June 13, 2013 - June 19, 2013
Here's to Dad
In 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd sat in a Spokane church listening to a sermon about motherhood. Having been raised with her five younger brothers single-handedly by her widowed father, Dodd felt that fatherhood also deserved a "place in the sun," and took it upon herself to advocate a special day for dads.
After receiving an enthusiastic endorsement from the Spokane Ministerial Alliance and the local YMCA, the first Father's Day was celebrated in Spokane on June 19, 1910. The concept spread, and by the 1920s Father's Day was commonly observed throughout the country. In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon made it a permanent national holiday.
A Pig Gone Bad
On June 18, 1812, the United States declared war on Great Britain, an act that would greatly affect the burgeoning fur trade in the Pacific Northwest. After the War of 1812 ended, Britain and the United States agreed to peacefully coexist in the Pacific Northwest, and joint occupation lasted until Britain ceded its claims on June 15, 1846, by signing the Treaty of Oregon. However the treaty ignored the existence of the San Juan archipelago, leaving it unclear as to how the San Juan Islands would be divided between the United Kingdom and her former colonies.
Amid rising tensions in the archipelago, on June 15, 1859, American farmer Lyman Cutlar shot a British pig on San Juan Island and nearly started a world war. A stalemate lasted 13 years, but diplomacy ultimately prevailed when Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm arbitrated the matter and granted the San Juan Islands to the United States. The porcine provocateur would be the only casualty of the Pig War -- one of the strangest wars in America's history.
News Then, History Now
Freedom Celebration: On June 19, 1890, African Americans from Tacoma and Seattle, many of them former slaves, gathered in Kent to celebrate the area's first Juneteenth, which marked the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, news of which reached Texas slaves on June 19, 1865.
Three in Aviation: This week marks three anniversaries in the history of Washington flight. On June 15, 1916, the first Boeing-built plane took wing from Lake Union. On June 13, 1934, the first plane landed at the Arlington airport. And on June 15, 1943, the first WAACS arrived at Paine Field in Snohomish County.
Bridge Sites: On June 15, 1917, the Fremont Bridge opened in Seattle, just weeks before dedication ceremonies for the new Lake Washington Ship Canal. And on June 13, 1951, the Northport Bridge spanning the Columbia River opened in Stevens County, becoming the farthest-north crossing of the great river within Washington.
Fist Fights: Beginning on June 16, 1917, soldiers and sailors attacked the Seattle IWW office and 41 Wobblies were arrested just as the union was planning a massive loggers' strike. The statewide walkout continued as planned four days later, with workers demanding an eight-hour work day, but wartime lumber needs and further arrests forced many loggers back to work.
Tearful Eye: On June 14, 1940, Native Americans from throughout the Northwest gathered at Kettle Falls for a Ceremony of Tears to mourn the loss of their ancestral fishing grounds due to water rising behind Grand Coulee Dam. Work on the dam had begun in 1934, and by 1939 a vast reservoir -- Lake Roosevelt -- began to fill, submerging towns and landmarks as it grew.
Low and High: On June 13, 1942, the ground opened up in downtown Seattle when a water main burst, sending passersby into a flooded sinkhole. Exactly one year later, residents looked to the skies as bombers flew overhead in an attack on Husky Stadium. Fortunately, the mock air raid was just part of a civil defense demonstration.
Quote of the Week
When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.
Image of the Week
Seattle's Swedish Hospital got its start 105 years ago this week on June 13, 1908.