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100 years ago in Spokane: Women were becoming an ‘ever-growing force of practical progress,’ the Chronicle wrote

 (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)

Women, said the editors of the Spokane Daily Chronicle, had become “an ever-growing force of practical progress, for clean living, for generous thinking, for earnest action to give this land wiser laws, finer schools, improved working conditions, surer protection for the boys and girls, and better, happier homes.”

This outpouring of praise was prompted by a recent convention of women’s clubs in Spokane. The clubwomen took stands on many of the serious political and civic issues of the day.

This was a welcome change from the old days, the editors said, when clubwomen turned their energies mostly to discussing Chaucer and Shelley.

“They have come out of the dim libraries and are journeying to the schoolhouses, the courtrooms and the market place,” the editorial said.

What brought about this welcome change?

The main driver was “the coming of equal suffrage with its new thoughts, duties and opportunities.” The vote “has been a powerful influence in centering the attention of women on big, live problems of the day.” The second was “the rapid broadening of employment.”

From the motherhood beat: The Spokane Daily Chronicle was inviting all Spokane mothers, age 50 and above, to a free showing of a movie titled “Smilin’ Through,” featuring Norma Talmadge.

The movie was “the story of love and courtship back in the last century, which mothers are prone to look upon as the ‘good old days.’ ”

“The girl ushers at the Liberty Theater will wear costumes much like Norma’s in the picture,” the Chronicle said.

All that was necessary for a free ticket was for the mother to say she was 50 or older – no proof required.

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