Local news

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Pat Flanigan, a downtown Spokane denizen known as the Human Bagpipe, was tossed in jail after pulling his bagpipe stunt one too many times.

He possessed the rare talent of covering his nose and mouth and “playing all manner of Irish and Scotch airs in imitation of a bagpipe.” He had been arrested four previous times for public drunkenness, and each time released after he won “general favor” for his talent.

This time, however, the police insisted he stand trial for public intoxication.

From the art beat: Meanwhile, another downtown dweller was found with a can of paint and a brush, painting the town red. Actually, he was painting the sidewalks red.

When a cop asked him what he was doing, he replied, “I have been awarded a contract to paint the universe and I thought I had better get busy right off, as it may take me three or four days.”

Police held him on suspicion of insanity.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1978: U.S. Rep. Leo J. Ryan, D-Calif., and four others were killed in Jonestown, Guyana, by members of the People’s Temple; the killings were followed by a night of mass murder and suicide by more than 900 cult members.



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