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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: Officials worried an epidemic of addiction was plaguing the city

 (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
(Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)

Spokane was being “flooded with cocaine and morphine.”

The deputy federal marshal said that “more young men were becoming addicted to the drug habit within recent months than ever before in the history of Spokane.”

The U.S. assistant district attorney said that between 15 and 20 narcotics cases were on the Spokane federal docket, and more were expected.

The federal inspector said that the narcotics were being “brought through northwestern ports and through the Canadian border.”

The Spokane Daily Chronicle said that authorities “hint at a concerted effort on the part of a foreign power to flood the Northwest with the drugs.” But they failed to specify which foreign power.

From the fire beat: Testimony continued in the civil trial in which several residents of Milan, just north of Spokane, were suing the Great Northern Railway for causing the fire that destroyed most of the town.

One witness said the conflagration was so intense that debris from the burning buildings was carried more than a quarter-mile to her ranch. The debris included a piece of sheet music, aptly titled, “If the World Should End Tomorrow, I Would Be With You Tonight.”

Also on this day

(From the Associated Press)

1944: During the World War II Battle of the Bulge, U.S. Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe rejected a German demand for surrender, writing “Nuts!” in his official reply.

2010: President Barack Obama signed a law allowing gays for the first time in history to serve openly in America’s military, repealing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

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