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Showing 1 - 20 of 1849 results

Seattle Union Record

The Seattle Union Record, published from 1899 to 1928, was labor's voice in the Pacific Northwest for nearly 30 years, reaching a peak circulation of 80,000, and achieving its greatest fame during the 1919 Seattle General Strike. The paper was owned by the Central Labor Council of Seattle (predecessor to King County Labor Council), and was edited for much of its existence by Harry B. Ault (1883-1961). The weekly Union Record became a daily paper on April 24, 1918, and ceased publication after 28 years in 1928.
File 2859: Full Text >

1411 4th Avenue Building (Seattle)

With the opening of the 1411 4th Avenue Building on 4th Avenue and Union Street in early 1929, the Stimson Realty Company contributed an elegant addition to Seattle's growing central business district. The company chose the architect Robert Chambers Reamer (1873-1938), who created modern Art Deco ornamentation for the facade and interior finishes. It chose the Metropolitan Building Company to manage the operations of the building. With an impressive architectural vision and state-of-the-art conveniences, the Stimson Realty Company attracted a "high character of tenantry" (Western Building Forum, 1929) and "firms with whom dignity of surroundings is an important consideration" (Metropolitan Bulletin, December 1928). The building at the corner of 4th Avenue and Union Street became a financial and transportation hub in downtown Seattle, with national and local investment brokers, insurance firms, and ticket offices for railway companies and steamship lines. Because of its unique Art Deco styling, prominent location in the central business district, and impressive modernist stone facade, 1411 4th Avenue has been designated as Seattle Landmark and placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
File 9000: Full Text >

15th Regiment, United States Army

The U.S. Army's crack 15th Regiment arrived in 1938 at Fort Lewis, where it would serve and receive training to maintain its reputation as one of the best regiments in the military. While there the regiment became proficient in amphibious operations. A detachment from the regiment trained in winter warfare at Mount Rainier and developed tactics and equipment designs. The regiment fought in eight major World War II campaigns. With sixteen Medal of Honor awards, it led regiments in that medal for extraordinary heroism. 15th Regiment Medal of Honor recipients include famed combat veteran Audie Murphy (1925-1971) as well as Victor Leonard Kandle (1921-1944) of Puyallup.
File 10353: Full Text >

161st Infantry Regiment, Washington National Guard

The 161st Infantry Regiment is a unit of the Washington National Guard that has served in U.S. military operations since World War I. Washington's National Guard began with the formation of the 1st and 2nd Infantry Regiments in 1886 and 1887. The two regiments were combined and in 1917 the unit was renumbered as the 161st Infantry Regiment and assigned to the 41st Division along with National Guard units from neighboring states. The 161st was called to federal service in World War I and its troops served as replacements. During World War II, the regiment was again federalized and assigned to the 25th Infantry Division. It fought at Guadalcanal, New Georgia, and the Philippines. The regiment's soldiers performed bravely in tough battles on these South Pacific Islands, and many received awards for valor. The 161st Infantry Regiment was reorganized several times during the Cold War, and its one remaining unit served in Iraq in 2004 and 2005.
File 10021: Full Text >

400 Yesler Way: Seattle Municipal Building 1909-1916, Seattle Public Safety Building 1917-1951

The Seattle building located at 400 Yesler Way was constructed as a Municipal Building in 1909 and provided space for Seattle City offices, the City jail, an emergency hospital, the police department, and a health and sanitation department. The architect of the concrete and steel-framed building was Clayton D. Wilson. In about 1912, a penthouse for a nurses' residence was added onto the roof. In 1916, City offices relocated to the new County-City Building (now the King County Courthouse), leaving the 400 Yesler building to the purposes for which it was originally intended: to be the city's first public safety building. And so it remained until 1951, when a new public safety building was built (which has since been demolished). The old public safety building was abandoned, then sold in 1957 to private owners. Toward the end of 1976, the City negotiated with the owners to renovate the building and lease it to the City for offices. The inside of the building was gutted and redeveloped, and some City offices moved there in 1977 and early 1978. King County bought the building in 1991 and in the late 1990s waterproofed and renovated the rotting foundation levels. Today, 400 Yesler Way continues to grace Yesler Hill between 4th and 5th avenues and Yesler Way and Terrace Street, a beaux arts, government building that dates from the early years of the twentieth century.
File 9336: Full Text >

5th Avenue Theatre (Seattle)

