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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Pachyderm prompts some panic ahead of Spokane circus appearance

Tusko, an especially large elephant, broke free on this date 100 years ago and went on a rampage, just a week before a scheduled appearance at a circus in Spokane.  (S-R archives)
Tusko, an especially large elephant, broke free on this date 100 years ago and went on a rampage, just a week before a scheduled appearance at a circus in Spokane. (S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

The A.G. Barnes Circus was on the way to Spokane – and residents could be forgiven for being a bit apprehensive about Tusko, the star performer.

Tusko, an especially large elephant, went on a rampage in Sedro-Woolley after a performance there. He escaped from the circus tent, “upset two automobiles, stalked angrily down the main street, where he broke up a street dance.”

Then he strode to an outlying farm area called the Garden of Eden “where he wreaked vengeance on fences and a farmer’s young orchard.”

Tusko was at large all night and was not corralled until 10 the next morning. Tusko and his circus were booked into Spokane within a week.

From the crime beat: A new and modern category of crime was committed in Spokane: airplane theft.

Police were looking for two men who “appropriated a Curtiss biplane” standing outside the hangar of the Foster-Russell Aircraft Co. They started the engine, taxied it a one-quarter mile down the field and then wrecked it on a fence.

A watchman heard the commotion and saw two men running away from the partially crumpled plane. No suspects had yet been identified.

Also on the date

(From the Associated Press)

1957: Federal agent Eliot Ness, who organized “The Untouchables” team that took on gangster Al Capone, died in Coudersport, Pennsylvania, at age 54.

1997: President Bill Clinton publicly apologized for the notorious Tuskegee experiment, in which government scientists deliberately allowed Black men to weaken and die of treatable syphilis.

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