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Olympia's Rex Theater opens in 1911.
Sometime in 1911, the Rex Theater opens for business on the corner of 4th and Washington streets in downtown Olympia. Erected by J. K. and L. B. Nave, the 2,800 square foot venue is constructed entirely of concrete and seats nearly 400 people.
File 5041: Full Text >
Fire damages the Old State Capitol Building in Olympia on September 8, 1928.
On Saturday afternoon, September 8, 1928, fire destroys the third floor of the Old State Capitol Building in Olympia, Washington, along with its most notable decoration, a 150-foot-tall octagonal clock tower displaying an illuminated dial in each of the eight facets, visible day or night from throughout the city. With assistance from Tacoma firefighters, the Olympia Fire Department douses the flames and saves the building, but the clockwork is destroyed and the clocks are stopped forever. The structure is soon repaired, but the clock tower is declared unsafe and removed, never to be replaced.
File 8153: Full Text >
Unemployed Citizens League marchers meet police and vigilantes in Olympia on March 2, 1933.
On March 2, 1933, 1,200 unemployed men from Seattle meet 800 police and vigilantes in Olympia. The protesters want the legislature to assess higher taxes on the rich, to end foreclosures, and to provide hot meals for their children. They demand that the city of Olympia "make every possible preparation for caring for and protecting the marchers." The city commissioners refuse and warn that the marchers enter Olympia "at their own risk" (Newell, 372).
File 5107: Full Text >
A runaway train derails in downtown Olympia, killing one, on March 13, 1959.
On March 13, 1959, a crewless, runaway 15-car train strikes the Union Pacific Depot in downtown Olympia with such force that it goes through the building and crosses 4th Avenue, destroying half a city block. One man is killed and 20 persons are injured seriously enough to require hospitalization. Property damage exceeds $250,000. The cause of the accident is quickly traced to the train crew's failure to properly set brakes on the cars and subsequently leaving the train unattended.
File 7929: Full Text >