Local news

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Jack Robinson, 30, a one-legged ironworker, jumped into the Spokane River above the Washington Street bridge and then said to some bystanders on shore, “Ever see Spokane Falls before? Well, come down and see me go over.”

A number of people followed him along the banks, even though they thought he was joking.

When he got to the lip of the falls, he treaded water for a moment, raised a hand like “an acrobat saluting,” and shouted, “Spokane Falls or bust!” He disappeared into the roaring foam.

Police were dragging the river to find his body. On the bank where he entered the river, police found his cap, coat, peg leg, shoe and an empty whiskey flask.

From the riot beat: Miner’s Union Day turned violent in Butte. Acting Mayor Frank Curran attempted to counsel peace to the angry mob. He was tossed from a second-story window, fracturing a wrist and a leg and suffering internal injuries.

The union miners were bitterly divided, with some siding with the union hierarchy and others siding with the more radical Industrial Workers of the World (Wobblies). The mob then sacked the union hall, dynamited the union’s safe, tossed a piano down the stairs, and demolished “every piece of furniture in the building.”

Police ordered all saloons in Butte to close and all hardware stores to lock up their guns and ammunition.

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