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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Wed., Nov. 7, 2012

From our archives, 100 years ago

A Spokane police officer, M.E. Austin, heard noises in his henhouse at 4 a.m.

He went outside to investigate and saw two men in his poultry shed. He yelled at them to stop, but instead they jumped into their wagon and tried to escape.

Austin fired a shot that hit one of the horses, but the wagon kept going so Austin fired several more shots.

The wagon disappeared around a corner. However, a short while later, a wagon pulled up to the emergency hospital with a man with a gunshot wound. That man was soon pronounced dead.

The wagon also contained 60 chickens in a coop. The driver of the wagon admitted that he had been in Austin’s chicken coop. He was taken into custody for burglary. There had been a series of other poultry thefts recently in the Garland neighborhood.

The prosecutor met with the Spokane police chief and indicated that, in all probability, Officer Austin would be exonerated.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1916: Republican Jeannette Rankin, of Montana, became the first woman elected to Congress. … 1940: Washington’s original Tacoma Narrows Bridge, nicknamed “Galloping Gertie,” collapsed into Puget Sound during a windstorm.

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