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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

Fri., Aug. 27, 2010

From our archives, 100 years ago

The fire-ravaged Northwest made a desperate plea to the U.S. War Department: Please “bombard the skies” in an attempt to make rain.

The War Department said no – but not necessarily because it thought bombardment would be futile. Nobody really knew whether it might work. The main objection was that it would be too expensive.

Politicians representing some of the areas ravaged by fire had asked the Army and Navy at Puget Sound and at the mouth of the Columbia to let loose a coordinated barrage into the air. The Army concluded it would have to shoot all of its guns 10 times to be effective, and it would cost the staggering sum of $100,000. It cost $250 each time one big gun was fired.

From the crime file: The owner of a supply company in Connell, Wash., was standing at a crossing waiting for a train to pass when two thugs approached and tried to rob him at the point of a revolver.

When the man resisted, the two highwaymen threw him beneath the wheels of the passing train. The train’s wheels amputated his arm between wrist and elbow. He was recovering at Spokane’s Sacred Heart Hospital.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1962: The United States launched the Mariner 2 space probe, which flew past Venus in December 1962.

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