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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

Gottlieb Wierzbiski, 52, a tailor, was arrested for burglary and while in jail he evidently “lost his reason.”

He tried three times, by three novel methods, to commit suicide.

First, he scraped his brass buttons and tried to eat the brass, hoping it would be poisonous. The jailer took away the buttons.

Then he broke a mirror, pulverized the fragments, sprinkled the ground glass on an orange, and tried to eat it. The jailer took away the orange and put Wierzbiski in a padded cell.

There, he jammed three fingers down his throat in a fruitless attempt to strangle himself. The jailer secured a kind of muff over his hands.

Wierzbiski had long been regarded as an odd Spokane character. Two winters earlier, he paraded through the deep snow of Spokane’s streets with bare feet. When asked why, he said it was “natural.” The paper also noted that he had “sustained himself for years on nuts and dried fruit.”

He was accused of breaking into a tailor’s shop where he once worked and stealing two pairs of trousers.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1933: National Prohibition came to an end as Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the Constitution, repealing the 18th Amendment.

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