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Wednesday, April 1, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago today in Spokane: Pool hall raids prompt call to keep boys out

From the March 17, 1920 Spokane Daily Chronicle. (S-R archives)
From the March 17, 1920 Spokane Daily Chronicle. (S-R archives)

There was trouble, right here in River City, with a capitol T and that rhymes with P, and that stands for pool.

The Spokane Daily Chronicle’s editorial page believed the law that “protects” young boys from patronizing pool halls “must not be taken as a joke.”

This editorial was prompted by the arrest that week of 18 boys “beneath the age of majority” at two downtown pool parlors. Police raided the Fountain Pool Hall, where they found four boys under 21, and the B & B Pool Hall, where they found 14 boys. Most of them were aged 18-20. The proprietors were fined.

“The reason for this law is perfectly clear,” opined the Chronicle. “Innocent as the game is by itself, any man about town knows the average pool room is a bad loafing place for any lad. And Spokane’s best wealth consists of its boys and girls.”

The Chronicle warned pool hall owners to know that they were responsible for keeping their pool parlors free of minors. “Should any choose now to ignore this warning, they should ask no sympathy if forced to pay the full penalty.”

From the St. Patrick’s Day beat: The Spokane City Council adjourned early, because the city had “an Irish mayor, an Irish corporation counsel, and a bottle of ‘snakes’ in the basement.”

That “snakes” reference isn’t exactly clear, but the gist is obvious. People were heading out to the many St. Patrick’s Day parties in Spokane, including a big one at the American Legion hall.

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