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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.

Coronavirus Week 20 

In week 20 of the coronavirus pandemic, Washington continues to gradually open up as Governor Inslee and his team assess how the counties should proceed. This week the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order expired as public health agencies continued to closely monitor infection rates.

HistoryLink is documenting the impact of the pandemic in several ways. We have posted a number of articles about the key events so far: 

and we continue to add new images from around the state on Instagram.

We aren’t waiting for this to be history! We want to hear your stories for our Coronavirus Archive Project. Our People’s Histories are a rich collection of first-person accounts, and we would like to add your experiences in this pandemic so future generations can turn to HistoryLink to learn what happened. Visit our Coronavirus Archive Project page to share your story.

This Week Then


News Then, History Now

Election Day

On June 6, 1870, Charlotte Emily Olney French -- after a debate with Thurston County election judges -- became the first woman to cast a vote in Washington Territory. In 1871 the territorial legislature voted to deny Washington women the vote, but it was regained for a few years before statehood, then lost again. It wasn't until 1910 that Washington's all-male electorate ratified Amendment 6 to the state constitution, granting women the right to vote and making the state the fifth in the nation to enfranchise women.

Fiery Display

On June 6, 1889, a Seattle cabinetmaker accidentally ignited his shop at 1st Avenue and Madison Street. Fanned by a hot, dry breeze, the flames quickly spread through the wood-framed downtown. Volunteers struggled to douse them, but the town's privately owned water system delivered only a trickle. By that night, 64 acres of central Seattle had been reduced to a "horrible black smudge," in the words of visitor Rudyard Kipling.

Cars on the Way

On June 4, 1916, a National Parks Highway Association tour set forth on a 33-day automobile journey from Chicago to Puget Sound to demonstrate the feasibility of automobile travel and advocate for the improvement of roads and highways. The transcontinental auto race of 1909 was still fresh in many minds, and a growing number of car owners were itching to travel the open road.


Tuning In

On June 7, 1938, Everett native Nancy Coleman starred in scenes from Susan and God, telecast by NBC in New York as an experiment in the early days of television. And on June 6, 1959, Seattle radio station KIRO presented D-Day Plus 15, the first radio broadcast to use recordings from the KIRO-CBS Phonoarchive at the University of Washington.

Dropping By

On June 4, 1962, the Seattle World's Fair got a visit from Dr. Jonas Salk, who was honored at the U.S. Science Pavilion for his heroic work developing the polio vaccine. Years earlier, Edward R. Murrow asked Salk who owned the vaccine. "Well the people, I would say," Salk replied, "There is no patent. Can you patent the sun?"

Starting Out

Communities that celebrate birthdays this week include Colville, incorporated on June 7, 1890Snoqualmie, incorporated on June 9, 1903; Normandy Park, incorporated on June 8, 1953; and Beaux Arts Village, incorporated on June 8, 1954.

Today in
Washington History

New On HistoryLink

Image of the Week

Twenty years ago this week, on June 9, 2000, the Hanford Reach National Monument was established.

Quote of the Week

"And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention."

--Martin Luther King, Jr.

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