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

50 years ago in Expo history: The fair was expected to make Spokane the world’s entertainment capital thanks to big-ticket performers like John Denver and Sonny & Cher

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

The Expo ’74 brass had long promised that the fair would make Spokane “the entertainment capital of the world.”

Really? The world?

Yet this did not seem like too much of an exaggeration when the lineups were finally announced, including:

  • Singing stars John Denver, Sonny & Cher, Helen Reddy, Kris Kristofferson, Gordon Lightfoot, Harry Belafonte, the Carpenters, Tony Bennett, Lena Horne and Ella Fitzgerald.
  • Comedians Bob Hope and Jack Benny.
  • Classical virtuosos Van Cliburn and Isaac Stern.
  • Country stars Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner.

By the time the fair opened, some of these names would withdraw – Sonny & Cher – but many others would be added, including Grand Funk Railroad, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and Bill Cosby.

From 100 years ago: A gunman fatally shot three men, including his own brother, and seriously wounded the wife of one of the victims at a ranch near Ephrata. A 200-member posse pursued the shooter into the hills near Soap Lake, but he had not yet been captured.

The motive was still unclear, although some locals blamed the shooting on “an unbalanced mind.”

Also on this day


1876: The United States orders all Native Americans to move to reservations.

2006: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor retires and is replaced by Samuel Alito.