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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.

This Week Then


News Then, History Now

Time to Grow

Walla Walla County got its start on April 25, 1854, when it was carved out of Skamania County. Indians and settlers had confrontations and conflicts, but within a few years local citizens had a major thoroughfare, a school, a newspaper, a bank, and, by 1875, a railroad. The first Washington Constitutional Convention convened there in 1878.


Saying No

On April 24, 1877, General Oliver O. Howard met in a day-long council with Smohalla, an influential Wanapum spiritual leader. Howard told Smohalla that he and his followers must move onto the Yakama reservation. However, distracted by the Nez Perce War, which broke out a few weeks later, Howard took no steps to enforce the order and Smohalla ignored it.

Moving Slow

On April 22, 1889, Duncan Hunter filed a homestead claim to 80 acres of densely forested in south Snohomish County, becoming the first non-Indian resident of what would become Lynnwood. Other homesteaders soon followed, but the city didn't incorporate until April 20, 1959.

Window Browsing

On April 21, 1950, hordes of shoppers attended the opening of Northgate Mall, which was designed by John Graham Jr., later chief architect for the Space Needle. Graham's architectural firm also helped shape Seattle's waterfront.

Crowd Arousing

Century 21 -- America’s Space Age World’s Fair -- opened in Seattle on April 21, 1962. For the rest of that spring and summer visitors got an optimistic glimpse of things to come, even though the fair got off to a rocky start and almost ended with a bang.

Open Housing

Fifty years ago this week, on April 19, 1968, the Seattle City Council approved an open-housing ordinance to ban racial discrimination in home sales and rentals. Four years earlier, Seattle voters nixed an open-housing referendum by a two-to-one margin, but after the assassination of Martin Luther King the council acted quickly to end an inequity and maintain racial peace.

Today in
Washington History

New Essays This Week

Image of the Week

The Tacoma Dome opened 35 years ago this week, on April 21, 1983.

Quote of the Week

The labor movement did not diminish the strength of the nation but enlarged it. By raising the living standards of millions, labor miraculously created a market for industry and lifted the whole nation to undreamed of levels of production. Those who attack labor forget these simple truths, but history remembers them.

--Martin Luther King Jr.

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