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Jim Kershner’s This day in history » On the Web:

Fri., April 1, 2011, midnight

From our archives, 100 years ago

A judge in Coeur d’Alene sentenced John McDowell to life of hard labor in a Boise prison for the murder of his wife in a cabin in Springston, near Harrison, Idaho.

The trial had mesmerized the region, largely because McDowell was having a love affair with a younger woman named Lulu at the time of his wife’s death. The judge did not pronounce the death sentence, much to McDowell’s visible relief, apparently because the judge was not totally convinced of McDowell’s guilt.

“I will say to you that nobody will ever know, unless you see fit to tell, whether you killed your wife or not,” said the judge. “But, whether you did or not, you were morally responsible by your conduct, which was shameful toward her, and that is what the jury has found.”

From the Pullman beat: The head of Washington State College’s discipline committee said a lot of false reports were being printed in Spokane papers in relation to a misguided “raid” by four men of a women’s dorm a few days earlier. In particular, he said that nobody had “removed the clapper” from the bell in the administration building’s tower, for the simple reason that there had never been a bell in the tower.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1945: American forces launched the amphibious invasion of Okinawa during World War II.

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