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100 years ago in Spokane: Chamber urges Washington governor to veto bill allowing schoolchildren to opt out of vaccinations

The Spokane Chamber of Commerce urged Gov. Louis F. Hart to veto a state Senate bill which would allow school children to opt out of vaccinations, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on March 2, 1921.  (Spokesman-Review archives)
The Spokane Chamber of Commerce urged Gov. Louis F. Hart to veto a state Senate bill which would allow school children to opt out of vaccinations, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on March 2, 1921. (Spokesman-Review archives)
By Jim Kershner THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW

The Spokane Chamber of Commerce urged Gov. Louis F. Hart to veto a state Senate bill which would allow schoolchildren to opt out of vaccinations.

At issue was the smallpox vaccination.

“The value of vaccination has been proved and steps toward abandoning it would only result in the old-time epidemics of smallpox,” said Dr. W.J. Pennock, of the chamber’s health and sanitation committee. “If the system of vaccinating all school children is continued for a few years more, smallpox will become a foreigner in the United States.”

This prediction proved correct, not just for the U.S., but for the rest of the world. Smallpox has been eradicated throughout the world, largely because of vaccinations.

From the boxing beat: Heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey was booked into the Pantages Theater for a week later in March.

It was not unusual for sports stars to make money on the vaudeville circuit. It was unclear what Dempsey’s act would consist of, but he was bringing a sparring partner so he could demonstrate his boxing skills.

From the tonsorial beat: A new fad was sweeping Spokane’s barber shops: the mud massage.

The Boncilla Massage, as it was formally called, was so popular that the barbers’ union voted to increase the price from $1 to $1.50.

“Spokane people are going crazy about it,” said an official of the barbers’ union.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1995: The Internet search engine website Yahoo! was incorporated by founders Jerry Yang and David Filo.

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