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Diablo Dam incline railway climbing Sourdough Mountain, 1930. Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives, 2306.
Children waving to ferry, 1950. Courtesy Museum of History and Industry.
Loggers in the Northwest woods. Courtesy Washington State Digital Archives.

This Week Then


News Then, History Now

That Sinking Feeling

On November 1, 1808, the Russian ship Saint Nicholas wrecked near the mouth of the Quillayute River. The survivors were taken captive by Quileute Indians and remained in captivity for two and a half years, during which time seven of them died or disappeared. This week also marks the October 27, 1998, sinking of the luxury yacht Fantome, which spent 14 years moored in Seattle's Portage Bay, but was lost at sea during a Caribbean hurricane.


Wheeling and Dealing

The name "Seattle" appeared in print for the first time on October 30, 1852, when the Olympia-based newspaper Columbian carried an ad for the Seattle Exchange, a general store run by Doc Maynard. The paper also told of Seattle's first steam-powered sawmill, then under construction by Henry Yesler. The village itself was still called Duwamps, but not for much longer.

Teacher with Clout

On November 2, 1880, voters chose Clara McCarty as the superintendent
of Pierce County Schools
. Four years earlier, McCarty was the first person
to graduate
from the Territorial
, later the University of Washington.

Money Runs Out

The October 29, 1929, stock market
ushered in the Great
, a 10-year economic downturn that caused hardship worldwide. Washington suffered as trade dried up, jobs vanished, and businesses closed. By 1931 unemployed workers in Seattle had established a "Hooverville" south of downtown. The shantytown would remain there for almost a decade.

Taking a Stand

On October 30, 1969, University of Washington coach Jim Owens dismissed four black players from the Husky football team. Assistant Coach Carver Gayton, an African American alumnus athlete who played on the victorious 1959 Rose Bowl team, resigned in protest of the manner in which Owens handled the episode. In 2004 Gayton presented a careful and judicious account of these events, written exclusively for HistoryLink.

Vehicle Planned

When Apollo 11 lifted off from Cape
in 1969 a Boeing-built S-1C first stage booster of the Saturn V rocket hoisted it skyward. NASA also hired Boeing to coordinate Technical Integration and Evaluation of all Apollo systems, but the company would later extend its reach beyond flight and aviation. Three months after the moon landing, on October 28, 1969, Boeing received a contract for an electric cart needed for future missions, and the Boeing-made Lunar Rover assisted astronauts during the final three Apollo moon landings.

Today in
Washington History

New Essays This Week

Image of the Week

 On November 1, 1962, the Sam Hill Memorial Bridge opened over the Columbia River, replacing the Biggs Rapids ferry at Maryhill.

Quote of the Week

The wind outside nested in each tree, prowled the sidewalks in invisible treads like unseen cats.

--Ray Bradbury, The Halloween Tree

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