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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Thu., Jan. 23, 2014

From our archives, 100 years ago

Frank Morrison was acquitted of the murder of bartender Magnus Erickson and vowed never to touch liquor again.

“I’m through with booze and saloons,” a relieved Morrison said. “You don’t have to tell me that.”

A missionary woman who had attended the trial greeted Morrison’s statement with a jubilant, “No, he won’t drink anymore, he’s off the devil’s territory.”

There was some irony in this, since his defense was based on the contention that he was carousing in a downtown “resort” at the time of the murder, which occurred on the North Side. Much testimony centered on the fact that he frequented saloons.

The jury deliberated for 22 hours before acquitting Morrison.

From the court beat: A man named Tate sued two men for $850, the amount he claimed he lost to them in a poker game at the Wilmont Bar, at Howard Street and Riverside Avenue.

The trial was replete with gambling terms such as “kitty,” and “rake-off.” Tate claimed they lured him into an unfair game.

In the end, Judge E.H. Sullivan was sympathetic to Tate’s plight and awarded him the full $850 judgment.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1973: President Richard Nixon announced an accord had been reached to end the Vietnam War; it was formally signed four days later in Paris.

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