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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Recriminations, expulsions and threats of violence roiled the high school in the town of Palouse – all because of an ice cream party.

The new superintendent of schools had invited the high school staff – all except the principal and two teachers – to an ice cream party at his home. Ill feelings were already rife because the high school principal had failed to get the superintendent’s job.

During the party, someone sneaked in and stole the ice cream and other refreshments.

Shortly afterward, a hatchet was left on the superintendent’s desk with a note saying, “Look out or you will get this in the neck. You had better clear out. See?” 

Then someone sent him an anonymous letter threatening to “tar-and-feather” him and ride him out of town on a rail. The superintendent had to be accompanied to school that week by an armed guard.

Then some boys at the high school staged some kind of “rebellion,” although whose side they were on was unclear. Five boys were expelled for “gross outrages in destroying school property and interrupting the school.”

Both the superintendent and principal announced they would resign at the end of the school year.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1982: The trial of John W. Hinckley Jr., who had shot four people, including President Ronald Reagan, began in Washington. (The trial ended with Hinckley’s acquittal by reason of insanity.)