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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

A 22-year-old man arrived on a train from back east, walked around Spokane, sat on the steps of All Saints Cathedral at First and Jefferson, and then decided he needed a dose of his favorite “stimulant.”

Passers-by found him on the steps, “sleeping his life away,” near death, with a chloroform-soaked handkerchief pressed to his nostrils.

When taken to the hospital and revived, he told police he was not trying to commit suicide. He was just a “chloroform fiend” who had developed the habit while working in a drugstore.

From the rescue beat: Thomas McHarg, a 37-year-old laborer from Ireland, was rescued from the bottom of a pit after a harrowing seven hours. McHarg had dug the cesspool pit and went into the hole to clean it up. Then it caved in on him, burying him to his armpits. A fellow worker dug him out to his knees, but then it caved in again.

“For God’s sake, get me out of here,” he cried.

Firemen, police and neighbors finally had to build a timber crib to keep the walls from collapsing again. He was finally pulled out at 11 that night.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1922: The Teapot Dome scandal had its beginnings as Interior Secretary Albert B. Fall signed a secret deal to lease U.S. Navy petroleum reserves to his friends, oilmen Harry F. Sinclair and Edward L. Doheny.

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