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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

The first day of the Della Olds trial was largely devoted to jury selection – but there was still plenty of drama.

Mrs. Olds, 29, accused of shooting her 60-year-old husband, sat rigid in the courtroom, wearing her mourning veil and “evading the gaze of any who may come in the line of her vision.”

A prison matron occasionally handed her “small medicinal tablets designed to aid in controlling herself.” Despite that, she showed visible signs of nervous collapse. The court asked Dr. E.D. Olmsted to examine her and determine if she was capable of standing trial.

The doctor said her condition was not critical, and in his opinion, she could withstand the ordeal if “given the advantages of light and air.” The judge agreed to a $5,000 bond so that she would not have to spend every night in jail.

From the tone of the questions by Mrs. Olds’ attorney, it appeared that case would be built around self-defense and her need to protect her sister, who also lived in the house. Her sister sat by her side in the courtroom.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1962: The U.S. Supreme Court, in Engel v. Vitale, ruled 6-1 that recitation of a state-sponsored prayer in New York State public schools was unconstitutional. 1967: The Beatles performed their new song “All You Need Is Love” during the “Our World” live international telecast.

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