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January 29, 2015 – February 4, 2015

Let's Talk Football

This week Seattle Seahawks fans -- known collectively as the 12th Man -- will gather at homes, bars, community clubs, and even the game itself in Arizona, hoping to see their favorite team chalk up another Super Bowl victory. Longtime fans might tell of rooting for the Seahawks from the team's inception, and of watching games at the Kingdome when the franchise was struggling to make a name for itself. Others may recall the Seahawks' first Super Bowl visit in 2006, or the team's triumphant victory last year.

If you plan on watching the Super Bowl with your friends, we recommend keeping your smart phone handy so you can bring up HistoryLink and impress everyone with other tales of football past. Your friends might be interested to learn that Anacortes High School chose the name Sea Hawks for its football team way back in 1925. Or that Chief Joseph in 1903 attended a UW football game where he watched "a lot of white men almost fight." Or that the Camp Lewis 91st Division team played in the 1918 Rose Bowl.

Puget Sound's first wide-audience TV program was a 1948 high school football championship. And in 1921, Everett High won the United States High School Football title, the highest honor possible in high school football. And don't forget to mention a few noteworthy Washingtonians who played football in their early years, such as "Pickle King" Dick Farman and Olympic sprinter Lee Orr, who played for WSU, or Chuck Carroll, Carver Gayton, Deming Bronson, and George Wilson, who all played for UW.

But most of all, enjoy watching the game. Like you, we're hoping for a Seahawks victory. Last year's win was historic in many ways, and we look forward to documenting this year's match-up in the Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History.

Heavy Snowfall

This week's snowstorm in New England may not have been as bad as some were expecting, but 99 years ago this week, it was the Pacific Northwest that got hit really hard by winter weather. On January 31, 1916, snow began to fall throughout the region, suspending rail service over the Cascades. Tons of snow accumulated over the next few days, and rooftops started to sag as it began to melt. On February 2, wet snow collapsed the dome of Seattle's St. James Cathedral, and the resulting pressure wave popped out most of the building's windows.

So far this winter in Washington has been mild, but the season isn't over yet. As a reminder, on February 3, 1893, three feet of snow stopped Seattle streetcars in their tracks. On January 29, 1921, the "Great Blowdown" toppled trees and buildings all along the Washington coast. And on January 29, 1958, 63-mile-an-hour winds shattered windows and knocked out power throughout Seattle. So keep your overcoat buttoned and your galoshes handy, because spring is still a long way off.

Second Half, Instant Replay

More of the Same: On February 4, 1889, the town of Roslyn incorporated in Kittitas County, only to lose that status later in the year when Washington Territory's incorporation law was declared unconstitutional. But after Washington achieved statehood the legislature adopted a new incorporation law and the bustling coal-mining town re-incorporated in 1890.

Choosing a Name: In 1870, King County welcomed the opening of the Squak Post Office, so named for some settlers' pronunciation of Is-qu-ah, a local Indian word said to mean snake. In 1887, the town was platted as Englewood, but in 1892 it was incorporated as Gilman in honor of the man who brought the railroad into town. A few years later, the Gilman City Council petitioned the state legislature and on February 2, 1899, both town and post office were renamed Issaquah.

Opening Night: On February 2, 1930, the Seattle Repertory Playhouse -- not to be confused with the Seattle Repertory Theatre -- opened in Seattle's University District. Originally a brick storehouse, the building was converted into a new home for the Repertory company through the efforts of Burton and Florence James, who had headed the drama department at the Cornish School before forming the Repertory Playhouse in 1928.

Welcoming Dwight: Seventy-five years ago this week, on February 3, 1940, Lieutenant Colonel Dwight D. Eisenhower reported for duty at Fort Lewis, where he remained until the end of June 1941. Over the years, many members of Eisenhower's family have made Washington (this one, not the other one) their home.

Travel by Car: On February 1, 1966, Seattle's Columbia Street on-ramp to the Alaskan Way Viaduct opened to traffic. A year later, on January 31, 1967, Interstate 5 was completed between Tacoma and Seattle, two years after the Everett-Seattle link was finished on February 3, 1965.

Guest from Afar: Beginning on February 3, 1979, Chinese Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping spent two days in Seattle. U.S.-Chinese relations had recently thawed, and the Vice Premier was visiting the U.S. on a nine-day goodwill tour. Two months later, the arrival of the M.V. Liu Lin Hai at the Port of Seattle's Terminal 91 ended America's 30-year trade embargo against China.


Quote of the Week

To win multiple Super Bowls, you've got to win the first one first.

                           --Russell Wilson


Image of the Week

Friday Harbor incorporated on February 2, 1909.

 
Today in Washington History      RSS Feed

Swedish newspaper Svenska Posten begins publishing in Seattle on January 30, 1936.

Rockabilly guitar star Buddy Knox performs at Bingen, Washington, on January 30, 1957.

University of Washington President Emeritus Henry Schmitz drowns in Dungeness Bay on January 30, 1965.

Friendship One raises $500,000 for children and breaks the speed record for around-the-world flight on January 30, 1988.

New Essays This Week       RSS Feed

San Juan Island Rabbit Tales

Harry S. Truman presents the Medal of Honor to Archie Van Winkle on February 6, 1952.

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