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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Sun., June 2, 2013, midnight

From our archives, 100 years ago

Emerson Fersnider, 40, a German laborer, was fishing from a boat in the Spokane River near Regal Street when he lost control of his boat in high water.

The boat “shot downstream” at 20 miles per hour. The boat smacked into a partially submerged tree and, fortunately, remained right-side up.

Fersnider grabbed a limb of the tree – but his boat shot out from under him.

Now, he was clinging to a branch, surrounded by cold, racing water on all sides.

Some spectators on the banks saw his predicament, but there was nothing they could do about it. They called the police and six officers arrived armed with poles and ropes.

They borrowed a small boat and made their way out to the tree. They grabbed Fersnider and pulled him into the boat. They made it safely to shore “after a thrilling ride, dodging logs and snags.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1863: During the Civil War, Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman wrote a letter to his wife, Ellen, in which he commented, “Vox populi, vox humbug” (The voice of the people is the voice of humbug). 1953: The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place in London’s Westminster Abbey, 16 months after the death of her father, King George VI; it was the first such ceremony to be broadcast on television.

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