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

Tue., Aug. 9, 2011

From our archives, 100 years ago

Hundreds of people gathered near the Post Street Bridge to watch a real-life drama involving a bridge-jumper and her frantic rescuers.

A 30-year-old woman climbed the railing, removed her hat and leaped as several onlookers watched in horror.

Citizens with ropes, firemen and policemen converged on the river as the woman struggled and bobbed in the swirling water.

They finally were able to drag her, exhausted, onto one of the piers of the nearby streetcar bridge.

The dripping and bedraggled woman was rushed to the hospital where she soon dried out – in two senses of the term. Police were preparing to charge her with attempted suicide, but she adamantly denied that she jumped on purpose. She said she had been drinking and was dizzy. And then she just sort of … climbed onto the railing.

“I guess I toppled in,” she told reporters.

But she also admitted that she had just received some “bad news from California” of an unspecified nature. In fact, she did not sound totally convincing in denying suicidal intentions.

“So far as I know, it was all accidental,” she said, while being booked.


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