The 5th Avenue Theatre, built by Pacific Theatres, Inc., was one of the most lavishly appointed theaters on the West Coast when it opened in September 1926. The theater is located in downtown Seattle on 5th Avenue, and formed a part of the new Skinner Building. Designed by architect Robert C. Reamer (1873-1938), with interior design supervised by Gustav Liljestrom of San Francisco, the theater embraced Seattle’s growing connection to the Far East by employing a Chinese theme, debuting a full eight months before the now-famous Grauman’s (now Mann’s) Chinese Theatre in Hollywood first opened. After closing in 1978, the theater was rescued by a coalition of local companies and arts patrons, who funded a $2.6 million restoration of the classic venue. A national recession in the mid-1980s brought a temporary halt to the 5th Avenue's musical production, but the theater roared back in 1989, and ever since has provided theater-goers a broad selection musical productions. Broadway touring companies make regular appearances at the 5th Avenue, but many of the theater's presentations are produced locally in their entirety, including a handful of world premieres that have moved with great acclaim onto the Broadway stage.
File 3750: Full Text >

Aberdeen -- Thumbnail History

Aberdeen is located at the confluence of the Chehalis and Wishkah rivers at the head of Grays Harbor, at the southern end of the Olympic Peninsula. The region's rich fisheries and abundant timber supported a number of Native American communities and served to attract white American settlement in the mid-nineteenth century. During the latter half of the nineteenth century a number of small communities were established on Grays Harbor, but Aberdeen quickly grew to dominate as the commercial and cultural hub. Lumber, fisheries, and shipbuilding have fueled the local economy for much of the region's history, but recently extractive industries have declined and tourism and commercial retail have increased.
File 7390: Full Text >

Abortion Reform in Washington State

On November 3, 1970, Washington voters approved Referendum 20, which legalized abortion in the early months of pregnancy. Fifteen other states had liberalized their abortion laws by that time, but Washington was the first -- and so far the only -- state to do so through a vote of the people. It was a triumphant moment in a campaign that had its genesis in 1967, in the office of Seattle psychologist Samuel Goldenberg (1921-2011), who had been asked to help two patients, one middle-aged and the other a young college student, both desperate for a way to end an unwanted pregnancy.
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About Washington State -- Frequently Asked Questions and Their Answers

This essay offers a brief introduction to the state of Washington, its jurisdictional development and government, and its official symbols.
File 5315: Full Text >

ACT: A Contemporary Theatre (Seattle)

ACT (A Contemporary Theatre) opened in the summer of 1965 in a former community hall at the base of Queen Anne Hill and has since become one of Seattle's most popular and artistically adventurous theaters. It was the brainchild of Gregory A. Falls (1922-1997), head of the University of Washington's theater department. Falls believed Seattle needed an alternative to the Seattle Repertory Theatre, which emphasized the classics. The opening 1965 season included provocative works by Arthur Kopit and Tennessee Williams and drew loyal audiences. The theater continued to thrive with plays that addressed racial, political, and cultural themes while also staging mainstream shows such as The Fantasticks. In 1976, the theater inaugurated an annual Seattle holiday tradition with Falls's own adaptation of A Christmas Carol, which has continued every holiday season since. Over the decades, ACT outgrew its Queen Anne space and in 1996 moved to a new $30 million, multi-venue space in downtown Seattle in the former Eagles Auditorium. ACT has survived several financial crises and remains one of Seattle's key cultural institutions.
File 10064: Full Text >

Adams County -- Thumbnail History

Adams County is a predominantly rural county located in southeastern Washington, with Ritzville serving as county seat. Since 1952 Columbia River water brought through the Columbia Basin Project has irrigated region's fertile volcanic soil. Adams County measures 1,925 square miles, ranking it 14th in size among Washington's 39 counties. It is bordered to the north by Lincoln County, to the east by Whitman County, to the south by Franklin County, and to the west by Grant County. As of 2005, Adams County has a population of 17,000, two-thirds of whom live in rural parts of the county. Othello (population 6,120) and Ritzville (population 1,730) are the largest towns. Agricultural pursuits include dry-land wheat farming, irrigated apple orchards, and field crops (primarily potatoes). The vegetable- and fruit-processing industry, especially potato processing and French fry manufacturing, provides most of the county's industrial employment. As of 2006, Adams County's population was 52 percent Hispanic, with most Hispanic residents being of Mexican heritage.
File 7835: Full Text >

Adams, Bishop John Hurst (b. 1927)

Bishop John Hurst Adams was pastor at Seattle's First African Methodist Episcopal Church from 1962 to 1968 and a leader in the city's civil rights struggle. He moved to other cities and states after 1968, rising to national prominence as a religious and civil rights leader.
File 8098: Full Text >

Adams, Brock (1927-2004)

Brock Adams represented the state of Washington for 12 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and six in the U.S. Senate, and served as the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. He began his career as a lawyer in Seattle, and in 1961 was appointed to the position of U.S. Attorney. In 1964 he was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives. In Congress he criticized the Vietnam War, became a key player in restructuring the nation's railroad system after Penn Central collapsed, and worked to support AIDS research. He served as Secretary of Transportation under President Jimmy Carter (b. 1924) and won a Senate seat in 1986 by defeating Republican incumbent Slade Gorton (b. 1928).
File 5739: Full Text >

Adams, Leo (b. 1942)

