Arrow-right Camera


Jim Kershner’s This day in history

Thu., Nov. 24, 2011

From our archives, 50 years ago

A Spokane Thanksgiving tragedy in 1961 serves as a sobering lesson in the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

A Spokane family was attempting to barbecue the Thanksgiving turkey outside their North Side home. For some reason, probably because it was cold outside, they brought the “steel barbecue broiler” inside the house later in the evening to finish the turkey.

They opened the doors and windows to provide adequate ventilation. Yet later that night, after the turkey was finished, the wife closed them, thinking that the charcoal had already burned itself out.

During the night, the mother, the father and a 1-year-old daughter woke up with vomiting spells. Their 8-year-old son was the only member of the family who did not wake up in the night.

The next morning, the parents checked on the boy and found him unresponsive.

The boy was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead. All indications pointed to carbon monoxide poisoning, although food poisoning had not been ruled out.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1963: Jack Ruby shot and mortally wounded Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, in a scene captured on live television.

Click here to comment on this story »