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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: NAACP plans Supreme Court fight in case of two men refused service at Spokane soda fountain

By Jim Kershner For The Spokesman-Review

Spokane’s NAACP branch announced it would take a soda fountain discrimination case to the Supreme Court.

Months earlier, Smallwood Goff and James Woodson entered W.E. Savage’s drugstore soda fountain, sat at the counter and requested soft drinks. Savage refused to serve them because he said he “did not serve Negroes.” The two men said they were subjected to “ridicule and great humiliation.”

Goff and Smallwood sued for $2,500 in damages. A Spokane judge dismissed the suit on the dubious grounds that a drugstore was not “a public place of convenience or amusement.”

“We are taking the matter to the Supreme Court because we feel we did not receive a fair decision,” said the Rev. T.F. Jones, head of the local NAACP chapter.

Jones said the two men were denied service “simply because they were members of the colored race, not because they did not have money, or because they were not well dressed.” He said that “we feel that we should at least be accorded common courtesy.”

A mass meeting of Spokane’s Black community was planned to raise funds for the legal appeal.

Also on the date

(From Associated Press)

1941: The Empire of Japan launched an air raid on the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as well as targets in Malaya, Hong Kong, Guam, the Philippines and Wake Island; the United States declared war against Japan the next day.

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