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

Fri., Aug. 26, 2011

From our archives, 100 years ago

An Austrian immigrant named John Federowski, 34, had been causing consternation in Spokane’s county jail for days. He was in jail on federal mail fraud charges after he tried to trick someone into giving him money to bring his wife and family over from Austria.

Whenever anybody came near his cell, he yelled and caused the guards to “shudder with his unearthly cries.” It all came to a head when the jailer came to take him to a new cell. Federowski slipped from the jailer’s grasp, leaped into the air, jumped over an iron railing and dashed his brains out on the concrete 15 feet below.

The federal marshal said he had tried to warn prison authorities that Federowski was insane, but jailers believed he had been “shamming.”

From the baseball beat: The Spokane Indians beat Tacoma, 15-8, and the baseball writer outdid himself with his breezy descriptions. Some examples:

• “(Pitcher) Willis worked like grandfather’s 80-year-old clock.”

• “That dad-gasted Abbott can’t get over the two-hit habit.”

• “The gink who started the rumor that (umpire) Jack McCarthy was a rank homer ought to be here this week.”

• “The dear old bugs are starting to perk up.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1958: Alaskans went to the polls to vote in favor of statehood.

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