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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

SATURDAY, OCT. 12, 2013

From our archives, 100 years ago

A Spokane woman claimed she rediscovered an ancient “black art” and that she could turn base metals into gold.

Mrs. May Bernard Wiltse said she “became a student of the old Egyptian alchemists” while she was a child in Minnesota. Then, she experienced a mystical revelation.

“One night while I was sitting at my desk, all at once a kind of wave came over my book, just like a paraboloid, with the sun as a dynamo,” she said. “To my mind, the thought instantly came: This is the secret of the universe; this is the secret of life and death. Go and work the problem.”

She had her own small chemistry lab, where she claimed to have extracted mercury from copper. Gold was proving more elusive, but she had absolute confidence in her final success. 

From the health beat: Mrs. F.W. McCann ended her 55-day fast by drinking a third of a glass of tomato juice. She said she would soon begin to drink broth for a few days before taking solid food. 

She began her fast to cure her indigestion and kidney troubles. She went from 145 pounds to 102 pounds and said she felt fine.

“People eat entirely too much,” she said.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1962: The Columbus Day Storm struck the Pacific Northwest, killing 50.



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