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April 30, 2015 – May 6, 2015

Norwegian Guest

On May 1, 1968, Norway's King Olav V arrived in Seattle, where he admitted to feeling "more at home … than in any other United States city." He was warmly welcomed by the city's Norwegian community, many of whom had families that had lived in the Pacific Northwest for generations. While in town, the king spent some time in Ballard, and also went sightseeing in the Cascades.

It wasn't the first time he had enjoyed Washington's snow-clad mountains. In May 1939, Olav -- then crown prince – skied at Mount Rainier a few days before attending the dedication of Stanwood's Toftezen Memorial, which honors the first Norwegian settler to make his way across North America to Puget Sound. Olav made one more trip to the Northwest in 1975 (Image courtesy Tacoma Public Library) when he visited Poulsbo to celebrate the sesquicentennial of Norwegian immigration to America.

When King Olav died in 1991 his only son, Prince Harald, was crowned king. In 1995, King Harald V followed in his father's footsteps and enjoyed a four-day visit to Washington with Queen Sonja that included stops in Olympia, Seattle, Poulsbo, and Tacoma. And later this month King Harald will be making a return visit to the Northwest and will receive an honorary doctorate from Pacific Lutheran University at its 125th-anniversary commencement ceremony, an honor bestowed on Queen Sonja during the 1995 visit.

War and Protest

HistoryLink is proud to present a new curriculum for educators that includes discussion and research activities pertaining to the Vietnam War, which came to an end 40 years ago this week, on April 30, 1975. Entitled "Home of Record," the curriculum examines the war -- and its effects on Washington -- through letters, photographs, and personal stories. Find out more on our Education Resource page.

During the first week of May 1970 protests erupted in Seattle against U.S. entry into Cambodia and the killing of four Kent State students by National Guardsmen on May 4. On May 5, more than a thousand protesters marched from Seattle's University District onto Interstate 5, blocking all southbound lanes before exiting peacefully when confronted by police.

Things turned ugly two days later. After a violent confrontation between uniformed police and demonstrators on the UW campus, officers of the Seattle Police Tactical Squad in plainclothes prowled the University District, beating up anyone they suspected of being radical or anti-American. According to at least one eyewitness, the attacks were never seriously investigated by the press or the City of Seattle.

May We Suggest

This Tuesday, May 5, The Seattle Foundation holds its fifth annual one-day GiveBIG campaign in support of local nonprofits. Each year, many of our devoted readers have donated to HistoryLink through this event and have helped us improve the site and expand our content. This year, as we embark on a three-year plan to redesign HistoryLink.org and reimagine our digital presence, we ask you to dig deep and assist us in our efforts.

Please donate to HistoryLink on May 5 through the dedicated page on the foundation's website, and it will "stretch" those funds, based on the total amount given. More support from you means more matching funds from The Seattle Foundation, and any donation you make will help us immensely.

News Then, History Now

Moving In: On May 1, 1850, Schuyler and Eliza Saunders made their home at the future site of Chehalis. Exactly 15 years later, Mary Low Sinclair arrived in Cadyville, which later became the town of Snohomish.

Growing Out: Seattle doubled in size with the annexation of nearby communities on May 3, 1891. Exactly 16 years later, the city expanded again with the annexation of South Park and Columbia City on May 3, 1907.

Bad Timing: On May 4, 1893, the city of Everett incorporated. Local residents didn't have much time to celebrate, as the New York stock market tumbled the next day, kicking off the severe financial crisis known as the Panic of 1893. And on May 4, 1929, the small Whatcom County town of Everson incorporated, months before another nationwide economic disaster struck.

High Climbing: On May 1, 1963, Jim Whittaker -- REI's store manager -- became the first American to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Exactly 38 years later, in much drier climes, Snohomish County residents Bill and Helen Thayer began a 1,600-mile walk across the Gobi Desert on May 1, 2001.

Visitors Come: On May 4, 1974, President Richard Nixon presided at the opening ceremonies for Expo '74, Spokane's World's Fair. Over the next six months more than 5.2 million people attended the exposition, which focused on the environment.

Different Drum: On May 1, 1988, Kurt Cobain posted a "Drummer Wanted" ad in Seattle's The Rocket newspaper. The want ad proved fruitless, but within weeks Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic connected with drummer Chad Channing and recorded Nirvana's historic first single. The band, which went through a succession of drummers before finding Dave Grohl, went on to achieve worldwide fame, but not before playing in Seattle clubs like the Crocodile, which opened on April 30, 1991.


Quote of the Week

Som faren går fyre, kjem sonen etter.

                        --Norwegian proverb


Image of the Week

Interurban service between Everett and Seattle was inaugurated 105 years ago this week, on April 30, 1910.

 
Today in Washington History      RSS Feed

Several dozen fishermen drown off the mouth of the Columbia River on May 4, 1880.

Everett incorporates on May 4, 1893.

Seattle Steel Co. begins manufacturing steel products on May 4, 1905.

Everson incorporates on May 4, 1929.

First bookmobile in Seattle takes to the road on May 4, 1931.

John M. Nelson becomes superintendent of Seattle City Light on May 4, 1963.

King Olav V of Norway visits Seattle area from May 1 to May 4, 1968.

Thousands protest planned freeway through Seattle's Arboretum on May 4, 1969.

President Richard M. Nixon presides over the opening of Expo '74, Spokane's World's Fair, on May 4, 1974.

New Essays This Week       RSS Feed

James P. Fleming receives the Medal of Honor on May 14, 1970.

Reinhardt J. Keppler receives the Medal of Honor posthumously on September 17, 1943.

Bonneville Power Administration

Norway's King Harald V and Queen Sonja start four-day Northwest visit on October 24, 1995.

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