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Library Search Results: Abstracts

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Showing 1 - 20 of 27 results

Chase, James E. (1914-1987)

James E. Chase was a popular and respected Spokane civic leader who went from shoe-shiner to the first African American mayor in Spokane's history. He was born in Wharton, Texas, in 1914, to a poor family. The Great Depression put an end to his high school education when his all-black high school closed. He worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps in El Paso and then he and three friends rode the rails to Spokane in 1934 to look for new opportunities. Chase shined shoes at a local barbershop and in 1939 went into the auto body repair business. He did repair work for the Army air base in Spokane during World War II. He became president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP in 1950, a post he held for 17 of the ensuing 19 years. He and his wife Eleanor Barrow Chase (1918-2002), from a prominent Spokane black family, were strong believers in civic involvement. James Chase was elected to the Spokane City Council in 1975, the first black council member since the 1890s. He ran for mayor in 1981 and won by a landslide, a historic feat in a city with a black population hovering between 1 and 2 percent. He served a successful term as mayor, but ill health in 1985 prevented him from seeking a second term. He died of cancer in 1987. His impact on Spokane can be measured in the many ways his name lives on, through the James E. Chase Middle School, the Chase Art Gallery at Spokane City Hall, and the Chase Youth Commission, dedicated to improving the lives of the city's youth.
File 8788: Full Text >

Chief Spokane Garry (ca. 1811-1892)

Chief Spokane Garry was a chief of the Spokane Tribe whose long, and ultimately tragic life spanned the fur-trading, missionary, and white settlement eras of the region. His father, also a Spokane chief, sent Garry off with fur traders at age 14 to be educated at the Red River Settlement's missionary school in Canada. Garry returned after five years, fluent in English and French, to become an influential leader and spokesman for his tribe. He opened a rough school to teach reading and writing and also taught his fellow tribesmen agricultural techniques. He participated in many peace councils, including those of 1855 and 1858, and was known as a steadfast advocate of peace and an equally steadfast advocate of a fair land settlement for his tribe. He never wavered on his insistence that the Spokane people should have the rights to their native lands along the Spokane River, a goal which proved unattainable. His own farm in what is now the Hillyard area of Spokane was stolen from him late in life and he and his sadly diminished band were forced to camp in Hangman Valley, where boys from the growing city of Spokane would throw rocks onto their tepees. A kindly landowner allowed Garry and his family to camp in Indian Canyon, where he lived out the rest of his life in poverty. He died there in 1892 and was buried in a pauper's grave. Decades later, a Spokane city park was named after him and a statue erected in his honor.
File 8713: Full Text >

Corbin, Daniel Chase, (1832-1918)

Mining and railroad magnate, Daniel Chase Corbin ranks as a major shaper of the growth and prosperity of Spokane, the economic and geographic center of the Inland Northwest. He settled in Spokane in 1889, already an experienced Western entrepreneur and well positioned to survive the Panic of 1893, which depleted the fortunes of Spokane's earliest tycoons. The bulk of Corbin's wealth was based on his railroads that "stitched the [Idaho Panhandle and British Columbia Kootenay] mines to Spokane," enriching and forever changing his adopted city (Fahey, Inland Empire, 3). Over the years, he was substantially involved in other enterprises as diverse as banking, real estate, irrigation, beet sugar production, and coal mining. Corbin often was pointed out as Spokane's richest man as he passed in his buggy, its superb team driven at top speed by a coachman. But unlike many of his wealthy predecessors and contemporaries, Corbin was not a civic leader or benefactor, at least in any obvious way, and, upon his death, his wealth remained with his descendants. His personal and family life was full of enigmas, and his aloof demeanor did not make him popular in the community. Furthermore, his secretiveness about earnings and assets would not be allowed under today's business regulations. Yet Corbin's contribution to his adopted city was massive, his railroads and other ventures enabling such wealth to pour into Spokane that, during his time, it became the hub of the "Inland Empire."
File 7960: Full Text >

