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1926: Houdini escaped from an underwater sealed metal coffin

by: ISABEL GAUTSCHI - An ad from a 1926 issue of Clackamas County News.1926

Chad Alton ran an intriguing “Notes and Comments” column where he discussed national and international news. Here are a few items from the column:

Houdini was sealed inside a metal coffin which was then immersed in water. An hour and 30 minutes later, he emerged.

According to the paper, “Hindu fakirs” had boasted that no one could survive more than seven minutes in this situation aside for themselves.

The paper noted “Houdini exploded that claim, as he has many tricks of spiritualists and others.”

Alton had a great deal of unfortunate foresight when he wrote, “Every nation in Europe is perfecting and developing more and more deadly weapons of war. In the event of another conflict, and that seems inevitable, the slaughter will exceed anything known to savagery.”

And a few more, quoted in full:

“Astronomers have now advanced to that stage where one of them tells us the moon may be a ball of snow and ice with a rocky core. This corrects our earlier information that it was made of green cheese.”

“Talking movies are the next thing to be produced. They will relieve the party in the seat behind you from reading the titles out loud.”

1983

Estacada was having a bad week.

Someone had desecrated several dozen grave markers at the Odd Fellows Cemetery. The then Clackamas County News offered a $200 reward “for any information about this incident leading to the arrest and conviction of the responsible persons.”

The Timber Festival Association was in hot water with the city council because its beer concession franchise fee was nearly a month overdue.

Vandals broke into the Estacada maintenance shop and stole thousands of dollars worth of tools. They also drove a city-owned car through the fence of Eagle Creek Elementary school and into a tree. They left it there, spray-painted with obscenities and the message “I told you, I don’t get mad, I get even.”

1993

In an unusual move, Clackamas County News Publishers Bill and Pat James, and Editor David Bates ran front-page editorials on Measure 3-1, an initiative that would amend the Estacada City Charter to prohibit civil rights protections based on homosexuality and the spending of city funds to “promote homosexuality.”

“Urging Estacadians to vote no on Measure 3-1 comes easy for me because even the slightest alteration of the freedoms enjoyed by any one group of law-abiding citizens sets a dangerous precedent for all citizens,” Bill James wrote. “It was decided a long time ago in America to separate religious law and civil law. Each has its rightful place and purpose. We mustn’t confuse the two or mix them, as Measure 3-1 does.”

“This is about people,” Pat James wrote.

“As Lon Mabon (director of Oregon Citizens Alliance) knows, it’s a matter of focusing attention on a single aspect of people’s lives — in this case, sexuality — as if that is all there is to be known about them,” Pat James continued. “They are not described in terms we might be able to relate to and feel comfortable with: that gay men and women hold jobs, run businesses, shop in our stores, raise children, go to church and pay taxes. We haven’t been encouraged to think about those things because a basic rule for demagogues is to ‘keep them faceless.’ They are not faceless. They are our friends and neighbors.”

The thought of the week printed near the masthead came from George Bush: “The common belief that the United States is a wasteful energy user is not supported by the data.” Hmmmm.

2003

River Mill Elementary welcomed its new principal: Tina Rhue.

2012

Brent Dodrill threw his hat into the mayoral race. And won.




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