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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

It was the Fourth of July, the nation’s Independence Day, and the Inland Northwest was ready to celebrate. The Spokesman-Review pledged to hand out results of the “Fight of the Century,” a bout in Reno, Nev., between retired heavyweight champion James Jeffries and Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion. Jeffries had vowed to try to win the title back “for the white race,” but Johnson had none of it. Johnson was declared the winner in the 15th round, after Jeffries’ team threw in the towel.

Closer to home, an altercation over firecrackers sent one man to jail and another to the hospital with serious stab wounds. About 4 a.m. near the corner of Main Avenue and Washington Street, John Toomey, 23, and James Murray, 58, got into an argument over firecrackers. The “trivial dispute” caused Murray, a former soldier, to draw a huge jackknife against Toomey, stabbing him four times.

Murray was taken to jail, and Toomey was taken to the hospital where, despite losing a lot of blood, he was expected to recover. The Daily Chronicle noted the men had been drinking.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1960: America’s 50-star flag, honoring Hawaiian statehood, was officially unfurled.

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