Crosby, Bing (1903-1977) and Mildred Bailey (1907-1951), Spokane's Jazz Royalty

The music careers of a couple of the twentieth century's most significant singing stars -- Bing "The King of the Crooners" Crosby and Mildred "That Princess of Rhythm" Bailey -- are so intertwined that their stories are perhaps best told as one. Those two innovative Jazz Age vocalists both went on to conquer the music world in big ways, but their shared beginnings on the fringes of the Spokane, Washington, Prohibition Era speakeasy jazz scene were quite humble.
File 7445: Full Text >

Cutter, Kirtland Kelsey (1860-1939), Architect

Kirtland Kelsey Cutter was primarily a Spokane architect with a significant practice in Spokane, Seattle, and Southern California, as well as commissions as far away as England. Of Spokane's many prolific and successful architects, he is the best known to the general public today. Spokane is where he first made his reputation, his buildings giving clues about the "economy, power structure, social life, and changing fortunes" of the growing city (Matthews, Spokane and the Inland Empire, 143). Cutter's career spanned 50 years, from 1889 to his death in 1939. His legacy of large-scale houses and public buildings still standing in Spokane, Seattle, Southern California, and elsewhere is varied and impressive.
File 115: Full Text >

Davenport Hotel (Spokane)

Davenport Hotel of Spokane opened its doors on September 1, 1914, and was soon acclaimed one of the world's grand hotels. Spokane already had fine hotels, but civic and business leaders, intent on increasing the population of the already flourishing city, were convinced that a large, elegant hotel attracting more conventions, business people, and tourists would help achieve that goal. In restaurateur Louis M. Davenport (1868-1951) these promoters discovered an ideal man to carry out their project. Louis Davenport hired Spokane architect Kirtland Kelsey Cutter (1860-1939) to design the hotel, and Cutter's dignified building and aesthetic interior appointments resulted in an unsurpassed facility. Davenport's genius for restaurant and hotel management provided hotel guests from presidents to humble traveling salesmen with a level of comfort and hospitality that would become legendary.
File 7545: Full Text >

Durkin, James (1859-1934)

James "Jimmie" Durkin gained notoriety in the Inland Empire of Eastern Washington as Spokane's legendary liquor tycoon. Wild tales abound regarding his outlandish exploits and stunts, but beyond becoming one of the town's most successful businessmen and an early millionaire, Durkin earned a well-deserved reputation as a thinking man. Indeed, locals and area newspapers routinely referred to the one-time gubernatorial candidate as no less than "Spokane's Main Avenue philosopher."
File 9018: Full Text >

Felts Field (Spokane)

Felts Field, Spokane's historic airfield, is located on the south bank of the Spokane River east of Spokane proper. Aviation activities began there in 1913. In 1920 the field, then called the Parkwater airstrip, was designated a municipal flying field at the instigation of the Spokane Chamber of Commerce. In 1926, the United States Department of Commerce officially recognized Parkwater as an airport, one of the first in the West. In September 1927, in conjunction with Spokane's National Air Derby and Air Races, the airport was renamed Felts Field for James Buell Felts (1898-1927), a Washington Air National Guard aviator killed in a crash that May. Parkwater Aviation Field, later Felts Field, was the location for flight instruction, charter service, airplane repair, aerial photography, headquarters of the 116th Observation Squadron of the Washington Air National Guard, and eventually the first airmail and commercial flights in and out of Spokane. After World War II, commercial air traffic moved to Geiger Field (later Spokane International Airport). Felts Field remains a busy regional hub for private and small-plane aviation and related businesses and services. In 1991 it was designated Felts Field Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.
File 8464: Full Text >

Fox Theater (Spokane)

