Local news

Jim Kershner’s This day in history

From our archives,

75 years ago

Spokane’s churchgoers in 1935 were accustomed to hails of fire and brimstone of the proverbial variety – but they weren’t prepared for this.

Harman J. Teichman fell from a balcony at the First Nazarene Church and landed in the middle of the congregation. Teichman, described as elderly, suffered severe injuries of the back and chest.

His injuries might have been fatal, except his fall was broken by a Mrs. Oberg, of Yakima, sitting in the pew below. He bounced off of Mrs. Oberg and rolled into the aisle. Mrs. Oberg was not seriously injured.

The way the newspaper described it, other members of the congregation “backed away” in horror as the man hurtled through the air. In the next moment, they rushed to his aid.

Teichman had recently suffered from heart troubles. Other people in the balcony said he was standing up and talking (this was right before services began) when he suddenly lost his balance and toppled.

In the ensuing confusion, Teichman’s wife, distraught, fell on the church steps and injured a limb.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1972: President Richard Nixon’s eventual downfall began with the arrest of five burglars inside Democratic national headquarters in Washington’s Watergate complex.

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