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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

100 years ago in Spokane: An early movement in pedestrian safety near railroad crossings made headlines

 (S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

Northern Pacific railroad engineer M.J. Maloney pleaded with motorists “not to come so close to the tracks at high speed.”

Locomotive engineers had “thrills enough” without having to worry about cars racing through crossings.

“Every day we read about fatal accidents at railroad crossings,” he said. “I, as a locomotive engineer on fast trains, believe that 50% of these accidents could be avoided if the county and city were forced to put up warning signs in conspicuous places, not less than 300 feet from the crossings on all public highways.”

The railroad companies themselves could not do so, because they were not allowed to put up signs outside of their right of way. Those signs were too close to be effective, he said.

From the Christmas beat: About 500 little ones jammed into the Crescent department store’s auditorium to see Santa Claus.

“How many boys and girls have been good?” Santa asked.

Then 1,000 hands shot up in answer, because “just before Christmas it takes two hands to show the excess of virtue in each child,” The Spokesman-Review wrote.

The stage was decorated with many of the toys for sale at the store, including “doll buggies, toy wagons, monkeys on sticks and tea sets.”

Also on this day


1804: General Napoleon Bonaparte is crowned Emperor of the French.

1941: Japanese Marshal Admiral Yamamoto sends his fleet to Pearl Harbor.

1976: Communist revolutionary Fidel Castro becomes president of Cuba, replacing Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado.