The free online encyclopedia of Washington state history

8069 articles now available.

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

Gunned Down

On June 25, 1901, former Seattle police chief William Meredith -- who had just lost his job because of accusations of corruption made by theater owner John Considine -- attempted to kill Considine in Pioneer Square, but was himself gunned down inside the G. O. Guy drugstore. Although the press portrayed Considine as the assailant, he was found not guilty of murder and went on to become a noted and respected member of Seattle society.

Driving Over

On the day the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition opened in Seattle, six cars left New York in a transcontinental auto race. Twenty-three days later, on June 23, 1909, the first car to cross the finish line in Seattle was Henry Ford's Model T, which had entered production just a few months earlier. The car was disqualified, but not before Ford got all the publicity he needed to make it the best-selling car of its era. Fifty years later, the Ford Motor Co. held a re-enactment of the race. Playing it smart this time, the company made sure only Ford cars competed.

Burned Up

On June 26, 1925, a discarded cigarette tossed by a careless smoker caused a huge fire that wiped out most of the mill town of Monohon, the namesake of one of its first settlers. And on June 27, 1934, explosions demolished the J. A. Denn Powder Company plant near Lacey, but the buildings were so obliterated no cause was ever determined.

Short Stay

On June 27, 1926, Roald Amundsen and the crew of the airship Norge visited Seattle on the SS Victoria while returning from their historic flight over the North Pole. This was Amundsen's second visit to Washington in four months. In February, he had lectured in Seattle and Everett before returning to Norway to prepare for the flight.

Opening Day

In Seattle, June 23 marks the opening day of three major civic institutions: Volunteer Park's Seattle Art Museum in 1933; the Washington State Convention & Trade Center in 1988; and the Experience Music Project -- now MoPOP -- in 2000.

On Their Way

Snohomish incorporated on June 26, 1890, and Mount Vernon incorporated in Skagit County one day later. Sultan incorporated in Snohomish County on June 28, 1905, and Deer Park became a city in Spokane County on June 24, 1908. Over on the coast, Westport incorporated on June 26, 1914.

Today in
Washington History

New On HistoryLink

Image of the Week

Seattle's Montlake Bridge opened on June 27, 1925.

Quote of the Week

"If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans ... We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet."

--Stephen Hawking

Major Funding Provided By

Education Partners