Spokane's Fox Theater, today called the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox, is a 1931 Art Deco movie theater turned modern concert hall. Located on Monroe Street between Sprague and 1st avenues, it is also one of the best-restored of the grand Fox "movie palaces." The Fox opened on September 3, 1931, in a gala event that included a number of top Fox movie stars. It immediately became the grandest and most opulent theater in the city, with huge Art Deco sunburst light fixtures, murals, and a grand staircase to the balcony. It also served as the city's main concert hall for its first three decades, hosting such stars as Sergei Rachmaninoff, Jascha Heifetz, and Vladimir Horowitz. Beginning in the 1950s, the theater went into a long, slow decline. In 1975, the theater was partitioned into a triplex. In 1989, it became a discount movie house. Demolition appeared to be its fate in 2000, but the Spokane Symphony staged a massive fundraising to purchase it, and a second campaign to renovate it as a concert hall. After years of work, it reopened on November 17, 2007, and became the home of the Spokane Symphony.
File 8631: Full Text >

Gonzaga University

Father Joseph Cataldo (1837-1928) founded Gonzaga College in 1887 as a Jesuit school for boys in the muddy pioneer town of Spokane. The campus, on a choice parcel of land on the Spokane River, soon attracted boarding students from around the West and day students from the growing city of Spokane. By the turn of the century, it had a new church, a new four-story brick hall, and 244 students, making it the largest Catholic college in the Northwest. The school was divided between a preparatory department for younger students and an academic department for older students. It soon acquired a baseball team, a symphony, and a military cadet corps. A grand brick, double-spired St. Aloysius Church was completed in 1911. In 1912, Gonzaga College became Gonzaga University and the Gonzaga School of Law opened. Football became a Gonzaga University passion as early as 1892 -- but was dropped in 1942. The school's most famous alumnus, Bing Crosby (1903-1977), dropped out of his pre-law studies in the 1924 after deciding that his future lay in jazz rather than jurisprudence. The school weathered a financial crisis during the Great Depression and during World War II, lost most of its regular students to wartime service, but became a center for U.S. Navy training programs. In 1948, the school admitted women for the first time and began a period of modernization and expansion. It remained a Jesuit institution, but by 1965, Jesuits made up only a third of the faculty. By 1990, it had acquired professional accreditation in such fields as law, nursing, engineering, and business. In the 1990s and 2000s, the university became known nationally for its basketball success. As of 2007, total enrollment topped 6,000 and Gonzaga was thriving more than it ever had in its 120-year history.
File 8097: Full Text >

Graves, Jay P. (1859-1948)

Few entrepreneurs have been more important to the development of Spokane and the Inland Northwest or involved in a broader range of endeavors than Jay P. Graves. Arriving in Spokane from Illinois in 1887, he became modestly successful in real estate. After the Panic of 1893, he profited from the fall of others to build (and eventually lose) a major fortune in mining, railroads, and real estate. Graves put his stamp on Spokane with his urban and suburban developments, while his city and interurban railroads contributed to the growth and prosperity of Spokane and the surrounding area. His donations of land, although prompted more by self-interest than altruism, nevertheless resulted in Spokane's Manito Park and a new campus for Whitworth College. For many years, Graves's respite from business cares was his English-style model farm on the Little Spokane River. Although his personal fortunes eventually declined, Graves would be remembered for "his contributions for the betterment of quality of life, the business community, agriculture, mining, railroad building [which] greatly enhanced Spokane's stature as a city, its growth and development" (Moldovan, 54).
File 7721: Full Text >

Hurn, Reba (1881-1967)

Spokane lawyer Reba (Rebecca Jane) Hurn was the first woman elected to the Washington State Senate, serving from 1923 to 1930. Before launching her legal and political careers, she pursued graduate work at Heidelberg University in Germany, then worked for New York philanthropist and political activist Nathan Straus, who became her mentor. Her assistance with Straus's Democratic Party activities provided Hurn with first-hand political experience long before she ran for office as a Republican in 1922. As the lone woman in the state senate, she at first attracted press attention more as a novelty than as the serious legislator that she soon became. After two terms in office, she returned to her law practice in Spokane, remained active in public affairs, and was a world traveler of unusual perception and daring.
File 7568: Full Text >

