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

Wed., May 18, 2011

From our archives, 100 years ago

A drunken 45-year-old carpenter was suffering from the delirium tremens (aka, the DTs) in his room at Deaconess Hospital.

Suddenly, he was attacked by “imaginary reptiles” or possibly creatures of the pink elephant variety.

So the man jumped out of his bed, evaded the nurses who tried to tackle him and went tearing into the street – wearing only “scanty attire,” possibly a hospital gown.

He chased a car for a while and then decided to sprint down 11th Avenue and head for the “tall timbers.” He made it nearly a mile before a pursuer in an automobile caught up with him and corralled him until the police could arrive.

They brought him back to the hospital, but apparently the reptiles were still behaving in a threatening manner. He became violent and an hour later, the police were called to take him to the drunk tank.

On the way to the tank, the man managed to relieve one of the officers of his billy club. The other officers were able to subdue him before he was able to swing it at either officer or reptile.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1896: The Supreme Court, in Plessy v. Ferguson, endorsed “separate but equal” racial segregation, a concept renounced 58 years later in Brown v. Board of Education. … 1980: Mount St. Helens exploded, leaving 57 people dead or missing.

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