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Jim Kershner’s This Day in History

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From our archives, 100 years ago

An 18-year-old Spokane woman sank up to her armpits in quicksand in Liberty Park and was rescued “at the brink of death.”

Opal Scott was out walking when she leapt over a creek to what she thought was solid ground – but she immediately sank in to knee depth. Her first reaction was “humiliation,” because she had muddied her dress. Then she felt a “sucking, downward-pulling motion, which benumbed me with horror.”

She began screaming and a park attendant sprinted over. Only her shoulders and head were visible. He threw some planks across the sand and, with a great deal of effort, was able to extricate her. She later suggested that the park erect some warning signs.

From the comet beat: A Newport, Wash., man was said to be the “most frightened person in the state of Washington” when it came to Halley’s comet.

The man had barricaded himself in his home, caulked it airtight, and said he would not come out until the “deadly gases” from the comet’s tail dissipated.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1896: The Supreme Court, in Plessy v. Ferguson, endorsed “separate but equal” racial segregation. … 1953: Jacqueline Cochran became the first woman to break the sound barrier as she piloted a Canadair F-86 Sabre jet over Rogers Dry Lake, Calif.

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