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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Captain J.F. Grant, a city fire captain, was ordered back to work after two doctors confirmed that his only malady was “exaggerated introspection.”

In other words, hypochondria. 

His troubles began several months earlier with a genuine affliction. Grant broke his leg while on duty. But after the leg healed up, he refused to go back to work, complaining of “smothering spells” and various aches and pains. He continued to receive a salary from the city.

Two doctors examined his case at length and concluded that there was nothing wrong with him – except that he thought something was wrong with him.

They said they believed he was not “faking,” but truly was convinced that he was ill. 

The “greatest kindness” they could do for him was “to require him to report for duty.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1865: Gen. Robert E. Lee was named general-in-chief of all the Confederate armies.

1950: President Harry S. Truman announced he had ordered development of the hydrogen bomb.

1958: The United States entered the Space Age with its first successful launch of a satellite into orbit, Explorer I.

1990: McDonald’s Corp. opened its first fast-food restaurant in Moscow.