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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Sun., Jan. 20, 2013

From our archives, 100 years ago

A Spokane man told police that a mysterious stranger had thrown carbolic acid on him and then forced him to swallow some of it, resulting in burns.

It was later revealed that the man had swallowed the carbolic acid himself. Witnesses said he dramatically informed a woman that he planned to kill himself, and then in a “grandstand play” drank some of the acid.

So he ended up in jail. His head and hands were wrapped in alcohol-soaked gauze because of his burns.

Then he made another nearly fatal mistake. He tried to light a cigarette.

The bandages caught fire, and the 30 other prisoners in the large holding room rushed over and extinguished the flames.

From the labor beat: Twenty-three striking snow shovelers finally got their paychecks from the Great Northern Railway and appeared to be content with the amount, which averaged between $8 and $9.

An attorney for Great Northern said the checks mollified the men, who had been whipped into anger by agitators preaching “socialism and anarchy.”

They had caused a sensation earlier when they forced their way onto a train near Stevens Pass and demanded to be taken back to Spokane. 

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