The free online encyclopedia of Washington state history

7952 articles now available.

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

Fiery Glow

On October 27, 1894, a fire in the West Street Hotel in Seattle killed 16 lodgers, which led to more stringent codes to prohibit the use of such buildings for inexpensive rooming houses. And on October 21, 1964, a fire at Todd Shipyards was the largest blaze to hit the Seattle waterfront since 1914.


A Nice Place to Go

On October 23, 1915, Larrabee State Park was established in Whatcom County as Washington's first state park. The land was donated by the Larrabee family, which was very influential in the development of Bellingham.

Tail-gunner Joe

On October 22, 1952, Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy made his first political visit to Washington in order to campaign for Republican presidential nominee Dwight D. Eisenhower and incumbent Republican Senator Harry P. Cain. McCarthy's trip didn't turn out quite as he had planned: He was heckled by members of the Washington State Press Club. and KING-TV canceled his planned televised speech.

Closing the Fair

On October 21, 1962, President Kennedy was scheduled to attend the closing of Seattle's Century 21 World's Fair, but he canceled at the last moment due to a "bad cold." The nation and world soon learned the real reason Kennedy stayed in the other Washington was the discovery of Soviet missiles in Cuba.

Medical Care

On October 27, 1967, Dr. Lester R. Sauvage, founder of the Hope Heart Institute in Seattle, performed the first "bloodless" open-heart surgery in the Northwest. Sauvage made significant contributions in the practice of coronary-artery bypass surgery and was a pioneer in the research of artificial aortic heart valves.

Royal Pair

On October 22, 1975, King Olav V of Norway visited Poulsbo to celebrate the sesquicentennial of Norwegian immigration to America. Twenty years later, on October 24, 1995, King Harald V followed in his father's footsteps, and started  a four-day visit to Washington with Queen Sonja that included stops in Olympia, Seattle, Poulsbo, and Tacoma.

Today in
Washington History

New On HistoryLink

Image of the Week

The Seattle-Everett Highway opened on October 26, 1927.

Quote of the Week

"Why is the alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song?"

--Stephen Wright

Major Funding Provided By

Education Partners