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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

A Spokane judge put Frank Laws in jail on a drunkenness charge, in an attempt to save the “wealthy bachelor” from his habit of giving away money while drunk. 

The judge was trying to protect his estate, but Laws was unrepentant about his so-called crime. 

If giving away money was a crime, said Laws, then philanthropist Andrew Carnegie “should spend the rest of his days behind bars.”

“I want to die a poor man,” said Laws. “If I could reckon with providence and figure out the number of days coming to me on this mundane sphere, I would save out just enough to keep me going and give the rest to those that need money for the necessities of life.”

He refused to pay his $100 fine, because “I might take that $100 and make a half a dozen families happy.”

From the horse beat: The owner of a livery barn came across a drunken man whipping one of the barn’s horses in an attempt to get the horse to pull a sleigh up Washington Street.

The livery barn owner grabbed the whip and used it on the drunken man instead, inflicting numerous welts.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1964: President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “War on Poverty” in his State of the Union address.