A member of the Yakama Nation and one of Eastern Washington’s most acclaimed artists, Leo Adams is a uniquely gifted painter and designer whose house overlooking the Yakima Valley has long been considered a Northwest treasure. In 1962, when he was just 19 years old, Adams received honorable mention at the Bellevue Arts and Crafts festival along with top Northwest artists of the day Wendell Brazeau (1910-1974), William Cumming (1917-2010), Alden Mason (1919-2013), and Doris Chase (1923-2008). During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Adams lived in Seattle, showed his work at Richard White Gallery (later Foster/White), and was discovered by designer Jean Jongeward (1917-2000), who made the young artist’s paintings a signature element of her high-end interiors. In 1970 Adams bought a parcel of land on the northern edge of the Yakama reservation and began building a house. Constructed with modest means and salvaged materials, the building reflects the characteristics of the surrounding landscape and Adams's creative imagination. Since 1972, he has lived, worked and exhibited his paintings there, and the house has been featured in many architecture and design publications and countless periodicals. The book Leo Adams: Art, Home (University of Washington Press, Seattle and London, 2013), with photographs by Michael Burns and essays by Sheila Farr and Linda Tesner, honors Adams for his contributions to Northwest art and design. Parts of Farr's essay, "Leo Adams: Between Two Worlds," are excerpted here.
File 10440: Full Text >

Adams, Nora B. (1928-2004)

Nora B. Adams was an African American Seattle Public School principal who left more than $1 million in her estate to three of her major interests. She left $600,000 to the Seattle Public Schools Scholarship Fund and divided the rest between cancer and heart research. A shrewd investor, Adams divested herself of stock brokers and managed her own portfolio. She devoted 37 years to education, as a teacher and as an administrator and was one of the first black female principals in the city. According to her nephew, Gordon McHenry Jr. (Boeing executive and former member of the Seattle Public Library Board), she was the quintessential educator, not given to idle chatter but insisting on thoughtful and meaningful conversation.
File 8506: Full Text >

Admiralty Head Lighthouse

The Admiralty Head Lighthouse, built in 1903 by the Army Corps of Engineers, is located in Fort Casey State Park near Coupeville on Whidbey Island. The beacon, high on a bluff, 127 feet above sea level, was an important navigational aid, especially for sailing ships entering Admiralty Inlet from the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It replaced the Red Bluff Lighthouse, a wooden Cape Cod style structure built in 1861. Although decommissioned in 1922, the Admiralty Head Lighthouse received national recognition in 1990 when the U.S. Postal Service selected it for a collection of five commemorative lighthouse stamps honoring the U. S. Coast Guard's bicentennial.
File 5710: Full Text >

AFM Seattle Local 493 (1918-1958), "Negro Musicians' Union"

Today's labor union for Seattle's professional musicians is the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) Local 76-493, and that numerically cumbersome name reflects perfectly the organization's tangled and sometimes contentious backstory. Seattle's first musicians' union, AFM Local 76, dated back to the 1890s. But as ever-greater numbers of African Americans arrived in the young, growing town the musicians among them soon discovered that the union had an unwritten segregation policy. A complex, Jim Crow system of turf boundaries arose, with Local 76 musicians claiming the most lucrative gigs. Excluded, black musicians founded their own union, Local 458, in 1918. That organization morphed into Local 493 in 1924, and the two unions then co-existed inharmoniously for the next four decades. AFM 493 became a lifeline and social pillar for the black community. It was at the very center of Seattle's vibrant jazz scene, and bore its share of struggles throughout the era's civil rights strife. At its peak in the 1940s, Local 493 probably had about 150 members (compared to Local 76's 1,200), and it represented some of Seattle's biggest African American stars, including Ray Charles (1930-2004), Phil Moore (1918-1987), and Quincy Jones (b. 1933). But changing times and increased racial tolerance eventually saw the two unions formally merge in 1958, an early instance of the more widespread racial integration that was to come during the following decades.
File 10329: Full Text >

Airports Owned by Washington's Public Port Districts

Of the nearly 140 public general-aviation airports in Washington state, 35 are operated by port districts, comprising 33 landing fields and two seaplane bases in 29 different port districts dispersed through 20 of Washington's 39 counties. Many were built in the 1930s and early 1940s as New Deal projects or military fields. A very few ports built their own airports from scratch; others took over existing facilities from local governments; some purchased and improved rudimentary landing strips built by private owners; and at least two (Quincy Municipal and Wilson Creek) lease airstrips from another governmental entity. The busiest port-owned airport, Seattle-Tacoma International, handles millions of passengers and thousands of tons of commercial cargo every year. Throughout the state smaller communities rely on local airfields, many port-owned, for critical services, including medical evacuation, firefighting, and agricultural support. The role of these local airports in supporting rural communities and their economies has become increasingly important as the old extractive industries fade away, railroad lines are abandoned, and tax revenues shrink. What were once considered by many to be land-consuming clubhouses for hobbyist fliers are today recognized as important, even essential, components of a community's economic and physical well-being. The movement to maintain and improve these critical facilities is one in which Washington's port districts continue to play a leading role.
File 9498: Full Text >

