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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Fri., July 13, 2012

From our archives, 100 years ago

The court clerk in the Della Olds case read aloud these two words, “Not guilty,” and pandemonium broke out in the packed Spokane County courtroom.

“Women cried one minute and laughed the next,” reported the Chronicle.

“Some stood up and, wildly waving their hands, shouted their verbal approval of the verdict, and those nearest Mrs. Olds rushed to her side and attempted to embrace or kiss her.”

The judge banged his gavel and brought the courtroom to order. But when Mrs. Olds was discharged from custody, the celebration began again.

The jury, which had deliberated 14 hours, “had their hands shaken by scores of people.” Hardened court employees wept openly “without fear of taunts.” Della’s attorney called it “the most righteous verdict ever given in Spokane.” The jury found her not guilty on any charge.

Della told reporters that she wanted to thank “the women of my acquaintance and my friends who stood by me and helped to sustain me during the trial.” She said she had not slept a wink while the jury was deliberating and intended to go on a camping trip and rest for a few days.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1812: New York became the first U.S. city to adopt regulations on how pawnbrokers could conduct business.

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