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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Wed., March 27, 2013, midnight

From our archives, 100 years ago

Belle Baker, a vaudeville comedienne who was appearing at the Orpheum, didn’t have an easy path to the stage.

In an interview, she said that she had been a child laborer in a “waist” (blouse) factory.

“I was so little and so much under-age that when the inspector came around, they used to put me in the big boxes and cover me over with the waists,” she said.

She eventually attracted the notice of a producer and became a singer, and later, a “comic artist and punster.” Yet she said her new job carried a lot of responsibility “to make good at every single performance.” She said the responsibility “just weighs me down” and makes her “so nervous” at every opening. She attributed her success to “hard work and good clean living.” She was 19 years old.

From the divorce beat: A wife sought a divorce from her attorney husband because of a long record of abuse. She told the court that when she told him she was pregnant, he beat her on the chest, raising bruises. She said he once called her a “fat hog.” Another time, he attacked her with an ax, dragged her from the bed and called her a “dirty good-for-nothing.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1513: Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon sighted present-day Florida.

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