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Jim Kershner’s This day in history » On the Web: spokesman.com/topics/local-history

From our archives, 100 years ago

A Spokane boy, 18, died after he was hit in the head with a baseball during a neighborhood game.

A ball hit him in the base of the skull – it was unclear from the story whether it was from a pitch or from a batted ball.

At first, the boy appeared to be fine. But that evening he complained of shooting pains and a headache and then he lapsed into unconsciousness. He never woke up. A doctor later said he died of a fractured skull.

From the blasting beat: Hundreds of people gathered near a cliff overlooking the Snake River near Starbuck, Wash., to see a spectacular show – an explosion from 400,000 pounds of blasting powder. Railroad builders were preparing a new roadbed for a line along the Snake River. The blast took out a million tons of rock from the high cliff, according to The Spokesman-Review.

Hundreds of fish were killed or stunned by the explosion. One worker had died while drilling holes in the cliff and filling them with powder in the weeks leading up to the explosion. Two other men were overcome trying to save him, but both recovered.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1961: Berlin was divided as East Germany sealed off the border between the city’s eastern and western sectors and began building a wall that would stand until it came down in 1989.

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