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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

A tie was declared in a newsboy “yelling contest” from the top of the Old National Bank building.

The contestants were Benny Stubeck, a Spokesman-Review “street circulator,” and Chimmie McFadden, the so-called King of the Newsboys, from New York.

“As to who won, it would be like judging the shrieks of a steam calliope and the roars of a jungle lion,” said the paper.

Chimmie’s high-volume monologue went like this: “Hully chee, dat guy Stubeck has some voice. He yells tenor, all same as Caruso, and his voice is more distinct than mine. But when it comes to power, I’ve got him backed off the boards.”

Chimmie was in Spokane to deliver a series of inspirational talks about his life, titled, “From Gangster to College Student.” He was raised in a Chicago “orphan asylum,” and then became a New York newsboy and gang leader, and eventually a respectable college student.

A rematch between the two newsboys was scheduled, with judges posted a mile away to determine their voices’ carrying qualities.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1973: A bank robbery-turned- hostage-taking began in Stockholm, Sweden; the four hostages ended up empathizing with their captors, a psychological condition now referred to as “Stockholm Syndrome.”

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