismarck, North Dakota, and “from Bismarck to Seattle, the places to be visited are not named, but there is little doubt but that the northern air route, passing through Spokane, will be followed.”

Spokane was anxious to be on the route, because it would bolster Spokane’s hopes for “alignment in the accepted government transcontinental air highway” in the future.

The Chamber of Commerce immediately dispatched a formal letter to the War Department inviting the planes to stop.

From the sports beat: The Spokane Country Club was hosting the region’s most prestigious golf tournament, the Open Championship of the Pacific Northwest Golf Association.

A total of 74 professionals and amateurs were vying for the cup. The Chronicle ran a front page photo of H.A. “Dixie” Fleager, stylish in plus-fours, the top contender on the amateur side. Fleager, from Seattle, was the defending amateur champ. He was also a former Northwestern University football star.

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