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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Tue., Nov. 13, 2012, midnight

From our archives, 100 years ago

Miss Mabelle Johnson, a junior at Lewiston State Normal School, was distraught over her exam grades. So she closed herself into her room at Hastings Hall and attempted to commit suicide by drinking wood alcohol.

Her sister (who was also her roommate) found her unconscious. Doctors arrived and worked on her for two hours before she regained consciousness.

Mabelle had written no note, but she had told her sister that she was worried about her recent exams. She was convinced that she had failed some of them and was afraid to tell her parents about it. So she drank some of the alcohol used as fuel for chafing dishes.

The college president said that Mabelle was in good scholastic standing and had nothing to worry about academically. The president said that, if she had only asked, he would have reassured her.

Miss Mabelle was recovering in a local hospital.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1982: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, designed by Maya Lin, was dedicated on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. … 1985: Some 23,000 residents of Armero, Colombia, died when a volcanic mudslide buried the city.


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