Note: This is an encore post from 2006.
Dec. 23, 1907
St. Louis, via Direct Wire to The Times
Dr. Henry S. Atkins, superintendent of St. Louis’ insane asylum, has found that Christmas is a perfect time to test his theory that shopping cures insanity.
Atkins and two attendants took 60 women from the asylum “into the world of department stores and the activities which all women enjoy,” The Times said.
The patients and the two female attendants, who wore civilian clothes instead of their uniforms, mingled with crowds downtown, “swallowed up among the thousands of other women bent on the same mission.”