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Jim Kershner’s This Day in History

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From our archives, 100 years ago

Emma Goldman, 40, the famed “apostle of anarchy,” narrowly escaped death when the auto she was riding in was hit by a freight train on Division Street in Spokane.

A Spokane auto enthusiast was giving her a ride when he tried to go around an idle railcar at the Division Street crossing. When the driver got around the railcar he was horrified to see a train engine bearing down on them. The occupants jumped to safety and Goldman was hurled 10 feet.

She landed in soft sand, which saved her from serious injury. But her “entire left side was a mass of contusions.”

Goldman was in Spokane as part of a speaking tour. The city was a hotbed of labor and anarchist activity in 1910, on the heels of the just-concluded Free Speech Fight.

Goldman had already been imprisoned several times; she would later be deported to Russia. Moviegoers in 1981 came to know her from Maureen Stapleton’s Oscar-winning portrayal in the Warren Beatty movie “Reds.”

Also on today’s date

(From the Associated Press)

1961: South Africa became an independent republic. … 1985: At least 88 people were killed and 1,000 injured as more than 40 tornadoes swept through parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and Ontario, Canada, during an eight-hour period. … 2000: The reality TV show “Survivor” first debuted on CBS (the winner of the premiere series was Richard Hatch).