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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Interstate fair scofflaws jailed for illegal games of chance

Confusion reined during the Interstate Fair 100 years ago today, as arrests were made for some concessionaires running games of chance at the midway.  (S-R archives)
Confusion reined during the Interstate Fair 100 years ago today, as arrests were made for some concessionaires running games of chance at the midway. (S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

City authorities had previously announced that they were prohibiting gambling on games of chance at the Interstate Fair – but that did not prevent many concessionaires from running their midway games anyway.

As a result, a number of concessionaires were escorted to jail for contributing to the delinquency of minors. They sold minors “chances” on various prizes. The next day, however, the prosecutor declined to charge them on those counts and advised that they merely be taken to police court on less-serious gambling charges.

This only contributed to the confusion about what was prohibited and what was not. Gambling on horse racing was allowed, as usual, but rumors were circulating that all midway “chance” concessions might be shut down. City officials were unclear about how strict they intended to be.

A “censorship committee” had been appointed to clean up the midway after controversy erupted a year earlier. The president of the fair asked that the committee get together, make some decisions and take charge of the situation.

From the movie beat: All mothers age 50 and over were offered free tickets to a new movie billed as the “greatest mother film.”

It was a “life-like portrayal of a courageous mother’s fight to carry her family from poverty to prosperity.” All mothers over 50 were invited to apply for their free tickets at the Chronicle office.

The name of the film? “Over the Hill.”

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