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Jim Kershner’s This Day in History

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From our archives, 100 years ago

Spokane’s music lovers were delirious with the news that the famed bandleader Francesco Ferullo would bring his 50-piece band to the Spokane Interstate Fair later in the year.

Apparently, Ferullo was quite a spectacle on the podium. The Spokane Daily Chronicle called him “a demon with the baton.”

He “twists, squirms, raves, and his raven locks wave and flutter.” He also “sings, coos, shouts and commands.” The band was said to respond instantly “to his every contortion.”

Ferullo’s band was scheduled to play between horse races. Massive crowds were expected.

From the police beat: A 70-year-old rancher told police that he boarded a train for Colville and happened to glance across the aisle at a “peculiar man,” who stared at the rancher with what he called “mesmerish eyes.”

All of the sudden, said the rancher, “I felt myself feeling awfully funny and I knew I was being hypnotized.”

The rancher woke up five days later in Rossland, B.C., with all of his money gone.

Also on today’s date

(From the Associated Press)

1961: A white mob attacked a busload of Freedom Riders in Montgomery, Ala., prompting the federal government to send in U.S. marshals to restore order.