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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

Sailing Around

On May 7, 1792, while traveling down the Pacific Coast, Captain Robert Gray happened upon a large harbor, which he named for himself. Farther south, Gray entered the mouth of a huge river on May 11, which he named for his ship. While there, a bay and another river also received his moniker.

Deep Underground

Roslyn was founded in 1886 after surveyors from the Northern Pacific Railway found rich seams of coal nearby. But mining the coal came at a terrible cost. On May 10, 1892, in the worst coal-mine disaster in Washington history, 45 men lost their lives in an explosion and fire at the Roslyn mine.

Solid and Sound

A pair of Washington's long-standing and stately buildings celebrate birthdays this week. On May 9, 1893, the New Whatcom City Hall opened in Bellingham, and is now home to the Whatcom Museum of History and Art. And Seattle's King Street Station opened on May 10, 1906, and is currently served by Amtrak trains and Sounder commuter rail.


Here to Be Seen

On May 9, 1962, Vice President Lyndon Johnson dedicated Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River. The following day, LBJ traveled to Seattle to dedicate the NASA pavilion at the 1962 World's Fair, but more people were interested in seeing astronaut John Glenn, who had orbited the earth a few months earlier.

Keeping It Green

Fifty years ago this week, on May 10, 1971, the Washington State House of Representatives passed the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). The act -- which serves as a cornerstone for the state's environmental laws -- was inspired by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, which was sponsored by Washington Senator Henry M. Jackson.

Making the Scene

Four cities marking anniversaries this week are Kelso, which incorporated on May 10, 1890; Aberdeen, which got its start two days later; Chelan, whose male residents voted to incorporate on May 7, 1902; and Mukilteo , which became a city on May 8, 1947.

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Image of the Week

Led Zeppelin rocked Seattle's Green Lake Aqua Theatre on May 11, 1969.

Quote of the Week

"And I believe that the principles for which we fought in 1934 are still true and still useful. Whether your job is pushing a four-wheeler, or programming a computer, I don't know of any way for working people to win basic economic justice and dignity except by being organized into a solid, democratic union."

--Harry Bridges

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