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines traces its roots to the hardy pilots who flew the Alaskan "bush" in the 1930s. The airline was assembled through a series of purchases and mergers leading to the creation of Alaska Star Airlines in 1942, which dropped its middle name one year later. Chiefly equipped with a fleet of war surplus aircraft, Alaska built up a substantial charter business in the late 1940s, and participated in the Berlin Air Lift, evacuation of Chinese Nationalists, and transport of Jews to the new state of Israel. Alaska Airlines won federal approval for its first scheduled route linking Portland, Seattle, Fairbanks, and Juneau, in 1951. It introduced its first jetliners a decade later and grew to become a major regional airline. The Seattle-based airline was heavily buffeted by financial and labor strife following federal deregulation in the mid-1980s, but survived to expand service beyond the Pacific Northwest. Alaska enjoys an exceptional safety record with only four serious accidents between 1943 and early 2000.
File 2107: Full Text >

Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (1909) -- A Cybertour of Selected Buildings

This is a "Now and Then" Cybertour of selected exhibit buildings at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, held in 1909 on the University of Washington campus in Seattle. The buildings included in the Cybertour include most of those funded by the federal government and by the four Washington counties (Chehalis, King, Spokane, and Yakima) that erected buildings at the fair. This tour also includes the Washington Building (an important gathering place for large receptions) and the New York Building (where most of the fair's important banquets were held). This tour was written by Alan Stein and Paula Becker with assistance from Jennifer Ott, and curated by Paula Becker. Map by Marie McCaffrey. Preparation of this feature was made possible by the Washington Humanities Commission.
File 8678: Full Text >

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Showing 1 - 20 of 4208 results

Okanogan terrane docks against North American continent 100 million years ago.

About 100 million years ago, in the late Mesozoic Era, the Okanogan terrane (microcontinent) docks against the North American continent. This collision adds to the land mass of North America and extends the coastline of the Pacific Northwest about 50 miles farther west. Before the Okanogan terrane docking, the coastline ran along the present-day Idaho-Washington border. In the formation of the Pacific Northwest region over millions of years, there have been some 50 terrane dockings. These dockings, along with plate-tectonics (the sinking of the Pacific plate underneath the North American plate), tremendous volcanic episodes, and the advance and retreat of glaciers contributed to the Puget Sound landscape that we know today.
File 5086: Full Text >

Retreating glaciers create Puget Sound and Grand Coulee as the Ice Age ends about 15,000 years ago.

About 15,000 years ago, the Vashon glacier begins to melt and recede from lands that will come to be known as the Puget Sound region and the Columbia Basin region. By 11,000 years ago, the glacier has retreated to the border of present-day Canada. During its advance, meltwater flowing under the ice sheet had carved out Lake Washington, Lake Tapps, Lake Sammamish, Puget Sound, and Hood Canal. The other major shaper of the land -- the pushing of the Juan de Fuca Plate underneath the North American plate, and the docking of terranes (fragments of continents) had already occurred long ago.
File 5087: Full Text >

Osceola Mudflow from Mount Rainier inundates the White River Valley approximately 5,600 years ago.

Approximately 5,600 years ago, a massive landslide removes .7 cubic miles of earth from the summit of Mount Rainier. The ensuing mudflow, which spreads as far as modern-day Kent, is called the Osceola Mudflow. This is the largest mudflow of postglacial age in the history of Mount Rainier.
File 5095: Full Text >

Landslide blocks the Columbia River in about 1450.

In about 1450, an immense landslide tumbles off Table Mountain in Skamania County and completely blocks the Columbia River, shoving it a mile off course. A lake forms behind the dam extending as far as 100 miles. The river will eventually breach the dam causing a 100-foot-deep flood downstream and creating the Cascades rapids. This is the most recent of four documented slides in the 14-square-mile Cascade Landslide Complex and will be called the Bonneville Landslide.
File 7797: Full Text >

Earthquake of enormous magnitude hits the Pacific Northwest coast on January 26, 1700.

On January 26, 1700, at about 9:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time a gigantic earthquake occurs 60 to 70 miles off the Pacific Northwest coast. The quake violently shakes the ground for three to five minutes and is felt along the coastal interior of the Pacific Northwest including all counties in present-day Western Washington. A tsunami forms, reaching about 33 feet high along the Washington coast, travels across the Pacific Ocean and hits the east coast of Japan. Japanese sources document this earthquake, which is the earliest documented historical event Western Washington. Other evidence includes drowned groves of red cedars and Sitka spruces in the Pacific Northwest. Indian legends corroborate the cataclysmic occurrence.
File 5098: Full Text >

European horses arrive on the Columbia plateau in the early 1700s.