Hutton, May Arkwright (1860-1915)

May Arkwright Hutton is probably the best-known woman's name in Spokane history. The woman suffrage leader and political activist grew up in Ohio and came west to the Coeur d'Alene mining area as a young woman. First as a saloon cook, then a boarding house owner, she became known as the best cook in the Coeur d'Alenes. There she met locomotive engineer, Levi W. Hutton (1860-1928), whom she married in 1887. Theirs was a classic American rags to riches story. The Huttons and their partners owned the Hercules Mine, which eventually produced enough silver and lead to make them millionaires. In 1906 they moved to Spokane, where Levi diversified into real estate and May became a philanthropist, the prime mover in Eastern Washington's woman suffrage movement, and an active figure in Democratic Party politics.
File 7547: Full Text >

Inland Empire Rock: The Sound of Eastern Washington

The "Northwest Sound" usually describes that regional strain of R&B-tinged rock 'n' roll that was forged decades ago (ca. 1957-1964) in various Puget Sound-area towns and then taken to wider prominence with hit records by coastal bands like the Frantics, the Wailers, the Sonics, and Paul Revere and the Raiders. But just across the Cascade Mountains in the "Inland Empire" of Eastern Washington another rock scene was also simmering. And although some of the earliest rockin' and rollin' there owed more of a stylistic debt to rural 1950s rockabilly sounds than to West Coast R&B, in ensuing years the area contributed significantly to subsequent trends, including the Pacific Northwest's grunge explosion of the 1990s.
File 7490: Full Text >

Jewish Community of Spokane

The first synagogue in the state opened in Spokane in 1892, but the city's Jewish history began even before the little village of Spokane Falls existed. In 1879, Indians told Simon Berg, the first known Jewish resident, that he was not the first "egg-eater" they had met. Apparently, other Jewish traders observing the kosher dietary rules had visited before. Berg built a store in tiny Spokane Falls in 1879 and by 1885 he had been joined by at least a dozen other Jewish merchants. The town's first Jewish services were held in a private home in 1885. In 1890, the Jewish community met to organize a Reform congregation, called Congregation Emanu-El. On September 14, 1892, they dedicated their synagogue, Temple Emanu-El, the first in the state by four days, since Seattle's Ohaveth Sholum opened within a week. Jewish merchants and financiers played a key role in the development of Spokane during its early decades. A second congregation, the Orthodox Keneseth Israel congregation was formed in 1901. Both congregations thrived until they merged in 1966 and built a new, modern temple, the Temple Beth Shalom. It remains the center of Spokane's Jewish community today. The city's Jewish population has remained steady through the decade, yet is estimated at less than 1 percent of the metropolitan area's population.
File 8640: Full Text >

Manning, William Morley (1877-1944)

William Morley Manning, a native of Ontario, Canada, arrived in the Inland Northwest in 1897 to seek his fortune in the region's burgeoning mines. During the following decade, he worked as an assayer, mining engineer, and county surveyor throughout Northeastern Washington. In the course of his travels, Manning began purchasing artifacts from the Colville, Kalispel, Nez Perce, and Spokane tribes; in 1916, he loaned a sizable collection to the Spokane Historical Society. This donation became the charter collection of the Eastern Washington Historical Society upon its formation two years later. Currently housed in climate-controlled storage at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture in Spokane, the Manning Collection comprises a valuable record of traditional Plateau artistry and craftsmanship at the beginning of the twentieth century.
File 9403: Full Text >

Maxey, Carl (1924-1997)

