By 1913, so many convicts had escaped from the Walla Walla State Penitentiary, that the warden issued a catalog to law enforcement agencies with pictures and descriptions of those who were still at large. Among all of the grizzled cons and convicted murders there was exactly one woman: Maud Johnson. At the young age of 30 she had already earned the distinction of the most infamous woman con artist of her time.
Walla Walla, Washington
“Wicked Lewiston: A Sinful Century”
It's hard to believe that mild-mannered Lewiston, Idaho was once a den of sin, but local historian Steven Branting has uncovered story after story of wicked and criminal behavior from the first one hundred years of the city's existence. Learn about prostitutes, thieves, scoundrels and worse in the fourth volume of Branting's now five volume set of books on Lewiston history.
I Remember Grandpa Nick’s Barber Shop
My Grandpa owned the Ramp Barber Shop in the Ramp Garage building on Stevens in Spokane, WA, in the 1930s. He is standing at left in the photo. In those days, most men wore their hair short and had it cut every couple weeks. Some men stopped in every morning before going to work to have him give them a shave with his straightedge razor. He had a steady hand and never nicked his customer on the chin. His hands remained steady, even in old age.
Jay Leno’s 1958 Imperial Convertible Showpiece
Competing with Cadillac in the 1950s, Chrysler launched the Imperial in 1955 as a stand alone brand. In 1958, the Imperial Convertible boasted an eight cylinder 392 HEMI powerplant that could generate over 300 horsepower. With one minor improvement to the car's original design, Jay Leno opens his garage to show off his own example of this rare cruiser to the general public for the first time.
Dinner for President Taft at Hayden Lake in 1909
In late 1909, William Howard Taft, barely six months into his term as President, embarked on a rail tour of the West. After a luncheon at the Davenport Hotel in Spokane on September 28, 1909, the President’s train arrived at Hayden Lake, where his party detrained and walked a block to the Bozanta Lodge. The lodge was surrounded by a cordon of soldiers, and sightseers outside this line craned their necks for a glimpse of the President.
The Greatest Generation in College
The typical college student before WWII was marooned on the campus 24-hours a day, with no television, no Internet, not even an automobile to go home on the weekend. Out of sheer boredom, the students of that era invented an “extra-curriculum” of clubs, societies, teams, dances, and competitions. The boring campus turned into a beehive of social activity. The American college before World War II was a virtual academy for civic involvement.
“Rothstein: The Life, Times, & Murder of the Criminal Genius Who Fixed the 1919 World Series”
Arnold Rothstein, nicknamed "The Brain," was an American racketeer, businessman, and gambler who became kingpin of the Jewish mob in New York. He is known to have been in on the fix of the 1919 World Series and corruption in professional athletics. David Pietrusza's book describes in great detail Arnold Rothstein's life as a loan shark, bookmaker, political fixer, Wall Street swindler, labor racketeer, and mastermind of the modern drug trade.