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

50 years ago in Expo history: Boosters worried a nationwide gas shortage could put the brakes on the big fair

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

Anxiety was on full display as Expo ’74 organizers floated a plan to deal with the 1974 nationwide gasoline shortage.

Expo general manager Petr Spurney said he was pondering an arrangement with major oil companies and gas stations to give priority to Expo ticket holders along major highway routes to Spokane. This was part of Expo’s “gasoline shortage contingency program.”

Organizers were terrified by the prospect of gas rationing. They were also worried about a proposal to prohibit gasoline sales on Sundays. More than 37% of Expo visitors were expected to drive from California, as well as from many more distant states.

Spurney admitted that “there is great uncertainty about the legality” of such a plan, not to mention the practicality.

From 100 years ago: A freight-car riding man, thought to be alleged triple-murderer Owen Hudson, proved to be an innocent man. Now, the 100-man posse near Ephrata, Washington, was considering a different theory: That Hudson had taken his own life in some cave or coulee. One of his brothers said he was convinced that was the case, but the search continued.

Also on this day


1789: First U.S. electoral college chooses George Washington as President and John Adams as Vice President.

1865: Robert E. Lee is named general-in-chief of Confederate forces.

1969: The Palestine National Congress appoints Yasser Arafat chairman of the PLO.

2004: Mark Zuckerberg launches Facebook from his Harvard dormitory room.