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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: Tragedy struck at a sewer project site, and gun control and unemployment were making news

UPDATED: Thu., Jan. 14, 2021

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

Chris Harmesen, a Spokane laborer, was working below ground on a sewer project at Post Street and Gordon Avenue when disaster struck.

The boards used to brace the hole gave way and the dirt walls collapsed. Harmesen was caught in the cave-in and instantly killed.

The foreman said it happened so quickly there was nothing they could do. Harmesen was caught in the lumber, 12 feet below ground. It took two hours to dig his body out.

Harmesen was married with a family.

From the gun control beat: A bill was introduced in the Washington state Legislature to “ban the indiscriminate sale of pistols and revolvers.”

The bill banned sales to anyone under 21. Those over 21 would have to attain a permit from the local police agency.

Also, “the display of pistols or revolvers for sale” would be prohibited. The bill was sponsored by two state senators from the town of Pacific, near Tacoma.

There was no word on how much support such a bill would receive in the Legislature.

From the unemployment beat: Over 500 “unemployed family men” planned to parade through the city’s streets to Spokane City Hall, where they would appeal for a public works job program.

One of the men said they “needed work badly to feed their hungry children.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1929: Civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta.

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