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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

6/17/2021

News Then, History Now

Rails Across the Nation

On June 17, 1884, the first Northern Pacific train running between Tacoma and Seattle raised Seattle's hopes of a reliable transcontinental rail link, but the line proved to be a bust. The city turned its sights to James J. Hill, and after granting him a waterfront right-of-way and other concessions, the first Great Northern passenger train left Seattle for St. Paul, Minnesota on June 18, 1893.

Freedom Celebration

On June 19, 1890, African Americans from Tacoma and Seattle, many of them former slaves, gathered in Kent to celebrate the area's first Juneteenth. June 19, 1865, was the date news of Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation finally reached Texas slaves.

A Daughter's Admiration

In 1909 Sonora Smart Dodd sat in a Spokane church listening to a sermon about motherhood. Having been raised with five younger brothers by her widowed father, Dodd felt that fatherhood also deserved a "place in the sun," and she took it upon herself to advocate a special day for dads. After receiving an enthusiastic endorsement from the Spokane Ministerial Alliance and the YMCA, the first Father's Day was celebrated in Spokane on June 19, 1910. The concept spread, and by the 1920s Father's Day was commonly observed throughout the country.

Poet's Soiree

On June 17, 1931, Ella Higginson became Washington state's first poet laureate in a ceremony hosted by the Washington State Federation of Women's Clubs. Two decades earlier, Higginson served as campaign manager for Frances Axtell, who was one of the first two women elected to serve in the Washington State Legislature.

Into the Fray

On June 20, 1942, a Japanese submarine sank the freighter Fort Camosun near Cape Flattery, but with no loss of life. The next day, the same submarine attacked Fort Stevens at the mouth of the Columbia River, making it the only military installation in the continental United States to be shelled during the war.

Opening Day

June 23 marks the opening day of three major civic institutions in Seattle: Volunteer Park's Seattle Art Museum in 1933; the Washington State Convention & Trade Center in 1988; and the Experience Music Project -- now MoPOP -- in 2000.

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Image of the Week

On June 17, 1969, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to demolish most of Pike Place Market.

Quote of the Week

"We'll leave now, so that this moment will remain a perfect memory ... let it be our song and think of me every time you hear it."
--Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

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