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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago today: Entertainer Al Jolson just couldn’t bear to leave Spokane

 (S-R archives)
(S-R archives)

Al Jolson, one of the era’s most popular entertainers, extended his upcoming Spokane engagement from one night to two nights due to popular demand.

Jolson canceled his Yakima performance in order to spend an extra night in Spokane. This was Jolson’s third visit to Spokane, but the others had all been for a single night.

The Auditorium Theater was “preparing for two capacity houses.”

The theater’s ad claimed that Jolson was the most popular singer on earth, and that he “earns five times the salary of the president of the United States.”

The ad also claimed that Jolson was a “topnotch golfer” and the best “scrapper” in the theatrical profession, having gone three rounds with “no less an adversary than Jack Dempsey, champion of the world.”

He would be performing his latest hit show, “Sinbad.”

From the Memorial Day beat: Hundreds of Spokane residents gathered at the area’s cemeteries to honor the war dead.

Mayor C.M. Fassett said that “their sacrifices shall not be forgotten.”

Eight wounded veterans at Sacred Heart Hospital were taken to the Spokane Armory and given places of honor in a ceremony there.

Meanwhile, about 6,000 people packed the stands at the Alan Speedway east of Spokane for the Memorial Day auto races.

The crowd was treated to a full afternoon of races, from sprints to a 30-mile “free-for-all.”

The big event of the day was “one mile race against time.”

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