December 5, 2013 in City

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

By Correspondent

From our archives, 100 years ago

The specter of tainted whiskey arose again in Spokane after a young telephone operator, 20, died after drinking a small amount of hot whiskey to treat a cold.

The young woman immediately reported dizziness, seeing things double and a serious stricture of the throat, before lapsing into a coma. Her landlady, who also drank some of the whiskey, also reported feeling ill, but not to the same extent.

It all reminded authorities of a spate of deaths earlier in the year attributed to poisoned whiskey.

Samples of the whiskey were being tested.

However, the next day, the coroner advanced the theory that the young woman might have poisoned her own drink and committed suicide. He added cryptically that “he had learned a possible motive for such an act.” 

From the Christmas beat: Spokane was planning its biggest municipal Christmas celebration ever, as part of the City Beautiful campaign.

A tall, stately fir tree would be placed in a downtown square and “draped with hundreds of colored electric lights and topped by a big star of pure white light.” 

Choral groups were planning to sing, and “St. Nicholas will hold an informal reception.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1994: Republicans chose Newt Gingrich to be the first GOP speaker of the House in four decades.

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