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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

Right of Way

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 to run 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 attention to James J. Hill, who was struggling to bring his Great Northern line to the Northwest. After Seattle granted Hill waterfront right-of-way and other concessions, the first Great Northern passenger train left Seattle for St. Paul, Minnesota, on June 18, 1893.

Here to Stay

On June 13, 1908, a group of Swedish Americans led by Dr. Nils A. Johanson incorporated Seattle's Swedish Hospital. In 2000 it merged with Providence Hospital. Now known as Swedish Medical Center, it is the largest hospital system 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 observed throughout the country.

Crossing Locations

On June 15, 1917, the Fremont Bridge opened in Seattle, just as work was finishing on the new Lake Washington Ship Canal. And on June 13, 1951, the Northport Bridge opened in Stevens County, becoming the northernmost crossing of the Columbia River in Washington state.

Wartime Sensations

On June 13, 1942, the ground opened up in downtown Seattle when a water main burst, sending passersby into a flooded sinkhole. Exactly one year later, residents looked to the skies as bombers flew overhead in an attack on Husky Stadium. Fortunately, the mock air raid was all part of a civil-defense demonstration.


Four Washington cities celebrate birthdays this week. Sumas incorporated on June 18, 1891. Burlington became a city on June 16, 1902 . Benton County certified West Richland's incorporation on June 13, 1955. And on June 15, 1959, Yarrow Point incorporated on the east side of  Lake Washington.

Today in
Washington History

New Articles This Week

Image of the Week

A statue of Leif Erikson, designed by August Werner, was unveiled at the Shilshole Marina in Seattle on June 17, 1962.

Quote of the Week

"Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts."

--Charles Dickens

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