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100 years ago in Spokane: Boxer Jack Dempsey gave a crowd of fans advice on staying fit

 (S-R archives)

More than 1,000 fans showed up to greet heavyweight boxing champ Jack Dempsey when his train pulled into Spokane.

“Then Jack stepped from the train,” The Spokesman-Review said. “The greeting was hilarious. … As if by magic and from nowhere a crowd of small boys appeared along the station platform and they elbowed and battled among themselves to get as close as possible.

“In the waiting room, the shoulders of the champion served him well and football tactics were almost necessary before he was able to wade through to the limousine which awaited him.”

A reporter commented on his “magnificent physique.” In an interview at the Davenport Hotel, he told a reporter how he kept in shape.

“Why, I don’t even drink coffee,” Dempsey said. “Once in a while I drink a little tea, and I’ve never smoked in my life. And if there are any youngsters in this town that are interested in the boxing game, you can give ’em one word from me: Tell ’em to be clean, not to smoke or drink, or get into any bad habits. Tell ’em to get tons of sleep. The rest of the things they need will come, if they do their part.”

He was in Spokane to perform his vaudeville act at the Pantages Theater.

From the steamship beat: A new steamer on the Admiral line had an Eastern Washington name, the S.S. Wenatchee.

It was the largest steamship turned out in any American shipyard since 1904. It was 533 feet long and displaced 21,200 tons. A headline called it the “New Giant of the Pacific.”

Its first major voyage would be from Seattle to Japan, China and the Philippines. Business and trade representatives from Washington were making the voyage.

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