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

100 years ago in Spokane: A Chronicle editorial blasted the local KKK chapter’s claim of patriotism

 (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

The Spokane Daily Chronicle condemned the Ku Klux Klan and its Spokane cross-burning demonstration in an editorial headlined, “Take Off the Masks.”

The editors noted that the prospective Klansmen were asked to pledge an oath that included a promise to “support the Constitution of the United States.” The editors wrote that the people who truly supported the Constitution were the soldiers who stood ready before the flag in the last war “with unmasked faces.”

The editorial said the concept of Americanism could not be taught “by hooded persons seeking the darkness of night and seclusion of the forests for their meeting places.”

The Spokesman-Review also took on the Klan with an editorial cartoon showing hooded KKK members with whips, nooses and a burning cross, while terrified citizens hide under a bed.

From the accidental death beat: Charles Norlin, a plumber with the Standard Plumbing and Heating Co., was found dead after being buried alive in a sewer ditch two days earlier.

Norlin had been called to fix a sewer line at the Samaritan Old People’s Home. That afternoon, he called the office to order some pipe and cement. It was delivered, but the delivery man did not see Norlin.

Two days later, the people at the home called to again complain that the sewer line was not fixed. The company sent another plumber out, who found the sides of the ditch caved in. When he started digging, he found Norlin’s body buried under a few inches of earth.