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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


News Then, History Now

Towns on Their Way

Besides Seattle and Spokane, three other Washington cities celebrate birthdays this week. On December 1, 1883, Union Gap incorporated as Yakima City. Ilwaco incorporated on December 2, 1890, and Mountlake Terrace incorporated on November 29, 1954.

Watch What You Say

On November 30, 1917, antiwar activist Louise Olivereau was convicted of sedition for mailing circulars that encouraged young men to become conscientious objectors to avoid military service in World War I. Sentenced to 10 years in prison, she served only 28 months in the state penitentiary in Cañon City, Colorado, before being paroled. 

Crime Doesn't Pay

In one of the most elaborately planned crimes of the 1920s, James E. Mahoney killed his wife, and then tossed a trunk containing her body into Seattle's Lake Union. Seattle police detectives unraveled the plot, and Mahoney was sent to the gallows on December 1, 1922. In other crime history, on November 28, 1996, William Scott Hurlock -- the "Hollywood Bandit" -- committed suicide in Seattle after being surrounded by police.

Quarantine Site

On December 1, 1943, the federal government, in partnership with the city of Seattle, opened a quarantine center for young women infected with venereal disease. The facility was located in Rainier Beach at the Crittenton Home for unwed mothers, which was leased to the city for the duration of World War II.

Travelers' Plight

On November 26, 1945, 15 children lost their lives when their school bus slid off the road and sank in the icy waters of Lake Chelan. And on November 27, 1998, a Metro bus plunged off the Aurora Bridge in Seattle after the driver was shot by a crazed passenger.

Caught in a Fight

Twenty-one years ago this week, Seattle came under siege during the 1999 WTO Conference. Things proceeded peacefully enough on November 28, with a scattering of demonstrations. More people gathered downtown on November 29 in mostly non-confrontational protests. But on November 30, all hell broke loose. Despite a "no protest zone," protests continued until the conference ended in failure on December 3. HistoryLink also played an unexpected role in the "Battle of Seattle," which you can learn about here.

Today in
Washington History

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Image of the Week

On December 2, 1896, the giant Palouse earthworm was first reported.

Quote of the Week

"When a white army battles Indians and wins, it is called a great victory, but if they lose it is called a massacre."

--Cheeseekau, Shawnee

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