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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

100 years ago today: Hotelier innocent of liquor charges

From the May 18, 1921 Spokane Daily Chronicle.  (S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

The ongoing and increasingly difficult war on booze hit a new pair of snags.

The proprietor of the Great Northern Hotel was found innocent of state and city liquor violations by a Spokane jury.

The hotel was raided two months earlier and Spokane detectives found a suspicious “jog” in a wall of one of the rooms. They smashed the wall with axes and found a crock containing a small amount of moonshine and a rubber tube leading to a hole in the wall where the booze could be “sucked out.”

However, the defendant showed that the jog in the wall was formerly used as a dumbwaiter in the pre-Prohibition era, connected to the bar on the first floor. The proprietor said he had no idea there was an old crock of liquor behind that wall.

In other news, the federal government announced it had temporarily laid off about 700 Prohibition enforcement agents due to lack of funds.

The men were given a 40-day “vacation” without pay but hoped to hire them back if Congress appropriated the funds.

From the jailbreak beat: Jerome Kirk, who masterminded a daring jailbreak from the Spokane County Jail in 1920 was at it again.

Word came from Florida that he had made another sensational escape from the Jacksonville City Jail in Florida, where he had been arrested on a suspicious person charge.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1652: Rhode Island became the first American colony to pass a law abolishing African slavery. The law was apparently never enforced.