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Saturday, April 4, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago: Allies, except U.S., ratify treaty to end World War I

The treaty was signed in Paris by Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Belgium and other countries, but not by the U.S. (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
The treaty was signed in Paris by Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Belgium and other countries, but not by the U.S. (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)

An enormous headline in the Spokane Daily Chronicle declared “Ratify Treaty; War Over.”

This news seemed momentous, if more than a year late. Hostilities between Germany and the allied nations had ceased in November 1918. Yet it had taken more than a year to hammer out the Treaty of Versailles and for the respective countries to ratify it.

One country, the U.S., had still not ratified it. Ratification was stalled in the U.S. Senate because of dissatisfaction with a provision establishing the League of Nations.

This meant the treaty was signed in Paris by Germany, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Belgium and other countries, but not by the U.S.

“The absence of American representatives was particularly remarked,” said a correspondent. “Up to the last hour, Hugh C. Wallace, the American ambassador, was in doubt as to whether he would receive instructions to attend the ceremony.”

He eventually sent the invitation back.

Technically, a state of war still existed between the U.S. and Germany, but trade between the countries had resumed months ago.

From the hospital beat: The fine new Deaconess Hospital building, at Fourth and Post, was nearly finished. The brickwork was completed and the terra-cotta cornices were about to be installed. Trustees hoped to have the second floor ready for use by March 1 and the entire building open by July 1.

Today, this building still forms the core of the Mulitcare Deaconess Hospital.

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