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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

Plenty of Fishin'

On September 20, 1888, the Northwest's commercial halibut fishery began when the schooner Oscar and Hattie arrived at Tacoma with 50,000 pounds of the tasty fish. Thirty-five years later, fish stocks had declined so drastically that the Pacific Halibut Convention, the first international effort to conserve and rebuild an ocean fishery, was signed by the United States and Canada. Today the fishery is one of the world's healthiest.

Food Exhibition

Harvest season for farmers is here, and it's a good time to show off their crops. On September 24, 1894, the first Washington State Agricultural Fair opened in Yakima. On September 24, 1937, the Lincoln County Fair resumed in Davenport after a decades-long hiatus. And on September 21, 1923, livestock was the center of attention at the first Sumas Roundup.


Virus Transmission

On September 21, 1918, the worldwide "Spanish Flu" pandemic officially arrived in Washington with the report of 11 cases at Camp Lewis. Within two weeks, 700 cases were reported in Seattle, including one death at the University of Washington's Naval Training Center. The flu remained prevalent until the spring of 1919, when the disease disappeared as quickly as it had arrived. In all, nearly 5,000 people were killed by it in Washington.

On Stage

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 at Yellowstone National Park, Spokane's Fox Theater, Bellingham's Mt. Baker Theatre, and Seattle's Edmond Meany Hotel and 1411 4th Avenue Building.

On Radio

On September 23, 1927, the New York City-based Columbia Phonograph Company began a two-day round of recording sessions with various local musicians in Spokane. On September 21, 1957, Los Angeles R&B singer Richard Berry brought "Louie Louie" to Seattle, where it became the Northwest's signature rock song. And on September 25, 1969, Patrinell Staten -- who later went on to lead Seattle's Total Experience Gospel Choir as Pat Wright -- was getting lots of radio play from her hit R&B single, "I Let a Good Man Go." 

On Screen

On September 25, 1968, Here Come the Brides debuted on ABC-TV. The show was loosely based on Asa Mercer’s recruitment of marriageable women for Seattle bachelors back in 1864, but that wasn't its only Northwest connection. One of the stars, Bridget Hanley, grew up in Edmonds, and one episode featured Bruce Lee playing a Chinese immigrant.

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Image of the Week

From September 21-25, 1927, Spokane hosted the 1927 National Air Derby and Air Races.

Quote of the Week

"Not all those who wander are lost"

--J. R. R. Tolkien

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