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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.

Coronavirus Week 19 

In week 19 of the coronavirus pandemic, Washington continues to gradually open up as Governor Inslee and his team assess how the counties should proceed. This week, half of the counties were allowed to enter Phase 2, while the remainder continued to monitor infection rates.

HistoryLink is documenting the impact of the pandemic in several ways. We have posted a number of articles about the key events so far: 

and we continue to add new images from around the state on Instagram.

We aren't waiting for this to be history! We want to hear your stories for our Coronavirus Archive Project. Our People's Histories are a rich collection of first-person accounts, and we would like to add your experiences in this pandemic so future generations can turn to HistoryLink to learn what happened. Visit our Coronavirus Archive Project page to share your story.

This Week Then


News Then, History Now

Naming Rites

On May 29, 1792, during an exploratory survey aboard the HMS Discovery, Captain George Vancouver named Puget's Sound in honor his lieutenant, Peter Puget. The next day, the ship dropped anchor at Elliott Point, the site of present-day Mukilteo. From there, the ship's master, Joseph Whidbey, went by launch to explore two passages opening to the north. He ended up circumnavigating a large island, which Captain Vancouver promptly named after his young officer.

See the Sights

Exactly two years after its groundbreaking ceremony, the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition opened on June 1, 1909. Some visitors stayed at the Sorrento Hotel, which had opened two days earlier, and they could enjoy a nice drive to the fair along the newly opened University Boulevard.

Awful Frights

Seattle's first aviation disaster occurred on May 30, 1912, at the Meadows Race Track when an airplane crashed into the grandstand, killing one person and injuring 21. Three years later, on May 30, 1915, a barge filled with 622 tons of gunpowder exploded in Elliott Bay, a blast later determined to be sabotage. The concussion shattered or cracked nearly 500 windows throughout the city.

Go for the Win

Professional Negro League baseball debuted in Seattle on June 1, 1946, as the Seattle Steelheads split a doubleheader with the San Diego Tigers. On June 1, 1979, the Seattle SuperSonics won the NBA Championship. In other sporting history this week, Ken Griffey Jr. retired from baseball ten years ago on June 2, 2010, ending one of the most accomplished careers in Seattle Mariners' history. Griffey was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016.

Troubles Begin

On May 30, 1948, the Vanport Flood -- so named for the town it destroyed just north of Portland, Oregon -- began. The flood waters along the Columbia River extended as far east as Kennewick and Richland, and by the time they finally receded they had killed at least 50 people and caused about $102 million in damage.

Sailing On In

This week marks the anniversaries of two visits from notable American military vessels. On May 31, 1933, the historic frigate USS Constitution  arrived in Seattle as part of a national "thank you" tour for those who donated money for its restoration. And on June 3, 1958, the nuclear submarine U.S.S. Nautilus stopped in Seattle en route to a top secret Cold War mission to transit the North Pole underwater. A leaking condenser threatened the mission, but crewmen donned civilian clothes and scoured the city's gas stations sub rosa for every can of Bar's Leak they could buy.

Today in
Washington History

New On HistoryLink

Image of the Week

Pomeroy in Garfield County incorporated on May 28, 1917.

Quote of the Week

"My wish is to stay always like this, living quietly in a corner of nature."

--Claude Monet

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