Carl Maxey was Spokane's first prominent black attorney and an influential and controversial civil-rights leader. He was born in 1924 in Tacoma and raised as an orphan in Spokane. He overcame an almost Dickensian childhood to become a household name in Eastern Washington, beginning in the 1940s when he won an NCAA boxing championship for Gonzaga University in Spokane. Later, after becoming a lawyer, he threw himself into Washington state's civil-rights struggle, defending a black citizen's right to get a haircut, teach in the public schools, join a social club, and buy a house in any neighborhood. He went to Mississippi to participate in the Freedom Summer of 1964 where he worked with Stokely Carmichael (1941-1998) and Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968). Through a long and flamboyant career, he defended the Seattle Seven in a scandalous anti-Vietnam-War protest trial; ran against Senator Henry (Scoop) Jackson (1912-1983) for the U.S. Senate on an anti-war platform; defended notorious serial rapist Kevin Coe and Coe's mother Ruth; and was nominated for the Washington State Supreme Court. He was loved by many for his unwavering stands against racial discrimination, and resented by many others for upsetting the status quo. He died in 1997 when he shot himself in the head in his bedroom in Spokane. The New York Times headlined his obituary: "Type-A Gandhi."
File 8015: Full Text >

Mount Spokane State Park

Mount Spokane, the largest of Washington state parks, began as a small privately owned parcel of land on the flank of the 5,883-foot mountain in northeast Spokane County. The mountain, its rounded dome easily visible from Spokane, is slightly more than an hour's drive northeast of the city. The summit affords views in all directions: the city and valley of Spokane, North Idaho lakes, the Pend Oreille River, even peaks in Canada. Over the years, through purchases and donations, the property that became the park has been expanded to 14,000 acres. It is now a major recreational area for Eastern Washington, providing excellent facilities for winter and summer activities.
File 7819: Full Text >

Olmsted Parks in Spokane

Nearly all Spokane's beautiful parks and parkways were first conceived by a legendary firm: the Olmsted Brothers, Landscape Architects, of Brookline, Massachusetts, of New York's Central Park fame. In 1907, Aubrey L. White (1868-1948), the first president of the young city's new Park Board, was determined to make Spokane into a model of modern park planning. White discovered that John Charles Olmsted (1852-1920) was making trips out west to oversee other projects in the Northwest, so convinced him to make stopovers in Spokane. On these trips Olmsted and his associates roamed the city's bluffs, river gorge, and forests. His firm issued a report in 1908 proposing an ambitious plan that called for four massive new parks, five smaller local parks, 11 playfields, numerous parkways, and major improvements to 10 existing parks. Many of these recommendations were put into effect following the passage of a $1 million bond issue in 1910. By 1913, the city had multiplied its park acreage tenfold. Today, many of Spokane' best-known public spaces, including the Finch Arboretum, High Bridge Park, and Downriver Park, owe their existence to the Olmsted report. Even pre-existing parks, including Manito Park, owe much of their aesthetic appeal to Olmsted suggestions. Olmsted even foresaw that the city would one day reclaim the downtown riverfront, which became Riverfront Park in 1974. A century after the report was drafted, Spokane' park planners and civic activists still look to the Olmsted Report for guidance.
File 8218: Full Text >

Shadle Park: Spokane's First "Modern" High School

Shadle Park High School, located at 4327 N Ash Street in northwest Spokane, was built in the mid-1950s and opened for classes in September 1957. Designed by Culler, Gale, Martell & Norriet, the building was Spokane's first Modernist-style high school. The asymmetrical, multi-tiered structure is made of concrete, glass, and composite materials. Shadle Park High School had a notable building and also met with almost immediate success both in the educational and athletic fields, earning many awards and accolades. This is a tradition the school has continued ever since. The building was remodeled in 2007-2008.
File 8724: Full Text >

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Showing 1 - 20 of 62 results

J. J. Downing and S. R. Scranton file claims and build a sawmill at Spokane Falls in May 1871.

In May 1871, J. J. Downing and S. R. Scranton file claims and build a sawmill at Spokane Falls. It is the first American settlement at what will become downtown Spokane. Both men will sell their claims two years later and move on.
File 5132: Full Text >

Spokane Beginnings: First post office in Spokane opens on July 5, 1872.

