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Jim Kershner’s This day in history

Sun., Jan. 30, 2011

From our archives, 100 years ago

A Spokane restaurant had its own bomb scare in 1911 – actually, an “infernal machine” scare.

A 37-year-old engineer became angry when a restaurant wouldn’t serve him unless he paid in advance. So he planted a buzzing, ominous-looking box on the counter and said, “That is an infernal machine, set to go off at 7 o’clock. If you don’t move quick, you’ll all be blowed to hell.”

Everybody skedaddled out of the restaurant. The proprietor called police. But when police didn’t show up fast enough, she grabbed the box, called a taxi and took it with her to the police station. The box continued to buzz on the seat next to her.

Police dumped it in the river, which silenced this “tool of anarchy.” Then they dredged it back up and took it apart. They found it was only an electric battery, “as harmless as an ice box.”

From the desperado beat: Posses in Franklin and Adams counties were hot on the trail of a 22-year-old man who shot a Kahlotus, Wash., saloonkeeper after being refused a drink.

A Kahlotus rancher reported that the man had been in his house demanding food and was headed for a hideout in the nearby rocks.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1948: Indian political and spiritual leader Mohandas K. Gandhi, 78, was shot and killed in New Delhi.

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