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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Lawmaker calls for lower gas prices

A Spokane city commissioner called natural gas prices “exorbitant” and “out of all reason” on this date 100 years ago.  (S-R archives)
A Spokane city commissioner called natural gas prices “exorbitant” and “out of all reason” on this date 100 years ago. (S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

Here’s a headline that sounds familiar today: “Demand Cheaper Gas.”

Yet, in this case, the outrage was about natural gas, not gasoline.

A Spokane city commissioner (council member) said the current gas rates were “exorbitant” and “out of all reason.” He was launching a fight to get the Spokane Falls Gas Light Co. to reduce its rates. He believed the company’s profits were far too high.

From the radio beat: KOE, the Spokane Chronicle’s new radio station, was planning a “College Night” program for its nightly broadcast.

The station had recruited two Washington State University students, Ed Smith and Eric Hannum, to perform banjo numbers.

Also, Harper Joy of Whitman College was scheduled to perform “a series of ‘nut’ pianologue numbers.”

What exactly was a “ ‘nut’ pianologue number”? Your guess is as good as ours.

But we can tell you that the performer went on to bigger things. He became a vaudevillian, circus clown and Spokane philanthropist. The college theater at Whitman in Walla Walla is today named the Harper Joy Theatre.

From the moonshine beat: The ”19th Hole” in golf lingo usually refers to the bar.

Two boys discovered Downriver’s unofficial 19th hole cached at a the bottom of the Downriver hill. It consisted of a five-gallon container of moonshine. Police were investigating.

Also on this day


1919: Treaty of Versailles, ending WWI and establishing the League of Nations, is signed in France.

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