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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Thu., March 14, 2013

From our archives, 100 years ago

Spokane’s first all-woman jury “did not attempt to keep back tears when they witnessed one of the tragedies of real life, a mother sentenced to jail.”

The 12 women of the jury found Mrs. Myrtle Brown guilty of robbery for helping to fleece Rene de Bear out of the roll of cash in his shoe.

Mrs. Brown and another woman were arrested for getting the young French-Canadian man drunk (and possibly doped) and then taking him to their rooms and stealing all of his money.

Her attorney pleaded for leniency.

“I wish the court to consider that she has testified that she entered a life of shame to provide for her child,” her attorney said.

“She is guilty but she is not to blame. The court knows that the men who have dragged her to her present condition are to blame.”

When the judge pronounced sentence, one of the jury women “dropped her face into her hands and sobbed aloud as she sunk into a chair.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1794: Eli Whitney received a patent for his cotton gin, an invention that revolutionized America’s cotton industry.

1900: Congress ratified the Gold Standard Act.

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