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Seattle Repertory Playhouse opens new theater on February 2, 1930.
On February 2, 1930, the Seattle Repertory Playhouse inaugurates its new home at 4045 University Way with a production of George Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara
.The theater will remain a major center for the dramatic arts -- and leftwing politics -- until it is taken over by the University of Washington in 1950.
File 3704: Full Text >
Seattle Public Library fires foreign-books librarian Natalie Notkin on February 2, 1932.
On February 2, 1932, The Seattle Public Library's board of directors dismisses Natalie Notkin (1900-1970), who has served as the foreign-books librarian at The Seattle Public Library's Central branch since 1927. Library board meeting minutes indicate that her dismissal is prompted, at least in part, by recent accusations that she has introduced communistic materials into the library's foreign-language collection.
File 3971: Full Text >
State Representative criticizes UW for hiring Marxist Harold Laski as visiting lecturer on January 23, 1939.
On January 23, 1939, the University of Washington is criticized for hiring Economics Professor Harold J. Laski (1893-1950), a British Marxist, as a visiting Walker-Ames Lecturer. State Representative D. L. Underwood (D., Seattle) calls for an immediate investigation by the House of Representatives into "Communistic activities" at the University. Laski had published an article in The Nation
entitled, "Why I am a Marxist."
File 2083: Full Text >
Laura Law is found murdered in her Aberdeen home on January 5, 1940.
On January 5, 1940, Laura Law is found murdered in her living room in Aberdeen. In the coming days, as police begin to identify suspects, it becomes clear that the case will be complicated by Law's and her husband Richard's involvement with labor unions and the tension within the Aberdeen community over labor union and Communist party activity. Further, Laura had been born in Finland and the Soviet Union's invasion of Finland in 1939 had divided many in Aberdeen's Finnish community between those who supported the Soviet Union's action as defensive (and thereby supported the Communist government) and those who criticized it (and thus, the Communists). The case will not be solved, but not for lack of suspects. At different times Richard (Dick) Law, members of the Communist Party, participants in the Better Business Builders (an anti-union group), and local businessmen will be suspected of the crime. The murder and its aftermath stand as symbols of the height tensions had reached in Aberdeen at the end of the Great Depression as businesses and workers struggled through the lean years.
File 9260: Full Text >
Civil Rights Congress is formed in 1946.
In 1946, the Civil Rights Congress is formed from the merger of the National Negro Congress, the International Labor Defense, and the National Federation for Constitutional Liberties.
File 603: Full Text >
Harry Truman wins re-election but Arthur Langlie ousts Governor Mon C. Wallgren in tight election on November 2, 1948.
On November 2, 1948, President Harry Truman (1884-1972) overcomes a strong challenge by New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey, negative polls, third party candidates on the left and right, and national press criticism to win a full term. Truman's coattails do not save incumbent Democratic Governor Mon C. Wallgren (1891-1961), who is ousted by former governor Arthur Langlie (1900-1966) in a re-match of the race that Wallgren won four years ago. Washington's six U.S. House of Representatives seats are split evenly between the two parties. State voters approve constitutional amendments eliminating term limits for county officials and authorizing counties to adopt Home Rule charters, and pass initiative measures permitting the sale of liquor by the glass and providing special pensions for veterans, the blind, and the elderly. Seattle voters affirm Daylight Savings Time.
File 5598: Full Text >
Two City of Seattle employees lose jobs for refusing to sign a loyalty oath on September 7, 1951.
On September 7, 1951, two City of Seattle employees lose their jobs because they refuse to sign a loyalty oath. The loyalty oath is required by state law as a condition of employment. Approximately 7,500 other employees sign the oath.
File 4225: Full Text >
Paul Robeson sings at the International Peace Arch on the border-crossing between the United States and Canada at Blaine on May 18, 1952.
On May 18, 1952, singer, actor, athlete, scholar, and political activist Paul Robeson (1898-1976) performs an outdoor concert for more than 25,000 people (estimates range as high as 45,000) gathered on both sides of the United States/Canadian border at Peace Arch Park in Blaine. An outspoken supporter of civil rights worldwide and an admirer of the Soviet Union, where he perceives there to be no racism, Robeson has been increasingly persecuted for his political views since the late 1940s. His passport has been confiscated by the State Department, denying his right to travel and perform outside of the United States, and he has recently even been prevented from crossing the border to Canada, which at the time does not require United States citizens to show a passport.
