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JAMA 100 Years Ago
November 14, 2007


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2007;298(18):2207. doi:10.1001/jama.298.18.2207

Death is the lot of all mankind and has been since the beginning of time. Burial under more or less artificial conditions is the ultimate fate of most individuals in civilized countries. To very few, however, is granted the privilege to die and to be prepared for the tomb repeatedly, while the individual who can repeat this performance at widely separated localities, is, indeed, unique. Such a person is a “Mrs. Fred Hartzell.” Not only is she remarkable for this peculiarity, but she is also surely the good angel of newspaper reporters, for, whenever news becomes scarce and copy hard to get, “Mrs. Fred Hartzell” immediately dies and is resurrected in some new spot. With startling regularity a reporter arrives on the scene very shortly after her apparent demise and just in time to see her rise up in her coffin to the astonishment and horror of her friends. A telegram is then sent to half a dozen newspapers (generally Sunday editions) and the wondering world is once more informed that “Mrs. Fred Hartzell” has again died and come to life.

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