Local news

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Spokane police arrested J.J. Jefferson, a self-styled preacher, fortune-teller and believer in “universal love,” on vagrancy and fraud charges.

His apartment at the Carlyle Hotel was said to be “a mecca for many women and girls” who flocked there for his teachings.

A contract he drew up for a young housemaid was titled, “Articles of agreement for personal lessons in the divine science of higher psychology, science of metaphysical movements and mechano-therapy.”

It went on to say that for $40, Jefferson would give the young woman lectures and clinics on “mental, spiritual and physical vibration, oscillation and how to apply manual and mechanical vibrations and motion therapatically before our classes.”

Jefferson vigorously protested his arrest and asserted he was merely a “healer by means of laying on of hands.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1825: The Erie Canal opened in upstate New York, connecting Lake Erie and the Hudson River.

1949: President Harry S. Truman signed a measure raising the minimum wage from 40 to 75 cents an hour.

1972: National security adviser Henry Kissinger declared, “Peace is at hand” in Vietnam.



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