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

50 years ago in Expo history: John Denver added a special midnight show as the fair’s entertainment offerings proved too popular to meet demand

July 5, 1954 -- Mercury Soars To Season Mark. Maximum of 92. Is Highest July 4 Since 1906. The mercury soared to 92 in Spokane yesterday, the highest for the year to date and seven degrees under the record July 4 -- a 99 in 1906. The forecast for today was 85 to 95. It was the warmest day in Spokane since September 11, 1953, when the mercury also reached 92. The previous high for this year was an 89 on May 18. The thermostat atop city hall yesterday registered a maximum of near 94. (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

Several more acts were added to the Expo ’74 entertainment schedule due to “tremendous box office response and repeated sell-outs.”

The newly announced attractions included singer Jose Feliciano, the Mills Brothers with comedian George Gobel, and actor Henry Fonda in the one-man show “Clarence Darrow.”

Also, a second John Denver show was added after his first show at the Spokane Coliseum sold out almost immediately. This would be a “midnight special” on the same night, Aug. 23.

Expo general manager Petr Spurney said Expo entertainment had originally been “budgeted at a loss,” but now it was on the way to making a profit.

In other Expo news, the Whitworth College Children’s Theater was delighting youngsters at the “huge white bubble” stage near Expo’s multicolored butterfly. The show was titled, “The Wonderful Wizard,” and the wizard claimed to cast spells on the children to magically turn them into different animals.

At the end, he reversed his spell because “there might be a riot out there if all you ants and bees and wolves and bears walked outside!”

From 100 years ago: A Rathdrum man had accomplished a first at his fur farm – he had produced the “only genuine ranch-bred (pine) martens in the world.”

“If a man knows enough about their habits they can be raised as well as any other animal,” he said.