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On August 11, 1774, the Spanish ship Santiago emerged from a persistent coastal fog to spot a towering mountain on the far shore. Captain Juan Perez dubbed it Cerro Nevada de Santa Rosalia, giving the first European place name to a feature of the future Washington state. After Spain ceded the region to Britain in 1790, Perez's peak was renamed Mount Olympus, and the mountain chain it dominates became the Olympics.
On August 9, 1873, Thomas Prosch began publishing Tacoma's first newspaper, the Pacific Tribune. Prosch later became publisher of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Another noteworthy news event this week occurred on August 10, 1896, when The Seattle Times published its first edition edited by the paper's new co-owner, Alden J. Blethen.
On August 10, 1940, two U.S. Forest Service fire guards, Francis Lufkin and Glen H. Smith, become the first smokejumpers to parachute into a forest wildfire in Washington state. Five years later the North Cascades Smokejumper Base opened in the Methow Valley, and it has since served as one of seven smokejumper bases operated by the U.S. Forest Service for airborne firefighting across the Western states.
On August 10, 1969, hundreds of teens clashed with police at Alki Beach in West Seattle. The following night the battle shifted to the University District and turned "the Ave" into an intergenerational war zone before neighborhood volunteers enforced a tense truce on August 15. Attorney and civic leader Cal McCune helped to restore peace to the neighborhood, which led to Seattle's first street fair the following year.
On August 6, 1990, -- the 45th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing -- dedication ceremonies were held for the Seattle Peace Park. Conceived by Quaker peace activist Floyd Schmoe, the park features a statue of Sadako Sasaki -- who died at age 12 of leukemia caused by the atomic bombing -- holding a folded paper crane. Since its installation, the statue has been continually graced by colorful strings of paper cranes, placed there by visitors.
"If you don't try to win you might as well hold the Olympics in somebody's back yard."
Even $5 a month makes a difference!