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

From our archives, 100 years ago

The West Broadway neighborhood was abuzz over reports that a “fashionably attired, exceptionally tall woman” tried to run off with a 4-year-old girl.

The little girl was playing in her front yard when the woman walked by and asked if she wanted to take a walk. The little girl said yes. The woman picked up the girl and started to run.

The father, lying in a hammock nearby, was aroused and gave chase. The family dog, a collie, also raced after them, barking in alarm. The woman dropped the little girl after two blocks and said, “I’ll come back and take you for a walk tomorrow!” Then she gathered up her skirts and “took to her heels” toward Natatorium Park.

Residents of the neighborhood suspected that the woman was from “a party of gypsies,” camped along the Spokane River. But the girl’s father went down to the camp and said there was no one there who matched the kidnapper’s striking description – or was so well-dressed.

The next day, neighbors allowed kids to play in the front yard “as a decoy,” while the parents kept watch.

The tall, stylish mystery woman did not return.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1944: President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, also known as the GI Bill.

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