100 years ago in Spokane: The town’s first radio show was broadcast throughout the Northwest and the debate over high school morality escalated

The radio era kicked off when “Spokane’s First Radio Concert” was broadcast to over 500 amateur radio operators in the northwest.

“Operators from Sprague, Ritzville, Harrington, Moscow, Pullman and other points in the Northwest listened to the music, consisting of 16 of Columbia’s latest records played on a Grafonola, furnished for the occasion by the Grafonola store” , said The Spokesman-Review. .

Amateur radio operators had been active in Spokane for years, but this was the first broadcast by what could be considered a real radio station.

“This is Spokane’s first limited commercial station to be licensed to broadcast music or talk over radiophones,” said William (Billy) Irish, a Spokane radio pioneer who started the station.

It had been licensed as KFZ a few days earlier.

From the rhythm of the school: The debate has intensified over this question: Were Spokane high schools hotbeds of immoral and indiscriminate behavior?

Superior Court Judge RM Webster insisted they were and launched a counterattack on school superintendent Orville Pratt, who said Webster grossly exaggerated the situation.

Webster said Pratt was “not receptive or open-minded” and became “combatant and antagonistic” when Webster made these controversial charges.

Webster doubled down on his call to end coeducation in Spokane high schools. He believed that gender segregation would solve many of today’s problems. Webster said Pratt “obviously resented me” because of “my criticism of the coeducation system.”

“(Pratt) even made the sweeping statement that San Francisco had the separate high school system and that the high schools in San Francisco were the worst in the United States,” Webster said.

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