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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: Officials took out an ad that appealed to striking railway workers’ familial instincts

 (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
(Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)

The Great Northern railroad’s management took out a large ad in the Spokane Daily Chronicle urging its striking shop workers to return to work – and warning them of the repercussions if they didn’t.

“Can you afford to permit your 25 years or more (of seniority), as the case may be, to be wiped out automatically by your failure to report for duty at once?” the ad said, quoting a letter from the Great Northern Veterans Association. “Have you considered the fact that the minimum pension of $25 per moth equals an investment of $5,000 at six percent. … Can you afford to do so? Can your family afford to have you do so?”

The company said the strikers should have no grievance against the company over pay, sine the United States Labor Board fixed the wages.

From the blizzard beat: Mrs. Percy Rockefeller, of the famous tycoon family, and a party of her fellow sightseers ran into a startling problem on an open-top bus ride in Yellowstone: They got caught in a ferocious July blizzard.

Rockefeller wrote an account of the incident for the Associated Press, in which she described a storm near the top of Mt. Washburn. They were pelted with snow and freezing wind and were sometimes blocked by snowdrifts. They had to take refuge in the little log cabin at the top of the mountain.

“There is one thing you may be sure of,” Rockefeller wrote. “The next time we come out into this rugged mountain country we are going to wear the attire that other mountain climbers do. It is far more sensible than the dresses we brought along.”

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