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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

The Spokane whiskey-poisoning tragedy continued to grow after two more victims were found. One was dying and another was dead, bringing the death total to four.

Three women died earlier in the week after drinking whiskey delivered from a saloon. The two new cases were not related to that whiskey party.

One woman was found in her room at a Spokane hotel. She had been drinking a large quantity of cheap whiskey, although authorities were still trying to determine if it came from the same saloon. The doctor who attended to her said her symptoms were identical, and he did not believe it could be “mere coincidence.”

The other woman was found unconscious on the floor of her home, a whiskey bottle by her side. She was in critical condition.

One doctor said he believed the culprit was “squirrel whiskey,” which he said was cheap whiskey that contained poisonous substances. If so, more deaths were likely to occur. Others believed the whiskey must have been tampered with. Police were also investigating the theory that the first three women poured the whiskey into a contaminated beer bottle before drinking it.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1918: President Woodrow Wilson arrived in France, becoming the first chief executive to visit Europe while in office.