File 8163: Full Text >
Paul Robeson overcomes red-baiters to appear in Seattle Civic Auditorium on May 20, 1952.
On May 20, 1952, famed African American social activist, actor, and singer Paul Robeson (1898-1976) overcomes opposition from anti-communists, a press blackout, and an initial City Council ban on his appearance to lecture and perform in Seattle's Civic Auditorium (now the Opera House at Seattle Center).
File 1144: Full Text >
Senator Joseph McCarthy visits Washington state on October 22 and 23, 1952.
In October 1952, Senator Joseph McCarthy (1908-1957), a conservative Republican from Wisconsin, makes his first political visit to Washington state. McCarthy comes to Washington to campaign for General Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), the Republican presidential nominee, and for incumbent Republican Senator Harry P. Cain (1906-1979), who is running for a second term in 1952.
File 8887: Full Text >
Washington State Press Club members heckle Senator Joseph McCarthy on October 23, 1952.
On October 23, 1952, Senator Joseph McCarthy (1908-1957), a conservative Republican from Wisconsin, delivers the keynote speech for the Republican Party at the Washington State Press Club's fourth annual Gridiron dinner, held in Seattle. Misunderstanding the comical, lighthearted nature of the event, McCarthy gives a serious 15-minute speech on the dangers of Communism in America. He delivers his whole speech, but is heckled and booed.
File 8886: Full Text >
Seattle's KING-TV cancels Joseph McCarthy's scheduled speech on October 23, 1952.
On October 23, 1952, Senator Joseph McCarthy (1908-1957), a conservative Republican from Wisconsin, storms out of Seattle's KING-TV studios after his televised speech is canceled. KING-TV officials, fearing libel, ask McCarthy to remove two paragraphs from a 15-minute telecast. McCarthy argues that no television station has the right to censor a paid political speech, and the evening speech is canceled.
File 8888: Full Text >
Seattle Women Act for Peace is founded in November 1961.
In November 1961, in response to a major policy speech delivered by U. S. President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) in Seattle on November 16, 1961, women political activists leave the Communist Party to found Seattle Women Act for Peace.
File 2165: Full Text >
Former state representative John Goldmark wins $40,000 (later overturned) in a libel case against four individuals and a newspaper that had called him a Communist "tool," on January 22, 1964.
On January 22, 1964, John Goldmark (1917-1979) and his wife, Sally Goldmark (1907-1985), win $40,000 in a libel case against four individuals and a newspaper that had called him a Communist "tool." Goldmark was in the middle of a 1962 primary campaign for a fourth term as a Democratic state representative when he was accused in a local newspaper editorial of being "a tool of a monstrous conspiracy" and Sally Goldmark was accused of being a communist. Goldmark lost the primary by a large margin. Soon after, Goldmark and his wife filed a libel suit against the Tonasket Tribune
and four conservatives, including the editor of the paper and the state coordinator for the John Birch Society. The case went to trial in Okanogan on November 4, 1963. A jury finds for the Goldmarks on five of the nine claims and awards them $40,000. However, in 1964 the judge will reverse the verdict, based on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in another case. In a tragic postscript, Goldmark's son Charles Goldmark and his family will be murdered in 1985 in Seattle by an unbalanced man who said he killed them under the mistaken impression that the Goldmark family is communist.
File 9485: Full Text >
Weeks of protests erupt in Seattle beginning May 1, 1970, against U.S. entry into Cambodia and later also to protest the killing of four Kent State students.
On May 1, 1970, protests erupt in Seattle following the announcement of President Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994) that U.S. Forces in Vietnam would pursue enemy troops into Cambodia, a neutral country. The focus of activity is the University of Washington, but anti-war protests and disruptions also sweep downtown. Student strikers dominate the campus radio station and newspaper, and Seattle police are accused of using excessive force. This file summarizes the cataclysmic events of May 1970.
File 2308: Full Text >
Gus Hall denied access to YMCA, in June 1983.
In June 1983, the Young Men's Christian Association of Greater Seattle bars Gus Hall, general secretary of the American Communist Party, from speaking at the East Madison YMCA, saying the principles of the YMCA and the Communist Party were "incompatible."
File 3063: Full Text >