Jim Kershner’s this day in history

FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

From our archives, 100 years ago

The sad story of the actress and singer Beatrice Fairfax ended in Spokane with her suicide.

She came from a prominent Minneapolis family and became a stage star while still in her teens. She was a leading member of a national company. At some point, however, she became addicted to cocaine prescribed for rheumatism. She began a descent into lower forms of entertainment.

That’s how she ended up in Wallace, performing in a “cheap dance hall.” She finally tried to make a living as a seamstress. She married a Wallace man and checked herself into the state hospital at Orofino to cure herself of the addiction. She came out in early 1912 and announced she had succeeded.

She evidently hadn’t.  Her new husband in Wallace reported that she left him soon afterward and went to Spokane. He received only one letter from her. Then came the telegram, reporting that she had killed herself. 

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1889: Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was born in Braunau, Austria. … 1902: Scientists Marie and Pierre Curie isolated the radioactive element radium. … 1940: RCA publicly demonstrated its new electron microscope. … 1971: The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the use of busing to achieve racial desegregation in schools.


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