On July 5, 1872, the first post office in Spokane opens. The post office of the place called Spokane (or Spokan) Falls is housed in one of the shacks clustered near the falls of the Spokane River. Spokane is part of Stevens County, out of which Spokane County will be formed in 1879.
File 7628: Full Text >

Armed Cheney citizens forcibly remove the county seat from Spokane Falls to Cheney on March 21, 1881.

On March 21, 1881, armed citizens from Cheney steal into Spokane Falls and make off with the entire Spokane County government.
File 8249: Full Text >

First train arrives at Spokane Falls on June 25, 1881.

On June 25, 1881, the first train arrives in Spokane Falls. The Northern Pacific Railroad line runs only from Wallula near the Oregon border, but will connect to tracks being built over the Rockies from the East and to a line down the Columbia River gorge. Spokane Falls (shortened to Spokane in 1891) will become an important terminal for three trancontinental rail lines.
File 5137: Full Text >

Future architect Kirtland Cutter arrives in Spokane in 1886.

In 1886, future architect, Kirtland Cutter (1860-1939), arrives in Spokane at the age of 26. Cutter is lured to Spokane Falls by his uncle, banker Horace Cutter. He will establish his practice in 1889, and over the next 34 years will become one of Spokane's most prolific and successful architects.
File 7646: Full Text >

Great Spokane Fire destroys downtown Spokane Falls on August 4, 1889.

On Sunday, August 4, 1889, fire destroys most of downtown Spokane Falls. It begins in an area of flimsy wooden structures and quickly engulfs the substantial stone and brick buildings of the business district. Property losses are huge, and one death is reported. Initially the fire is blamed on Rolla A. Jones, who was in charge of the water system and was said to have gone fishing after leaving the system in the charge of a complete incompetent. Later, city fathers will exonerate Jones, but this account, although false, will be repeated in many histories of the fire. Spokane will quickly rebuild as fine new buildings of a revitalized downtown rise from the ashes.
File 7696: Full Text >

Spokane's first Monroe Street Bridge is completed on October 17, 1889.

On October 17, 1889, the first Monroe Street Bridge in Spokane is completed. The first bridge on the site is a rickety wooden affair built by the Spokane Cable Railway Company in partnership with the city and private interests. It will burn down in 1890 and be replaced in 1892 by the second Monroe Street Bridge, a steel bridge.
File 7667: Full Text >

Spokane's second Monroe Street Bridge, a steel bridge, is completed on June 27, 1892.

On June 27, 1892, Spokane's second Monroe Street Bridge, a steel bridge, is completed. It replaces a rickety wooden bridge that burned down in 1890. The steel Monroe Street Bridge will be replaced in 1909 with Spokane's historic concrete arch Monroe Street Bridge, at the time the largest concrete-arch bridge in the world.
File 7683: Full Text >

The first synagogue in the state, Spokane's Temple Emanu-El, is dedicated on September 14, 1892.

On September 14, 1892, the first synagogue in Washington is dedicated by Spokane's Temple Emanu-El, a Reform Jewish congregation organized two years earlier. This makes the frame building at 3rd Avenue and Madison Street the first synagogue in the state, but just barely. Seattle's Ohaveth Sholum will be dedicated just four days later.
File 8608: Full Text >

Spokane Stock Exchange opens on January 18, 1897.

On January 18, 1897, the Spokane Stock Exchange opens. It is one of about 200 regional exchanges and initially trades in mining shares issued as penny stocks (shares selling below a dollar). Spokane, the railroad and commercial center of the "Inland Empire," is corporate headquarters for most of the gold, silver, lead, and zinc mines of the region. Thus it is the logical location for such an exchange.
File 8884: Full Text >

Congregation Keneseth Israel organizes as Spokane's first Orthodox Jewish congregation on April 1, 1901.

