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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

Making a Mark

On October 25, 1864, Seattle received its first telegraph line. Six years later, The Alaska Times began publishing on October 24, 1870, becoming the second newspaper in town. Exactly two years after that, Schwabacher Bros. & Co., a San Francisco-based outfitter, finished the city's first brick building on October 24, 1872. No one knew it at the time, but all three of these institutions would later play important roles in the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897.

Making a Park

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, who were very influential in the development of Bellingham.

Red Scold

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 got heckled by members of the Washington State Press Club and KING-TV canceled his televised speech.

Head Cold

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: the discovery of Soviet missiles in Cuba.

Visiting Kings

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

Political Things

Had enough of election-year foibles? Have a few more. On October 22, 1980, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that State Senator Gordon L. Walgren must remain on the ballot even though a federal jury in the "Gamscam" case found him guilty of three felonies. On October 21, 1986, state House candidate John Moyer sparked controversy by skipping a campaign debate to perform surgery on a pregnant patient. And on October 24, 1989, reporters at The Seattle Times spotted a typo in the Voters' Pamphlet that asked for $60 million more on a King County parks bond issue than was originally requested. It didn't seem to bother voters at the time, as they voiced their support for open space and trails by a two-to-one margin.

Today in
Washington History

New Essays This Week

Image of the Week

On October 21, 1922, the Pasco-Kennewick "green" bridge was dedicated. It has since been replaced.

Quote of the Week

Olympia's gods might view with grace,
Nor scorn so fair a dwelling place.

-- Isaac Ebey

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