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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Sat., March 31, 2012

From our archives, 100 years ago

A courtroom audience of mostly women enjoyed the best show in Spokane: The divorce trial of Dr. W.E. Abrahms and his wife, Martha.

Martha said on the witness stand that the doctor was cruel to her, that she had long ago lost affection for him and that he was “repulsive” to her.

The doctor’s attorneys countered by entering into evidence her letters to him, written while she was away in Kansas. Among the passages:

• “I cared for you as best I could when you had the grippe and you seemed to appreciate it, but you wouldn’t let me kiss you as often as I would have liked.”

• “If you were less English and more human, you would tell me more in your letters.”

The trial attracted numerous spectators from Hillyard, where the couple lived, including one woman who “sat throughout the day with her hat in her lap, industriously chewing gum.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1932: The Ford Motor Co. publicly unveiled its powerful flathead V8 engine; while not the first eight-cylinder engine, it was the first to be affordable to the general public and proved very popular.

1933: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Emergency Conservation Work Act, which created the Civilian Conservation Corps.


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