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Jim Kershner’s This Day in History

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From our archives, 100 years ago

A Peaceful Valley outlaw band, modeled after the Jesse James Gang, was in prison after an admittedly minor criminal rampage.

The gang members’ ages – 14 and 15.

The Spokane Daily Chronicle said the ringleader had recently moved here from Kansas City. The boy had idolized Jesse James. When he moved to Spokane, he organized nine of his friends into a secret James Gang. They swore with “an oath, written in blood, never to reveal the secrets of the awful clan,” and were knighted with a wooden sword.

Then they proceeded to “terrorize the quiet community of Peaceful Valley.”

Their crimes, however, were slight compared to the real James Gang. The Chronicle reported that “many bicycles (were) lost, automobile lamps stolen, chicken coops raided and pantries devastated.” They also threw a wire over the Washington Water Power electric line and caused a blackout in Peaceful Valley.

The wire incident resulted in the gang’s arrest. All 10 were lodged in juvenile jail.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1536: Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII, was beheaded after being convicted of adultery. … 1921: President Warren G. Harding signed the Emergency Quota Act, establishing national quotas for immigrants.



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