In the early 1700s, European horses arrive on the Columbian plateau, having moved north through tribal trade networks from Pueblo villages located in present-day New Mexico. The Plateau tribes, who formerly traveled by foot or by canoe, will gradually adopt this new form of transportation, which will transform many of their traditional lifeways.
File 9433: Full Text >

Tlehonnipts (those who drift ashore) become first European residents of Northwest lands near Satsop Spit (mouth of the Columbia) in about 1725.

In about 1725, Clatsops discover shipwrecked sailors whom they call Tlehonnipts (those who drift ashore) on a beach near Satsop Spit, which was located on the southern (Oregon) side of the mouth of the Columbia River. One of the sailors will be called Konapee the Iron Maker. They are probably the first European residents of the Pacific Northwest and will marry into Native American tribes in the region. The men may be Spanish or Mexican sailors engaged in the trade between Manila and Mexico.
File 7942: Full Text >

Juan Perez and his crew on Spanish ship Santiago sight and name Mount Olympus on August 11, 1774.

On August 11, 1774, Spanish explorers on the ship Santiago, commanded by Juan Perez, sail past the future state of Washington, sight the peak that will later be named Mount Olympus, and name it "Cerro Nevada de Santa Rosalia." Juan Perez's Spanish expedition represents the first European discovery and exploration of Nueva Galicia (the Pacific Northwest).
File 5682: Full Text >

Bruno de Hezeta (Heceta) party lands on future Washington coast and claims the Pacific Northwest for Spain on July 12, 1775.

On July 12, 1775, Bruno de Hezeta, Juan Perez, and others from the Spanish ship Santiago land on the shore of a wide bay and claim Nueva Galicia (the Pacific Northwest) for Spain. This is the first European landing in the future state of Washington. The bay, later named Grenville Bay, is located along the coast of what is now Grays Harbor County.
File 5690: Full Text >

Smallpox epidemic ravages Native Americans on the northwest coast of North America in the 1770s.

During the 1770s, smallpox (variola major) eradicates at least 30 percent of the native population on the Northwest coast of North America, including numerous members of Puget Sound tribes. This apparent first smallpox epidemic on the northwest coast coincides with the first direct European contact, and is the most virulent of the deadly European diseases that swept over the region during the next 80 to 100 years. In his seminal work, The Coming of the Spirit of Pestilence, historian Robert Boyd estimates that the 1770s smallpox epidemic killed more than 11,000 Western Washington Indians, reducing the population from about 37,000 to 26,000.
File 5100: Full Text >

Continental Congress of the 13 British colonies (future United States of America) passes the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

On July 4, 1776, Britain's 13 American colonies, governed by England through the Continental Congress, pass the Declaration of Independence. This founding document of the United States of America, drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and 28, 1776, is the opening salvo of the American rebellion against British rule. The American Revolution (1775-1783) forms the context for British and Spanish exploration of the Pacific Northwest. Spain and England are traditional enemies, and Spain supports the American colonies against England during the Revolution. In 1775, Spain had claimed the Pacific Northwest. The United States will win the revolution in 1783, and will inherit Spanish claims to the region. This file contains the complete text of the Declaration of Independence.
File 5696: Full Text >

British explorer Captain James Cook names Cape Flattery on March 22, 1778.

On March 22, 1778, Captain James Cook (1728-1779) names Cape Flattery. The Cape, home to the Makah Indians, and now part of the Makah Reservation, is the northwesternmost point in the continental United States, and marks the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The name that the British explorer bestows is the oldest non-Indian place name still in use on Washington state maps.
File 5035: Full Text >

English fur trader John Meares names Cape Disappointment on July 6, 1788.

On July 6, 1788, English fur trader John Meares (1756?-1809) names the northern side of the entrance to the Columbia River, Cape Disappointment. The name reflects Meares' chagrin at not finding the Columbia River.
File 5621: Full Text >

Spain and Great Britain sign the Nootka Convention on October 28, 1790.

On October 28, 1790, Spain and Great Britain sign the Nootka Convention, which ends Spanish claims to a monopoly of settlement and trade in the Pacific Northwest. Nootka Sound, an inlet of the sea on the west coast of present-day Vancouver Island, will later become part of Canada.
File 7957: Full Text >

Captains Robert Gray and George Vancouver meet off the Washington coast on April 28 or 29, 1792.

On April 28 (or 29), 1792, two of the first non-Indian navigators to explore significant parts of what is now Washington meet on the high seas off Cape Flattery, just south of the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Captain George Vancouver (1758-1798) goes on to explore and name much of Puget Sound as well as Vancouver Island. Captain Robert Gray (1755-1806), an American in search of furs, soon finds the Columbia River, which Vancouver, like all prior European navigators, has missed, thus giving the young United States its primary claim to the lands of the Pacific Northwest.
File 5049: Full Text >

Mexican and Spanish settlers complete Neah Bay settlement in May 1792.

