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

100 years ago in Spokane: Crew starts dismantling billboards on area roadways

“A crew of three or four men” began tearing down billboards in public rights-of-way on this day 100 years ago.  (S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

A crew was heading out to rid the Spokane roads of a new nuisance: “signboards,” as in, billboards.

The crew’s job was to “tear down all advertising signs in the rights of way of state roads.” This was happening in highway districts all over the state after authorities vowed a crackdown.

The advertisers had been warned weeks before to take down their signs, but few complied. Now their signs were destined for the dump.

From the Wobbly beat: The Industrial Workers of the World (Wobblies) called a nationwide general strike. Several hundred area lumbermen had walked out, but otherwise the scene was quiet at the Wobbly headquarters at Bernard and Trent.

The local Wobblies held a May Day meeting at the Finnish Hall in Peaceful Valley. Yet they had organized no May Day parade or celebration that year.

Perhaps this was because of the weather. Snow fell overnight in Spokane, and it was rainy and windy most of May Day.

Also on this day


1920: Legendary slugger Babe Ruth records his first home run for the New York Yankees in 6-0 win over his former club, the Boston Red Sox.

1961: The Pulitzer prize is awarded to Harper Lee for her novel “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

1969: Children’s educational television host Fred Rogers, aka Mr. Rogers from “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” testifies before the U.S. Senate subcommittee on communications to secure funding for creation of PBS.

1986: Russian news agency Tass reports the Chernobyl nuclear power plant mishap.