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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Boys apprehended at Natatorium Park with $40 in purse

Two boys, 11, ran away from the Spokane Parental School (a custodial school) and hightailed it to the most fun-filled destination they could think of, Natatorium Park, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Aug. 21, 1920.  (Spokesman-Review archives)
Two boys, 11, ran away from the Spokane Parental School (a custodial school) and hightailed it to the most fun-filled destination they could think of, Natatorium Park, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on Aug. 21, 1920. (Spokesman-Review archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

Two boys, 11, ran away from the Spokane Parental School (a custodial school) and hightailed it to the most fun-filled destination they could think of, Natatorium Park.

They were picked up at the park with a purse containing $40 – enough to have a rollicking good time at the amusement park.

When apprehended, they said that they had simply “found the purse,” but it was unclear whether they found it before or after they came up with their plan to escape from the school.

Both already had served two years in the state reform school before being sent to the Spokane Parental School.

From the irrigation beat: The Spokesman-Review’s editorial page gave high praise to Franklin D. Roosevelt for his “vision and faith” when it came to land reclamation.

The S-R was not typically so effusive about Democratic politicians, but FDR had said exactly the right things about reclamation during his speech in Spokane the night before. He believed that vast reclamation projects were in the national interest, not just the Western interest.

“Reclamation is a subject so huge, it’s not a million-dollar-a-year proposition,” Roosevelt said. “We’ve got to put a hundred million into it for 10 years. What’s that in a budget of four billions?”

This was music to the ears of S-R editors, who had been tirelessly advocating a huge Columbia basin reclamation project for years.

They compared FDR’s “far-seeing statesmanship” to that of Jefferson and Lincoln – even though, at this early date, FDR was running for vice president, not president.

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