In May 1792, Mexican and Spanish settlers commanded by Salvador Fidalgo complete the first permanent European settlement in present-day Washington at Neah Bay near the northern tip of the Olympic Peninsula. Explorer Manuel Quimper had claimed the bay and named it Nunez Gaona on August 1, 1790. The camp is only briefly occupied before Spain retreats from the Pacific Northwest under threat of war with Great Britain.
File 7953: Full Text >

Captain Robert Gray enters Grays Harbor on May 7, 1792.

On May 7, 1792, American fur trader Robert Gray (1755-1806) enters Grays Harbor, a large natural harbor on the Pacific coast south of the Olympic Peninsula in present-day Grays Harbor County. Gray, on his second trading voyage to the Northwest Coast from New England, is exploring the coast south of the Strait of Juan de Fuca following a year of trading for sea otter and other furs on Vancouver Island. He and his crew are the first non-Indians to enter Grays Harbor.
File 5050: Full Text >

Captain George Vancouver names Port Townsend on May 8, 1792.

On May 8, 1792, British Royal Navy Captain George Vancouver (1757-1798) names an extensive bay at the northeast corner of the Olympic Peninsula for the Marquess of Townshend, a British general. The "h" is later dropped and the bay is now called Port Townsend. The city of Port Townsend, now the county seat of Jefferson County, is founded in the 1850s at the mouth of the bay and adopts its name.
File 5291: Full Text >

Captain Robert Gray becomes the first non-Indian navigator to enter the Columbia River, which he later names, on May 11, 1792.

On May 11, 1792, American fur trader Robert Gray (1755-1806) enters the major river of the Pacific Northwest in his ship the Columbia Rediviva. Indian peoples have lived and navigated along Wimahl ("Big River") for tens of thousands of years, and Europeans have been sailing the Northwest Coast for more than 200 years. However, Gray is the first non-Indian to succeed in entering Wimahl, which he renames the Columbia River after his ship.
File 5051: Full Text >

Captain Robert Gray explores Grays Bay and charts the mouth of Grays River in May 1792.

Around May 14 through 17, 1792, American fur trader Robert Gray (1755-1806) explores Grays Bay on the Columbia River shore of present-day Wahkiakum County, and charts the outlet of Grays River where it enters the Bay. Grays Bay is an embayment on the north bank about 20 miles upstream from the mouth of the Columbia River. The various branches of Grays River rise in the Willapa Hills on the boundary ridge between Lewis and Wahkiakum Counties in southwest Washington, draining 124 square miles before flowing into the Columbia at Grays Bay. Both are named for Robert Gray.
File 5052: Full Text >

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Showing 1 - 20 of 678 results

"Dream of a Devotee of Fashion": An essay for the Woman's Century Club Magazine by Emily Inez Denny (1899)

Emily Inez Denny (1853-1918) wrote this tongue-in-cheek essay on the perils of women's clothing to be read to fellow members of the Woman's Century Club. A daughter of Seattle pioneers David (1832-1903) and Louisa Boren Denny (1827-1916), Emily Inez Denny (known as Inez) was an artist and writer. Her book Blazing The Way, published in 1909, recounted her family's Oregon Trail migration from Cherry Grove, Illinois, to Portland, Oregon, and the subsequent founding of Seattle. Denny was a longtime member of the Woman's Century Club, founded in 1891 to promote education, charitable activities, and socialization among its members. The Woman's Century Club Magazine was published annually in 1899 and 1900, and possibly in subsequent years. This article appeared in the Woman’s Century Club Magazine, 1899, found in the Woman's Century Club archives, Seattle.
File 10385: Full Text >

"Good Things Grow From Horse Manure": A Speech to the Seattle Rotary Club by Sam Mitsui

Sam Mitsui gave this speech to the Rotary Club of Seattle at the 5th Avenue Theatre on November 9, 2005. Mitsui is a member of the Nisei Veterans Committee of Seattle, Washington. His speech begins, "My name is Sam Mitsui and I am a Nisei, a second generation Japanese American, and my parents were called Issei, the first generation of immigrants from Japan."
File 7552: Full Text >

"Waiting For the Big One" by Walt Crowley

A condensed edition of this essay was published in The Seattle Times Sunday Opinion Section on October 30, 2005. This version offers a fuller tour of Washington's "tectonic" political shifts and elections.
File 7537: Full Text >

25 Years Later: Veteran Idealist Frank Ruano Speaks Out about the Kingdome

This is an interview of Frank Ruano (1920-2005), an outspoken critic of Seattle's Kingdome stadium, which opened on March 27, 1976, and was imploded on March 26, 2000. The interview was conducted in Seattle by HistoryLink's Heather MacIntosh in March 2000.
File 2184: Full Text >

