Jim Kershner’s This day in history » On the Web: spokesman.com/topics/local-history
From our archives, 100 years ago
George Moses, a Nez Perce tribal leader, died in Lapwai, Idaho, just a few days after he had declared himself a messiah, according to reports in The Spokesman-Review.
Moses had apparently been fasting for 10 days. Some tribal members believed he possessed supernatural powers, and he had “summoned the Indians before him and pronounced judgment on each, decreeing that some should be blest and others consigned to purgatory,” said the paper.
During his fast, he apparently drank several bottles of hair elixir, which contained 50 percent alcohol along with cocaine. He also drank a liniment intended for external use and had burns on his lips and mouth. However, there was no post mortem to determine the cause of death.
The subsequent funeral in Lapwai was “one of the largest ever held on the reservation in memory of the whites, and there were Indians in attendance from all over the Northwest.”
“The wailing cries of the women and the silent tears of the men showed the consideration in which the dead man was held by his people,” the paper said.
Also on this date
(From the Associated Press)
1965: Canada’s new maple-leaf flag was unfurled in ceremonies in Ottawa. … 1971: Britain and Ireland “decimalised” their currencies, making one pound equal to 100 pence instead of 240 pence.