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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Charles Barton, of Steptoe, Wash., was digging a well near his home when he unearthed something surprising.

It was a set of huge bones, bigger than the bones of any animal he could think of.

Some “Steptoe naturalists,” as the paper described them, examined the bones and said they believed that they were the knee and lower leg bones of a mastodon, or mammoth. This was not entirely outside the realm of possibility, since a famous mastodon skeleton had been found decades before in nearby Rosalia.

However, the story went on to say that “some think that Steptoe Butte was once an active volcano and that this huge animal was buried by one of the eruptions.”

That would be an extremely unlikely scenario.

From the Canada beat: A family of five Doukhobors, living near Nelson, B.C., had an “almost miraculous escape from death” when their house was blown to smithereens as they slept.

Police were investigating the possibility of foul play. But they were also investigating reports that the family had blasting powder stored underneath the house. Everyone survived, but three were in the hospital.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1963: President John F. Kennedy met Pope Paul VI at the Vatican, the first meeting between a Catholic U.S. chief executive and the head of the Roman Catholic Church.


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