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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Thu., March 28, 2013

From our archives, 100 years ago

Spokane postal officials acted on a tip and opened up a parcel mailed by William Milson, 40, of Spokane, to President Woodrow Wilson.

Inside, they found “endless newspaper clippings” and a “disconnected” message that challenged President Wilson to a duel and made other threats.

How did authorities know that Milson’s package might contain threats?

Because several months earlier, Milson had made the same kind of threats against British Columbia’s Premier Sir Richard McBride.

In January, Milson “challenged McBride to a duel and swore vengeance” upon him for “some fancied grievance.” British Columbia officials contacted Spokane police, who went looking for Milson without success.

Milson had apparently moved to Spokane recently from Rossland, B.C.

The Rossland police chief said Milson, a native of England, had a good reputation in Rossland, except he was “somewhat irrational on religious questions.”

Spokane police immediately arrested Milson and arranged for a sanity hearing.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1979: America’s worst commercial nuclear accident occurred inside the Unit 2 reactor at the Three Mile Island plant near Middletown, Pa.

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