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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Chronicle alleges Wobbly plot for revolution

UPDATED: Mon., March 4, 2019

Jim Kershner

The Spokane Daily Chronicle asserted that evidence had been discovered in Spokane of a Wobbly plot to foment a “nationwide general strike, amounting to nothing less than an attempt at revolution.”

The strike, allegedly planned for May 1, was intended “to effect the establishment of the soviet form of government.”

Authorities were in possession of a threatening letter predicting these and other “big doings” in Spokane.

The Chronicle asserted that radicals had been keeping the plan secret but were intending to make an “open demonstration” of the plan at a meeting of a group called the League for Democracy at Home to be held that week at Spokane’s Socialist Hall.

“Among the measures which are thought to be planned for Spokane and this vicinity are: Unmasking of the League for Democracy At Home as the true workmen’s soldiers and sailors council; destruction of all camps under the direction of the Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen (the Four L’s); setting up the soviet form of government here, with the headquarters for eastern Washington at Yakima.”

The unsigned letter also made threats such as, “the Four L camps will all burn this year, in about 60 days when the boys get back. Look out.”

From the school beat: The Spokane School Board voted to ban dances and the teaching of dancing at the high schools. The Spokane Ministerial Association had gone on record against dancing the day before.

Some school board members were not in favor of the ban on dances. They argued that young people were going to dance no matter what, and if so, the dances should be held at schools where they could be properly supervised. This argument did not prevail.

The immediate result was that the North Central High School senior class had to cancel the social dance they had planned at the Hotel Spokane later in the week.

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