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Seattle's Little City Halls

Creation of Seattle's Little City Halls, now formally known as Neighborhood Service Centers (NSC), was inspired by a 1972 trip to Boston by aides to Mayor Wes Uhlman. The early program, while popular ...

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Seattle's Sister City Program

President Dwight Eisenhower created the Sister City program in 1956 to encourage the people-to-people exchange between Americans and citizens of other countries. Seattle was quick off the mark with th...

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Shaping Seattle's Central Waterfront, Part 1: Moving People and Freight

The natural harbor of Elliott Bay offered a wealth of resources to the settlers who came to its shores in the 1850s to build Seattle into a city. Its deep waters provided ample space for ships to anch...

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Shaping Seattle's Central Waterfront, Part 2: From "Back Alley" to "Front Porch"

The late 1960s and early 1970s saw a profound shift in thinking about Seattle's central waterfront. As the central business district struggled with declining customers and community groups advocated f...

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Simpson, Buster (b. 1942)

Beginning in the early 1970s, when Buster Simpson camped out in buildings about to be demolished in downtown Seattle and made art out of the readily available materials in his rapidly changing ecologi...

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Sims, Ron (b. 1948)

Ron Sims spent more than 20 years in King County government, first as a member of the King County Council elected in 1985 and then as King County Executive since 1996. Sims guided the county governmen...

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Smallpox Outbreak in New Tacoma (1881)

Smallpox struck New Tacoma, a recently platted town encompassing much of what later became downtown Tacoma, in October 1881. The outbreak sickened an official count of 80 people and killed 14 by the t...

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Smith, Sam (1922-1995)

Sam Smith was the first black person to be elected to the Seattle City Council and the second black State Legislator from King County. He has been credited with helping to bridge the political and cul...

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Snyder, Sid (1926-2012)

The son of a Kelso barber, Sid Snyder eventually rose up to establish himself as a well-loved small-town grocer, a savvy real-estate investor, and a millionaire bank founder. In addition, he gained st...

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Sommers, Helen Elizabeth (1932-2017)

Helen Sommers was elected as a Democrat in November 1972 to represent Seattle's 36th District in the state House of Representatives. She won re-election 17 consecutive times over the next 36 years, wa...

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South Lake Union: The Evolution of a Dream

This essay surveys the development of Seattle's South Lake Union and Cascade communities from 1854 to 2003, with emphasis on visions for its future including Virgil Bogue's 1911 Plan of Seattle, the 1...

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Spellman, John D. (b. 1926)

John D. Spellman was the first King County Executive and later served as governor of Washington. Elected Executive in 1969, shortly after the County's Home Rule Charter created the position, Spellman ...

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