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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

Four from the Past

This week marks four notable anniversaries in Vancouver history. On April 5, 1879, Fort Vancouver was renamed Vancouver Barracks, 54 years after its opening. On April 6, 1912, the Port of Vancouver was created, and on April 5, 1943, the Kaiser shipyard launched its first escort aircraft carrier. Lastly, on April 5, 1972, a severe tornado struck the city, killing six and injuring more than 300.

The Ride Was Their Last

On March 30, 1915, newspaperman and historian Thomas Prosch; his wife, Virginia McCarver Prosch; artist Harriet Foster Beecher; Emily Carkeek; and Margaret Lenora Denny -- daughter of Seattle founder Arthur Denny -- were traveling back from Tacoma after a meeting of the Washington Historical Society. As they approached the Riverton Bridge in Allentown -- now part of Tukwila -- the driver of Carkeek's car swerved to avoid two children. The vehicle plunged into the Duwamish River, and only Carkeek and her driver survived.

Historic Broadcast

On April 5, 1929, KIT became Yakima’s first radio station. By this time listeners throughout the state could choose from a variety of stations that weren't based in Seattle, including  KWSU in Pullman and KGY in Olympia.

New Beans to Choose

On March 30, 1971, Jerry Baldwin, Gordon Bowker, and Zev Siegl handed out free cups of coffee to the first customers in their new coffee shop near Pike Place Market. They only sold beans for the next decade, but once they began to sell brewed coffee, Starbucks burst onto the world stage.

A Time to Amuse

April 1 is a day for pranksters. Please enjoy this reminiscence by Ralph Munro of the time he got fooled by a swinging chandelier in the state Capitol Building. Then read about how Almost Live viewers got tricked into believing that the Space Needle had collapsed. And finally, check out the time that antiwar protestors spoofed the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Singing the Blues

By 1991, Seattle's modern rock music scene was the darling of the global music industry -- an overnight success just 15 years in the making. After the suicide of Kurt Cobain on April 5, 1994, the media bubble burst, and music critics began looking elsewhere for the "next Liverpool." Nevertheless, the Northwest music scene persevered, although the death of Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley in 2002 carried a tragic synchronicity when he accidentally overdosed on the anniversary of Cobain's suicide.

Today in
Washington History

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Image of the Week

Seventy years ago this week, the first section of Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct opened.

Quote of the Week

"When we lived at home, Jimi Hendrix would come to the house to play with my brother Jimmy. My Dad would say, “What is all that noise down there? Tell them to stop!”"

--Dave Holden

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