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100 years ago in Spokane: ‘Please let us girls have smokes,’ female inmates begged the jail

 (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)

The women prisoners in the Spokane County Jail signed a petition with a simple message: “Please let us girls have smokes in jail.”

The nicotine-starved women said the petition was their only recourse after “all other means of acquiring smokes had vanished under the watchful eyes of the jail matrons.”

“One by one, the smuggling methods have been detected,” the Spokane Daily Chronicle wrote.

The women did their research. They discovered that there was no law to prevent women smoking if they desired, and also that the men in the jail were allowed the privilege.

The Spokane police chief was unmoved.

“Long ago I made the rule that as long as I am chief of police, women will not be permitted to smoke in jail,” said Chief W.J. Weir. “The old rule is still good. I do not think girls should smoke.”

From the school beat: About 5,000 children lined up in formation at the Interstate Fairgrounds as part of the May festival of Spokane grade schools.

Many more thousands of proud parents and grandparents gathered in the grandstands to watch.

The festival included a variety of footraces and mass drill performances.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1929: The first all-color talking picture, “On with the Show!” produced by Warner Bros., opened in New York.

1977: 165 people were killed when fire raced through the Beverly Hills Supper Club in Southgate, Kentucky.

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