7424 East Greenlake Way: A Seattle Reminiscence by Dorothea Nordstrand

This reminiscence of a beloved childhood house in Seattle's Green Lake neighborhood of the 1920s was written by Dorothea Nordstrand (1916-2011), who has lived in the vicinity for much of her life. In 2009 Dorothea Nordstrand was awarded AKCHO's (Association of King County Historical Organizations) Willard Jue Memorial Award for a Volunteer, in part for contributing these vivid reminiscences to HistoryLink.org's People's History library.
File 7329: Full Text >

A Brief History of Primary Election Rules in Washington State

The method of nominating partisan candidates for public office and the structure of the primary in Washington state have been subjects of controversy and legislation throughout the past 100 years. The current dispute about the blanket primary is related to these past changes in the nominating process. Secretary of State Sam Reed and his staff wrote this history of primary election rules, which is reprinted from the Washington Secretary of State Website.
File 5738: Full Text >

A Coal Miner's Story: Mike Babcanik's Week Trapped Underground (1914)

This is an account of a coal mine accident that occurred on February 16, 1914, in the Cannon coal mine, near Franklin, about two miles southeast of Black Diamond, located in east King County. Coal miner Andrew Chernick died in the accident. His partner, Mike Babcanik (1876-1942), was believed dead but survived for seven days trapped underground. The account was written by Frank Hammock, a Maple Valley journalist; researched by JoAnne Matsumura from her private collection and from the archives of the Black Diamond Historical Society; and compiled by Bill Kombol, Manager of Palmer Coking Coal Co. This piece first appeared in Life on the Cedar magazine, Vol. 2, No. 5 (July 2008) and is here reprinted with kind permission.
File 8698: Full Text >

A History of the Seattle Mayor's Desk

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels shares an undated "history" of his official desk, which dates back to 1928. The anonymous typescript was found in the desk by Mayor Nickels and is an artifact in its own right.
File 3959: Full Text >

A Letter Written by Annie Hall from a 1900 Railroad Trip from Spokane to Athena, Oregon

This people's history, contributed by Richard Hall, consists of an eight-page letter written by his great grandmother, Annie Hall (1869-1921) in late November 1900. She boarded a Spokane-bound Northern Pacific train in Edwall, Lincoln County, and recorded her trip in a letter addressed to "My Dear Joe and Children." Joe is Joseph Banyon Hall (1857-1947), her husband. In Spokane, Annie changed to a Union Pacific train that took her to Athena, Oregon. The writing commenced at Tekoa and the letter was mailed, on December 2, 1900, several days after her arrival in Athena. Following the letter is a brief history of the Hall family by Richard Hall.
File 5445: Full Text >

A Librarian's Lamentation (Green Lake Branch, The Seattle Public Library, June 30, 1928)

This is a quarterly branch report written by Green Lake Branch librarian Ruth A. Dennis. In the report reprinted here, Dennis explains that the circulation numbers at her branch are down, particularly the juvenile numbers, and attributes this situation to the recent opening of the Greenwood-Phinney Branch. Dennis begins her report with a quote from the biblical book Lamentations, a collection of songs lamenting the fall of the city of Jerusalem, and continues in suit.
File 8943: Full Text >

A Matter of Pride: A Seattle Reminiscence About Hard Times by Dorothea Nordstrand

Dorothea (Pfister) Nordstrand (1916-2011) wrote this reminiscence about a mother's courage and industrious good cheer during hard times. The mother was Mary Annie (Gierhofer) Pfister (1888-1962). In 2009 Dorothea Nordstrand was awarded AKCHO's (Association of King County Historical Organizations) Willard Jue Memorial Award for a Volunteer, in part for contributing these vivid reminiscences to HistoryLink.org's People's History library.
File 7805: Full Text >

A Proud Day by Vern Nordstrand

This is the story of a proud day in the life of Boeing mechanic (later Superintendent of Tooling) Vern Nordstrand (1918-2009). Nordstrand lived in the Green Lake neighborhood of Seattle with his wife, Dorothea Nordstrand (1916-2011).
File 8027: Full Text >

A Remembrance of Patsy Collins by her brother Stimson Bullitt

Stimson Bullitt (1919-2009) gave this remembrance of his sister Priscilla "Patsy" (Bullitt) Collins (1920-2003) at her Memorial Service at Seattle's Town Hall on July 8, 2003.
File 4218: Full Text >

A Seattle City Light employee describes the early days.

