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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

What We Grow

Harvest season has traditionally been a time for farmers to show off their crops. On September 24, 1894, the first Washington State Agricultural Fair opened in Yakima. And on September 24, 1937, the Lincoln County Fair resumed in Davenport after a decades-long hiatus.

High and Low

On September 22, 1890, members of the Olympic Exploring Expedition made the first recorded ascent of Mount Olympus on the Olympic Peninsula. And on September 23, 1909, Seattle's most luxurious toilet convenience opened in the bowels of the city.


Quite a Show

On September 24, 1926, thousands celebrated the grand opening of the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle. The lavish playhouse was the brainchild of architect Robert Reamer, known for his designs of the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park, Spokane's Fox Theater, Bellingham's Mt. Baker Theatre, and Seattle's Edmond Meany Hotel and 1411 4th Avenue Building.

Dealing a Blow

In 1927 Boeing won a U.S. Post Office contract to carry airmail between Chicago and San Francisco. This and similar contracts laid the foundation for today's airline industry, and led directly to the development of United Air Lines. Seven years later, on September 26, 1934, federal trustbusters cancelled the lucrative airmail contracts and broke up the Boeing-United conglomerate.

Men on the Go

On September 23, 1954, President Eisenhower dedicated McNary Dam. And on September 26, 1963, more than 30,000 people greeted President John F. Kennedy at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland, where he participated in groundbreaking ceremonies for the N Reactor. The next day, an equally large crowd came to hear him speak at Tacoma's Cheney Stadium.

Three in a Row

Three Washington cities that celebrate anniversaries this week are South Bend, which incorporated on September 27, 1890; Stanwood, which voted to incorporate on September 29, 1903; and Granger, which had its incorporation approved on September 28, 1909.

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Image of the Week

On September 24, 1984, a heap of four million used tires caught fire in Everett, and continued to burn and pollute for more than 6 months.

Quote of the Week

"When the most important things in our life happen we quite often do not know, at the moment, what is going on."

--C. S. Lewis

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