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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Sat., Feb. 23, 2013, midnight

From our archives, 100 years ago

How old was Alexander Daylight when he died at his grandnephew’s home on the Colville Reservation?

According to government rolls, Daylight was an astonishing 114.

However, this number was in dispute. His own statement “and those of his associates” indicated that he was actually 123 years old.

In fact, he claimed to have met and talked with the fur trader and explorer David Thompson at Kettle Falls on July 23, 1811.

In his early days, Daylight was said to have been a chief noted for his eloquence. He enjoyed good health for most of his life, although his obituary also noted that he “had been totally blind for nearly a half-century.”

He also “smoked tobacco incessantly for many years until a very short time before his death.”

The varying claims of his age were unverifiable, lacking anything as concrete as a birth certificate.

Also unverifiable? His claim that, many moons before the arrival of Thompson, another white man had traversed the region.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1863: British explorers John H. Speke and James A. Grant announced they had found the source of the Nile River to be Lake Victoria. This finding was disputed at first, but the lake is now considered the Nile’s source.

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