This file contains an undated, unsigned letter describing what it was like working at Seattle City Light in the early years, around 1910. The letter is held in the Seattle Municipal Archives. It describes a time when employees took a personal interest in developing the publicly owned City Light, much as if it was their own business.
File 2885: Full Text >

A second-hand account of one family's triumph over poverty, war, and the Great Depression by Gary Graupner

Gary Graupner grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, but tales of the hardships that his close family endured as they struggled with poverty, disease, war, and the Great Depression were passed down to him in vivid detail. This People's History begins with the arrival of his paternal grandfather in Newport, Pend Oreille County, at the start of the twentieth century. From there it traces one family's story as it faced the daunting challenges of its time, including the 1918 flu pandemic, World War II, and the Great Depression. It is above all a story of persistence, generosity, and success, both in war and in life: Gary Graupner's grandfather builds a business as a butcher and grocer and during the Depression helps to feed needy friends, neighbors, and even strangers; his father, Roy, learns the value of hard work at an early age, serves in the Pacific during World War II, and comes home to raise a family; two generations of Graupners persevere through challenges that later generations have not faced, at least not yet. This reminiscence is filled with charming anecdotes of daily life in an earlier age, and reflects on what we as a nation have learned, or perhaps failed to learn, from the lessons of the past.This is reprinted with kind permission from Nostalgia Magazine, Vol. 11, No. 4 (April 2009).
File 9060: Full Text >

A Story of Pioneering by Nicholas V. Sheffer (1825-1910), Part 1: Oregon Trail

In 1909, Nicholas Sheffer (1825-1910) was Whatcom County's oldest pioneer. He prepared his reminiscences for The Lynden Tribune, which ran them in three parts in August of that year as "A Story of Pioneering: Being a Personal Narrative of Early Days in Northwest Washington, told to the Tribune by N. V. Sheffer, of 1854." HistoryLink.org was made aware of this account by Whatcom County family historian Susan Nahas who connected Sheffer's information with the HistoryLink.org story of Julia Benson Intermela (1855-1907), the half-Duwamish daughter of Seattle pioneer Henry Yesler (1810-1892). In Part 1 Sheffer treks from Indiana to California to Puget Sound.
File 7975: Full Text >

A Story of Pioneering by Nicholas V. Sheffer (1825-1910), Part 2: Indian Wars

In 1909, Nicholas Sheffer (1825-1910) was Whatcom County's oldest pioneer. He prepared his reminiscences for The Lynden Tribune, which ran them in three parts in August of that year as "A Story of Pioneering: Being a Personal Narrative of Early Days in Northwest Washington, told to the Tribune by N. V. Sheffer, of 1854." HistoryLink.org was made aware of this account by Whatcom County family historian Susan Nahas, who connected Sheffer's information with the HistoryLink.org story of Julia Benson Intermela (1855-1907) the half-Duwamish daughter of Seattle pioneer Henry Yesler (1810-1892). In Part 3, Sheffer settles his family in Whatcom County near Lynden, but is quickly drawn to look for gold in Canada. (Note: In this transcription Sheffer's original spelling is retained.)
File 7976: Full Text >

A Story of Pioneering by Nicholas V. Sheffer (1825-1910), Part 3: Gold Rush

In 1909, Nicholas Sheffer (1825-1910) was Whatcom County's oldest pioneer. He prepared his reminiscences for The Lynden Tribune, which ran them in three parts in August of that year as "A Story of Pioneering: Being a Personal Narrative of Early Days in Northwest Washington, told to the Tribune by N. V. Sheffer, of 1854." HistoryLink.org was made aware of this account by Whatcom County family historian Susan Nahas, who connected Sheffer's information with the HistoryLink.org story of Julia Benson Intermela (1855-1907) the half-Duwamish daughter of Seattle pioneer Henry Yesler (1810-1892). In Part 3, Sheffer settles his family in Whatcom County near Lynden, but is quickly drawn to look for gold in Canada.
File 7977: Full Text >

A Story of Pioneering by Nicholas V. Sheffer (1825-1910), Part 4: Settlement

In 1909, Nicholas Sheffer (1825-1910) was Whatcom County's oldest pioneer. He prepared his reminiscences for The Lynden Tribune, which ran them in three parts in August of that year as "A Story of Pioneering: Being a Personal Narrative of Early Days in Northwest Washington, told to the Tribune by N. V. Sheffer, of 1854." HistoryLink.org was made aware of this account by Whatcom County family historian Susan Nahas, who connected Sheffer's information with the HistoryLink.org story of Julia Benson Intermela (1855-1907), the half-Duwamish daughter of Seattle pioneer Henry Yesler (1810-1892). In Part 4, Sheffer works his trade as carpenter all over the Puget Sound region and Washington Territory.
File 7978: Full Text >

A Trip to Point Roberts, Summer 1909

This essay presents a description of a trip to Point Roberts (Whatcom County) on a summer day near the end of the first decade of the twentieth century. Point Roberts is a five-square-mile peninsula that is part of the United States, but that is not connected by land to the mainland of the United States. It extends from British Columbia, Canada, into the Pacific Ocean. Written by an unknown author, the article is reprinted from "Northwest Corner of the U.S.," The Blaine Journal, Homeseeker's Edition, April 1909, p. 8.
File 9124: Full Text >

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