On April 1, 1901, a number of people in Spokane's growing Orthodox Jewish population meet and organize into a congregation of 22 members, each paying 50 cents in monthly dues. They obtain an official charter on May 3, 1901, and begin to raise money for their own synagogue. The Keneseth Israel Synagogue is finished in 1909 and becomes the congregation's home until 1966, when it merges with the city's other main Jewish congregation and becomes Temple Beth Shalom.
File 8643: Full Text >

Spokane Board of Park Commissioners begins its duties on June 1, 1907.

On June 1, 1907, the newly instituted Spokane Board of Park Commissioners begins its duties with Aubrey Lee White (1869-1948) as president, a position he will hold for the next 15 years. White is the logical choice, having returned in 1906 from a six-year business sojourn in the East during which he has become an expert on the park development of major Eastern cities. While there he has seen land for parks purchased at inflated prices because these cities have not planned ahead. He is determined that Spokane will not make the same mistakes. White proves to be the most zealous among a number of Spokane civic leaders anxious see the city provide a park within easy walking distance of all its residents. Under his leadership, the Board of Park Commissioners launches Spokane into the top ranks of American city park development. Aubrey White will soon come to be called the "father of Spokane parks."
File 9387: Full Text >

IWW organizer James H. Walsh arrives in Spokane and rejuvenates the Wobbly local in the fall of 1908.

In the fall of 1908, IWW organizer James H. Walsh, known as the General of the Overalls Brigade, arrives in Spokane and effectively reorganizes the inactive local of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW, also known as Wobblies). Founded in 1905, the IWW will soon become influential among loggers and migratory agricultural laborers in the Pacific Northwest. It is a democratic union with a mix of radical anti-capitalist politics. Street meetings including speeches and rowdy singing, and direct action (civil disobedience) are key Wobbly organizing strategies.
File 7353: Full Text >

Spokane Wobblies create the first IWW songbook in 1909.

In 1909, a committee formed out of Spokane locals of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) create the first edition of the IWW songbook. Many Spokane Wobblies (as IWW members are known) are migratory farm laborers and the first edition will have a definite hobo tinge. The "little red songbook" will become immensely popular and go through many editions. It will include "Solidarity Forever" (by Ralph Chaplin), which will become virtually the anthem of the labor movement. It will also include a song later adopted by the 1960s civil rights movement as "We Shall Overcome." The "little red songbook" is still in print today.
File 7338: Full Text >

Billy Sunday preaches to 10,000 in Spokane on January 24, 1909.

On January 24, 1909, the Christian evangelist Billy Sunday (1862-1935) preaches to 10,000 people in the largest religious revival ever to have taken place in Spokane.
File 5413: Full Text >

Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle celebrates Spokane Day on June 25, 1909.

On Friday, June 25, 1909, the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle celebrates Spokane Day. Some 1,000 residents of Spokane and the Inland Empire descend on the exposition grounds, some 200 of them arriving by special overnight train. The day is the culmination of the week designated Inland Empire Week. The term "Inland Empire" is used to describe the Eastern Washington-Northern Idaho region of which Spokane is the hub. Spokane County is one of only four counties of the state to have its own building at the exposition.
File 8732: Full Text >

Prominent suffragists arrive in Spokane on June 28, 1909.

At 10:00 a.m. on June 28, 1909, a Northern Pacific Railroad train carrying suffragists en route to the National American Woman Suffrage Association convention in Seattle arrives at the Northern Pacific Depot in Spokane. They are greeted by Washington Equal Suffrage Association president Emma Smith Devoe (1848-1927), leading Spokane suffragists May Arkwright Hutton (1860-1915), La Reine Baker, and other Spokane suffrage proponents. The upcoming convention will take place during Washington's first world's fair, the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, held on the University of Washington campus. The exposition will sponsor a Suffrage Day and the confluence of the widely publicized convention and the world's fair will help win supporters for women's right to vote.
File 8522: Full Text >

IWW formally begins Spokane free-speech fight on November 2, 1909.

