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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


Pig War illustration

News Then, History Now

Rails Across the Nation

In 1873 the Northern Pacific Railroad chose Tacoma as its West Coast terminus, much to the dismay of Seattle boosters. On June 17, 1884, the first Northern Pacific train running between Tacoma and Seattle raised Seattle's hopes for a reliable transcontinental rail link, but the line proved to be a bust. The city turned its sights to James J. Hill, who was struggling to bring his Great Northern line to the Northwest. After granting Hill 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 for the area's first Juneteenth celebrartion, which marked the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. The news of their freedom did not reach Texas slaves until June 19, 1865, more than three months after the collapse of the Confederacy.

Doctors' Consultation

On June 13, 1908, a group of Swedish Americans led by Dr. Nils A. Johanson incorporated Seattle's Swedish Hospital. Now known as Swedish Medical Center, it has expanded to become one of the largest hospitals in the state.

Father's Day

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.

Big 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.

On Their Way

Washington cities that celebrate birthdays this week include Sumas which incorporated on June 18, 1891; Burlington, which incorporated on June 16, 1902; West Richland, which incorporated on June 13, 1955; and Yarrow Point, which incorporated on June 15, 1959.

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Washington History

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Image of the Week

Pike Place Market

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

Quote of the Week

"It is better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a pig satisfied."

 --John Stuart Mill

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