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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

Sat., Oct. 16, 2010

From our archives, 100 years ago

Danger was in the air at the Lewiston-Clarkston Fair in 1910.

First, a barnstorming pilot of a Curtiss biplane had a midair malfunction during a flight exhibition. He was soaring majestically at about 350 feet when his engine began to sputter. He tried to turn back toward the fairgrounds, but suddenly his “forward control” collapsed, causing the biplane’s nose to head for the ground.

The plane was heading straight toward the high bank of the Snake River when the pilot leapt out right before impact. The pilot rolled to a stop with only a bruised hand and a sprained ankle. Yet the plane careened into the bank and was “reduced to an inextricable mass of broken bamboo, torn canvas and severed wires.”

Meanwhile, an acrobat/daredevil performing at the fair wasn’t so fortunate. He was supposed to slide from a high pole several hundred feet along an inclined wire – while hanging from his teeth. His helpers were supposed to arrest his descent with some kind of canvas contraption. But the canvas tore and the acrobat struck the pole at the bottom so hard that he was carried out of the arena, bleeding, unconscious and suffering from internal injuries.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1995: The Million Man March gathered in Washington, D.C.

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