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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.

Be sure to check out our new podcast, Square One, which delves deeper into the stories included in our self-guided walking tour of Pioneer Square's LGBTQ+ history.

Find the podcast on your favorite podcast serviceA video version is available on HistoryLink's Vimeo channel.

Our thanks to Historic South Downtown for its generous support of the tour and podcast.

This Week Then


News Then, History Now

Shaken Up

On January 26, 1700, a massive earthquake struck the Pacific Northwest, sending a tsunami across the Pacific that slammed into Japan, where several sources recorded the event – the earliest documented historical occurrence in our region. It is estimated that the temblor was at least 9.2 on the modern Richter scale, making it the region's most powerful known earthquake ... so far.

Heading Out

On January 29, 1906, to promote the historical importance of the Oregon Trail, 76-year-old Ezra Meeker began to retrace the path that brought him to the Pacific Northwest. His travels were so well publicized that a few years later he took the trip again in the name of historic preservation, and to promote a transcontinental highway for auto traffic.

Swearing In

On January 27, 1909, Samuel Cosgrove was sworn in as Washington's sixth governor. Seriously ill with Bright's disease, Cosgrove left Olympia two days later to convalesce in California but never returned, dying two months after his inauguration.

Last Rites

Eighty years ago this week, on January 31, 1943, a fire swept through the Lake Forest Sanitarium, a rest home in northern King County. The blaze killed 32 of the residence's 49 elderly and disabled tenants. In numbers of fatalities, it is the worst fire in the county's history.

Deadly Flights

On January 28, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded during takeoff, killing seven astronauts, including Cle Elum native Dick Scobee. And on February 1, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated during re-entry, killing seven astronauts, including former Spokane resident and UW graduate Michael P. Anderson, and former Anacortes resident William McCool.

Reading Sites

This week marks anniversaries for four King County libraries. The Federal Way Regional Library was dedicated on February 1, 1992, Woodinville opened its first modern library exactly one year later, the Kirkland Library opened in its new building on January 30, 1995, and the Carnation Library opened on January 31, 2009.

Today in
Washington History

New On HistoryLink

Image of the Week

The Longview News began publishing 100 years ago this week, on January 27, 1923.

Quote of the Week

"Chief Leschi should not, as a matter of law, have been tried for the crime of murder"

--Washington State Chief Justice Gerry Alexander

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