The free online encyclopedia of Washington state history

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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.

Four Seasons Hotel Seattle • 10.06.2022 @ 11:30 AM


After more than 100 years of dreaming, we will have a new central waterfront park, where people can gather to continue old traditions and create new ones.

Join us on October 6 at the Four Seasons for HistoryLunch as we look at how the stories of Dzidzilalich and Seattle are woven together, and marvel at an immersive experience that will reveal the Waterfront Park to come.

We promise you a program you will never forget! 

Register at

Can't attend? Donations are welcome!

This Week Then


News Then, History Now

Produce Collections

From September 30 to October 2, 1885, the first Kittitas County Fair was held near Ellensburg. The first Puyallup Fair began on October 4, 1900, and on October 2, 1906, the first San Juan County Fair opened in Friday Harbor.

Important Elections

On October 1, 1889, voters chose Washington's first state officials, and although Olympia was selected as the state capital, it did not receive a majority of votes. One month later, a second election was held among the top three vote-getters. Ellensburg received 7,722, North Yakima gathered 6,276, and Olympia tallied a whopping 37,413 votes, making it the clear winner and home to the state Capitol Building ever since.

Official Inspections

On September 30, 1909, U.S. President William Howard Taft visited the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle. Almost exactly 28 years later, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt visited the state, taking a trip around the Olympic Peninsula before heading east to tour the construction site of Grand Coulee Dam.

Massive Plane

On September 30, 1968, the public got a close-up view of the first 747 Jumbo Jet at its rollout in Everett, and many were impressed with its sheer size. Four months later the 747 took its first flight and flew for more than an hour while a three-man crew performed a series of tests, including sideslips and a simulated loss of hydraulic power.

Mountain Terrain

On October 2, 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the bill that created North Cascades National Park. Farther south along the mountain chain, the Iron Goat Trail opened on October 2, 1993, thanks to the efforts of volunteers like Ruth Ittner.

Back Here Again

On October 3, 2017, nonagenarian Günter Gräwe, a prisoner of war during World War II, returned to visit his former Fort Lewis prison camp, now part of Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), in Pierce County. Months earlier, Grawe contacted HistoryLink after finding our Fort Lewis essays online, and we were quite surprised when he later showed up in Seattle on a bicycle wondering if we could facilitate his visit to the base. As Marie McCaffrey explains in this delightful People's History, we were more than happy to help.

Today in
Washington History

New On HistoryLink

Image of the Week

Stanwood voted to incorporate on September 29, 1903.

Quote of the Week

“You will walk in blood knee deep.”

 --Washington Territorial Governor Isaac Stevens's threat to Chief Kamiakin if he did not sign the Yakama Treaty

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