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95 Features

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 Was...

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Abortion Reform: Lee Minto, Director of Planned Parenthood from 1967 to 1993, recalls its history

Lee Minto (b. 1927), executive director of Planned Parenthood of Seattle-King County from 1967 until her retirement in 1993, played a key role in the campaign for Referendum 20, which legalized aborti...

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All Shook Up: Elvis Rocks Sicks' Stadium

In this People's History, HistoryLink staff historian Cassandra Tate (b. 1945) recalls a memorable encounter with Elvis Presley at Sicks' Seattle Stadium in Rainier Valley, on Labor Day weekend, 1957.

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Alley-Barnes, Royal (b. 1946)

Royal Alley-Barnes held many different job titles during a career in Seattle city government that spanned more than 40 years -- from senior budget analyst in the Office of Management and Budget to exe...

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Alvord, Ellsworth C. Jr. (1923-2010) and Nancy Alvord (b. 1922)

Dr. Ellsworth C. Alvord Jr., former head of neuropathology at the University of Washington's School of Medicine, and his wife, Nancy Delaney Alvord, have been generous supporters of educational, arts,...

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Bonneville Power Administration

The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) was created in 1937 as a temporary agency with a limited mission: to market and distribute electricity from Bonneville Dam, on the Columbia River. Its support...

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Bretz, J Harlen (1882-1981)

J Harlen Bretz was a geologist who launched one of the great controversies of modern science by arguing, in the 1920s, that the deep canyons and pockmarked buttes of the arid “scabl...

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Busing in Seattle: A Well-Intentioned Failure

In 1972, the Seattle School District launched the first phase of what became a decades-long experiment with mandatory busing to integrate its schools. Initially limited to a few thousand middle school...

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Cape Disappointment State Park

Cape Disappointment State Park juts into the Pacific Ocean at the tip of the Long Beach Peninsula, in the southwesternmost corner of Washington state. This is the place where Lewis and Clark and the C...

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Cayuse Indians

The Cayuse Indians were once masters of a vast homeland of more than six million acres in what is now Washington and Oregon. The first of the Northwest tribes to acquire horses, they were relatively f...

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Charles, Ray (1930-2004)

Ray Charles was a poor, blind, newly orphaned teenager living in Tampa, Florida, in 1948 when he decided to move to Seattle, picking the city because it was as far away as he could get from where he w...

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Cigarette Prohibition in Washington, 1893-1911

The first Washington state elected official to make national history in a crusade against cigarettes was not Attorney General Christine Gregoire, who brokered a settlement between the tobacco industry...

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Clapp, Norton (1906-1995)

Norton Clapp, one of the five original investors in Seattle's Space Needle, was a businessman and philanthropist with a seemingly endless capacity for work. A former president of the Weyerhaeuser Corp...

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Clinton, Gordon Stanley (1920-2011)

Gordon Clinton served as the mayor of Seattle more than a half century ago, but he helped lay the groundwork for the city that exists today. During his eight years in office, Seattle adopted its first...

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122 Timeline Entries

Lewis and Clark Expedition enters future state of Washington on October 10, 1805.

On October 10, 1805, Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Volunteers for Northwestern Discovery enter what is now the state of Washington, at the confluence of what they call the "Koos koos ke" (Clearwate...

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Lewis and Clark reach the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers on October 16, 1805.

On October 16, 1805, the Lewis and Clark Expedition reaches the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers at present-day Pasco, beginning the final leg of 4,000-mile journey of exploration from St. ...

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Lewis and Clark begin descending the rapids of the Columbia River at Celilo Falls on October 22, 1805.

On October 22, 1805, Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery encounter Celilo Falls, at the beginning of a 55-mile stretch of the Columbia River that will prove to be the most difficult and dangero...

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Lewis and Clark prematurely celebrate their arrival at the Pacific Ocean on November 7, 1805.

On November 7, 1805, thinking he can see and hear the Pacific Ocean in the distance, William Clark writes his most famous journal entry: "Great joy in camp we are in view of the Ocian, this great Paci...

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Lewis and Clark Expedition reaches the Pacific Ocean on November 15, 1805.

On November 15, 1805, Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Volunteers for Northwestern Discovery reach the Pacific Ocean at the mouth of the Columbia River, one year, six months, and one day after leaving...

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Homeward bound, the Lewis and Clark Expedition leaves future state of Washington on May 5, 1806.

On May 5, 1806, after taking an overland shortcut from present-day Wallula to the vicinity of Clarkston, the Lewis and Clark Expedition leaves the confines of what is now the state of Washington. From...

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First Japanese known to reach the future Washington state arrive in January 1834.

Sometime in January 1834, three young Japanese sailors run aground on the Olympic Peninsula in a disabled ship. They are inadvertent travelers, blown off course by a storm, then carried by ocean curre...

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Missionaries Marcus and Narcissa Whitman begin their journey to the Northwest, one day after their wedding, on February 19, 1836.

On February 19, 1836 -- one day after their wedding -- missionaries Marcus Whitman (1802-1847) and Narcissa Prentiss Whitman (1808-1847) begin a seven-month, 3,000-mile journey from New York State to ...

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Whitman-Spalding missionary party arrives at Fort Vancouver on September 12, 1836.

On September 12, 1836, missionaries Marcus Whitman (1802-1847) and Henry Spalding (1803-1874) and their respective wives, Narcissa (1808-1847) and Eliza (1807-1851), arrive at Fort Vancouver after a s...

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Missionary women organize the Columbia Maternal Association, the first women's club in the Northwest, on September 3, 1838.

On September 3, 1838, the wives of six pioneer missionaries meet at the Whitman mission at Waiilatpu (near present-day Walla Walla) and organize the Columbia Maternal Association, the first women's cl...

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Cayuse attack mission, in what becomes known as the Whitman Massacre, on November 29, 1847.

On November 29, 1847, a small group of Cayuse Indians attack the Whitman Mission near Walla Walla in what will become known as the Whitman Massacre. Dr. Marcus Whitman (1802-1847), his wife Narcissa P...

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Trial of five Cayuse accused of Whitman murder begins on May 21, 1850.

On May 21, 1850, the trial of five Cayuse men accused of murdering Protestant missionary Marcus Whitman begins in Oregon City, capital of the newly organized Oregon Territory. Whitman, his wife Narcis...

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Legislature incorporates the Town of Seattle for the first time on January 14, 1865.

On January 14, 1865, the Territory of Washington Legislature incorporates the Town of Seattle for the first time, adopting a city charter that puts the municipal government in the hands of a board of ...

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Weekly Intelligencer, a precursor of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, publishes its first edition on August 5, 1867.

On August 5, 1867, the Weekly Intelligencer, a precursor of the Post-Intelligencer, makes its debut in Seattle. The paper is the latest incarnation of what was originally called The Seattle Gazette, t...

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