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Jim Kershner’s This Day in History


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From our archives, 100 years ago

A woman “suddenly lost her mind” and went into an “insane rage” while eating at a Sandpoint café – and then held police at bay for hours.

The woman was eating dinner alone when she mistook a complete stranger – a deputy sheriff – for what she called “the doctor who had killed her child on the train.” She ran screaming from the dining room and locked herself in her room at the Pend Oreille Hotel.

A curious crowd gathered outside. She opened a window and called for a policeman.

Yet when officers arrived, she threatened them with a revolver. The standoff continued for hours, while officers kept watch from the hotel veranda.

A hotel porter and a newspaper reporter finally convinced her to go to the restaurant for a meal. Officers grabbed her and disarmed her, but it wasn’t easy.

She put up “a fierce fight for her freedom, her insane rage making her doubly strong.” Police took her to the county jail, where they discovered that she was from Montana and was a “past grand matron of the Rebekah Lodge” (the Odd Fellows auxiliary) in White Sulphur Springs.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1968: Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., 39, was shot to death at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn.

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