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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

Fri., Dec. 17, 2010

From our archives, 100 years ago

“Excitement prevailed” at the fruit storeroom of H.J. Shinn & Co. in Spokane when workers unpacked a crate of bananas.

A two-foot long “South American adder” slithered from a bunch of fruit and landed on the floor.

The snake was slightly stupefied from being in the cold freight car, so it wasn’t able to strike right away. But it then coiled itself up to strike at the leg of the nearest workman.

One of the other men put his foot on the snake’s neck. They carried the snake into the office, put it in a glass jar and exhibited it in a downtown drug store.

The snake was confidently described as “the most poisonous of its species” – although it was probably not an adder, which are uncommon in South America.

From the paranormal beat: An aged Spokane farmer sued the Anchor Oil Co. in order to get his $800 investment back.

He told the court that he invested the money on advice from a certain “St. Charles, formerly a well-known fortune teller of this city.” The occasion? A séance.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1903: Wilbur and Orville Wright of Dayton, Ohio, conducted the first successful manned powered-airplane flights, near Kitty Hawk, N.C., using their experimental craft, the Wright Flyer.

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