On November 2, 1909, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or Wobblies) formally begins the Spokane free-speech fight. This is a civil disobedience action mounted in public defiance of a Spokane City Council ordinance banning speaking on the streets, an ordinance directed against IWW organizing. On this day, one by one, IWW members mount a soapbox (an overturned crate) and begin speaking, upon which Spokane police yank them off the box and take them to jail. On the first day, 103 Wobblies are arrested, beaten, and incarcerated. Within a month, arrests will mount to 500, including the fiery young Wobbly orator Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (1890-1964). The Spokane free-speech fight will end with the City revoking the ordinance. It will inaugurate free-speech fights in other cities, and is considered one of the most significant battles to protect freedom of speech in American history.
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Charles Hamilton demonstrates airplane flight in Spokane on April 2, 1910.

On April 2, 1910, Charles Keeney Hamilton (1885-1914) of New Britain, Connecticut, is the first aviator to demonstrate airplane flight in Spokane. The exhibition, held at the Spokane Fairgrounds, is part of a nationwide tour sponsored by aviation pioneer and airplane manufacturer Glenn Hammond Curtiss (1878-1930). The chief local booster and organizer of the three-day Spokane air show is Polish immigrant Harry Green (1863-1910), a prominent businessman and sports and entertainment promoter.
File 8457: Full Text >

Father's Day is conceived by Spokane's Sonora Smart Dodd and celebrated for the first time in Spokane on June 19, 1910.

On June 19, 1910, in Spokane, Washington, Father's Day is celebrated for the first time. Sonora Smart Dodd (1882-1978) becomes convinced that fathers deserve their own day of respect and recognition. She persuades the Spokane Ministerial Alliance and the local YMCA to observe this new "day." The ministers settle on a date of June 19, 1910 as the nation's first Father's Day, and they deliver sermons all around city about the importance and obligations of fatherhood. The story is picked up by wire services and the idea gains momentum in communities all around the country. By the 1920s, Father's Day will be commonly observed (though not officially recognized) throughout the country. In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon will make it a permanent national holiday.
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A Letter Written by Annie Hall from a 1900 Railroad Trip from Spokane to Athena, Oregon

This people's history, contributed by Richard Hall, consists of an eight-page letter written by his great grandmother, Annie Hall (1869-1921) in late November 1900. She boarded a Spokane-bound Northern Pacific train in Edwall, Lincoln County, and recorded her trip in a letter addressed to "My Dear Joe and Children." Joe is Joseph Banyon Hall (1857-1947), her husband. In Spokane, Annie changed to a Union Pacific train that took her to Athena, Oregon. The writing commenced at Tekoa and the letter was mailed, on December 2, 1900, several days after her arrival in Athena. Following the letter is a brief history of the Hall family by Richard Hall.
File 5445: Full Text >

Daniel Corbin and the Spokane Falls & Northern Railway

John R. Fahey, the author of this essay, was born and educated in Spokane. He graduated from Gonzaga University and went to graduate school in journalism and political science at Northwestern. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps as a provost marshal and in a program democratizing German prisoners of war. In civilian life he worked as a radio news editor and announcer with several stations and became program director on KHQ radio and TV. This piece first appeared as "Spokane Falls and Northern" in The Pacific Northwesterner, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Spring 1960), pp. 17-26. It is reprinted by kind permission.
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The Spanish Flu in Spokane

Kenneth Knoll was 12 years old when the influenza epidemic came to Spokane. This catastrophic event so impressed him that he felt compelled to describe it 70 years later. His essay is based mainly on newspaper accounts, official records and personal recollections and is reprinted from The Pacific Northwesterner, Vol. 33, No. 1, 1989. It is here edited by David Wilma and reprinted by permission of the publisher.
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