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Jim Kershner’s This Day in History


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From our archives, 100 years ago

A 21-year-old Seattle man said, “Thank God it’s over,” when Spokane police arrested him after he forged 17 checks in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene.

It was the end of a “brief but spectacular” criminal career for the man, who claimed to be the son of a Seattle millionaire. He said he graduated from Broadway High School a year before and went to work in Cheney as the timekeeper on a construction crew. He said he was charged with assault after he “kicked an Italian foreman” and then was arrested for larceny.

In the Spokane County Jail, he learned to forge checks from a fellow con, “a notorious forger.” When the young man was released with only 70 cents to his name, he went into a clothing store and wrote a phony check. He figured he’d be “hung just as high for a dozen checks as for one,” so he kept it up.

“It was easy,” he said. “But I got good and sick of it and I was glad when they arrested me.”

He added that his rich father would get him out of this scrape, if only he knew where his father was.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press.)

1850: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel “The Scarlet Letter” was first published.

1915: The Federal Trade Commission began operations.

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