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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

May Arkwright Hutton and the other members of the Spokane Women Democrats hotly denied the accusation that they turned President William Howard Taft’s portrait to the wall of their meeting room.

The Spokane Daily Chronicle gleefully reported that the Republican’s portrait was found to be reversed the morning after the meeting in the Hutton Building. In addition, the portrait of former Republican president Theodore Roosevelt was draped with black, as if in mourning.

Hutton said that one of the women did, indeed, drape a scarf around Roosevelt’s portrait. But she rejected the Taft charge, calling it an “absolute lie” and anyone who made such an accusation an “unmitigated liar.”

She said they would not show such discourtesy to a sitting president, although her words probably did nothing to mollify the Republicans.

“Taft is still president of the United States,” she said, “(even) if he is a disgrace.”

The Chronicle’s attitude to the story was reflected in the headline:

“Who Turned Taft’s Face To Wall? ‘Not I, Not I’ Chorus Women.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1961: Some 1,500 CIA-trained Cuban exiles launched the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in an attempt to topple Fidel Castro.

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