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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

1/23/2020

News Then, History Now

In Vancouver

On January 23, 1851, Bishop Augustin Blanchet dedicated St. James Cathedral on land adjacent to the Hudson's Bay Company's Fort Vancouver headquarters. In 1885 a new St. James Cathedral was completed in the city of Vancouver, and it would serve as the headquarters of the Catholic church in Western Washington until 1907, when Bishop Edward J. O'Dea moved the diocese to Seattle.

Sin Remover

On January 24, 1909, Spokane hosted a large religious revival at which 10,000 faithful followers listened to evangelist Billy Sunday preach about the Lord and the evils of liquor. Sunday returned to Washington the next year and preached in Friday Harbor one day before its citizens voted whether to become "wet" or "dry." They chose dry.

Flight Maneuver

On January 28, 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, federal trustbusters cancelled the lucrative airmail contracts and broke up the Boeing-United conglomerate.

Blown Over

On January 29, 1958, a windstorm injured seven people in Seattle and knocked out power throughout Western Washington. But it was nothing compared to the Great Blowdown of 1921, when 37 years to the day earlier, hurricane-force winds struck the Washington coast.

Sailing Out

On January 24, 1964, the first modern container ship out of Puget Sound set sail from Seattle bound for Honolulu, Hawaii. And in other port history, this week marks the 15th anniversary of the of the Port of Tacoma's huge Pierce County Terminal, which opened on January 28, 2005.  

Shot Down

On January 26, 1969, civil rights leader and Seattle Urban League Executive Director Edwin Pratt was killed by a shotgun blast outside his home in Shoreline. The assailants were never found.

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Image of the Week

On January 23, 1964, the derelict "Reindeer Ship" SS Bering was intentionally burned just north of the entrance to the Lake Washington Ship Canal.

Quote of the Week

"I was awakened by a tremendous earthquake, and though I hadn't ever before enjoyed a storm of this sort, the strange thrilling motion could not be mistaken, and I ran out of my cabin, both glad and frightened, shouting, 'A noble earthquake! A noble earthquake' feeling sure I was going to learn something."

--John Muir

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