Local news

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

More shocking testimony came out of the state investigation of the Medical Lake Insane Asylum, as the mental hospital was called in 1913.

Doctors and an undertaker said that the bodies of two patients who died at the hospital were “covered with bruises and wounds from head to foot.”

One former patient said he was beaten so badly by attendants one time he couldn’t use his arm for a month. He complained to the superintendent, who asked him to let him know if he was ever beaten again. But after that, the attendants handcuffed him to another patient so he couldn’t inform on them.

Then came the revelation that an employee of the asylum had stolen some of the official records of the asylum. The employee denied time and again that he knew anything about the missing records, but during a dramatic moment in the hearing he finally broke down and confessed.

He stole them and gave them to one of the attorneys who was trying to build a case against the asylum. He said he “took them in a good cause” – but he was probably facing perjury charges.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1954: The words “under God” were added to the Pledge of Allegiance.



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