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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

First Congregation

On September 14, 1892, Temple Emanu-El in Spokane became the first Jewish synagogue to open in the state of Washington. Four days later, on September 18, Congregation Ohaveth Sholum opened the first synagogue in Seattle.

Old West Sensation

On September 15, 1915, the citizens of Mabton celebrated their abundant alfalfa crop by opening the Hay Palace -- built almost entirely of hay bales. And on September 13, 1923, Ellensburg held its first rodeo, an event now celebrated each Labor Day weekend. This celebration of Western culture harkens back to the days of the town's origin as a trading post named Robber's Roost.

Guitar Innovation

On September 13, 1934, the Los Angeles-based Orville Knapp Orchestra performed a concert in Seattle at the Club Victor that featured what was almost certainly the local public debut of the electric guitar. And on September 16, 1957, Northwest musician Dave Bunker submitted a patent application for his dual-necked Duo-Lectar electric "Touch Guitar." "

Standing Ovation

This week in sports history, the first football game was held in Pasco's new Edgar Brown Stadium on September 13, 1957. On September 15, 2002, the Amy Yee Tennis Center -- named for tennis star Amy Woo Yee -- opened in Seattle. And on September 16, 2010, the Seattle Storm won its second WNBA championship six years after its first.


On September 16, 1964, after two decades of negotiations and political wrangling, implementation of the Columbia River Treaty was celebrated at the Peace Arch in Blaine, The treaty finalized an agreement between the United States and Canada on how to best manage the river, which flows through both nations. Of particular importance were the issues of water storage, flood control, and power generation.

Big Celebration

In 1998 Seattle voters approved a $196-million bond measure to help rebuild the city's public libraries. The Seattle Public Library Foundation added $83 million to complete the building program, as well as to enhance system-wide funding for art, technology, collections, and programs. Ten years ago this week, on September 13, 2008, the city celebrated the completion of this successful "Libraries For All" campaign.

Today in
Washington History

New Essays This Week

Upcoming Event

Writing Our History: Pierce County
Speaker Series

VISUALIZE TACOMA: The Pierce County Courthouse in Images & Short Stories
Michael Sullivan and Amber Brock

September 20, 2018
Pythian Temple, 924 Broadway, Tacoma

Join us for some light refreshments and conversation before the program. 
Doors open at 6:00 p.m., programs begin at 6:30 p.m.

Image of the Week

On September 13, 1991, Nirvana held a release party at Seattle's Re-bar dance club for the Nevermind album, which made music history by selling more than 10 million copies in the U.S. alone.

Quote of the Week

The biggest thing you can do is understand that every time you're going to the grocery store, you're voting with your dollars. Support your farmers' market. Support local food. Really learn to cook.
--Alice Waters

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