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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: A local girl had a heartbreaking wish for Santa Claus in 1920

UPDATED: Thu., Dec. 3, 2020

 (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
(Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

The Spokane Daily Chronicle ran this heartbreaking letter from a young girl to Santa Claus:

“Dear Santa Claus, I wish you would come and see me on Christmas and bring me some toys. My papa is dead and my sister is at Edgecliff (a sanitarium) and my mama works, and I am lonely.”

This was one of many letters received by members of the Spokane Advertising Club, which was mounting the biggest Christmas drive in the city. They planned to distribute gifts of toys, candy and cash to children.

They hoped, they said, to “fulfill childhood’s faith in the goodness of mankind.”

From the police beat: A man detained for begging on the streets of Spokane was revealed as a convict who had escaped from the state penitentiary at Walla Walla.

A “Bertillon expert” – a detective specializing in fingerprints and other forms of identification – discovered that the man was Bert Wareheim, alias Frank Fatcher, who had escaped in 1915.

He had been convicted of grand larceny in Spokane in 1913. He was also wanted for theft in Lincoln County. Officers planned to escort him back to Walla Walla to serve the rest of his sentence.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

2000: In a pair of legal setbacks for Al Gore, a Florida state judge refused to overturn George W. Bush’s certified victory in Florida and the U.S. Supreme Court set aside a ruling that had allowed manual recounts.

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