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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


Dry Falls, Grant County

News Then, History Now

Photo Call

Seattle's Rainier Club was organized on February 23, 1888. One of its earliest members was photographer Edward S. Curtis, who paid for his membership by taking photographs of other club members. Some of these photos, as well as a few other Curtis rarities, are in the club's collections.  

Trees for All

On February 22, 1897, President Grover Cleveland proclaimed more than two thirds of the Olympic Peninsula to be the Olympic Forest Reserve. Forty years later President Franklin Roosevelt toured the area, which led to the creation of Olympic National Park.

Standing Tall

On February 22, 1932, the George Washington Memorial Bridge was dedicated and 15,000 people attended to witness the opening of the Seattle's first highway span. At 2 o'clock that day, President Herbert Hoover turned a telegraph key in the "other" Washington, which unfurled flags on the bridge. Sirens blared, a 21-gun salute interrupted a speech by Governor Roland Hartley, and cheers rang out from the crowd. Within a month, more than 11,000 cars were traveling across the bridge each day.

Moving In

On February 22, 1957, the Black Diamond Library – which had been located in the old waiting room of the former Pacific Coast Coal Depot – moved into an old cottage that was once used to house school teachers, making it the only library in King County to have its own bathtub. Black Diamond annexed into the King County Library System in 1990, and in 2008 opened a spacious new library, sans tub.

Speaking Out

On February 28, 1969, eight members of the Seattle Black Panther Party gathered in Olympia and stood on the capitol steps holding rifles and shotguns. They were protesting a gun-control bill that would make it a misdemeanor to exhibit firearms or other weapons in a manner manifesting intent to intimidate others. After removing the ammunition from their clips, the Black Panthers delivered a statement to the legislature, then left.

Starting Up

Quite a few Washington towns and cities celebrate anniversaries this week including: Winlock, which incorporated on February 28, 1883; Cle Elum, which incorporated on February 24, 1902; Langley, which officially became a town on February 26, 1913; and East Wenatchee, whose voters approved incorporation on February 28, 1935. In King County, SeaTac and Federal Way both got their start on the same dayFebruary 28, 1990, with nearby Burien following exactly three year later, on February 28, 1993.

Today in
Washington History

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Image of the Week

On February 24, 1893, Governor John McGraw approved the charter for the New Whatcom Normal School in Bellingham. It has since become Western Washington University.

Quote of the Week

"Water is the true wealth in a dry land."

--Wallace Stegner

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