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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

On the Go

On April 22, 1854, the Washington Territorial Legislature incorporated the city of Steilacoom. Despite its promising start, railroad construction in the 1870s bypassed the town, and its growth slowed as Tacoma became the Pierce County seat and main industrial and economic center.

Just Say No

On April 24, 1877, General Oliver O. Howard met in a day-long council with Smohalla, an influential Wanapum spiritual leader. Howard told Smohalla that he and his followers must move onto the Yakama Reservation. However, distracted by the Nez Perce War that broke out a few weeks later, Howard took no steps to enforce the order, and Smohalla ignored it.

Moving Slow

On April 22, 1889, Duncan Hunter filed a homestead claim to 80 acres of dense forest in south Snohomish County, becoming the first non-Indian resident of what would become Lynnwood. Other homesteaders soon followed, but the city didn't incorporate until April 20, 1959.

Be Prepared

On April 18, 1911, a group of Seattle civic leaders incorporated a local branch of the Boy Scouts of America, which had been founded on the East Coast just the year before. The Chief Seattle Council received its charter five years later and was the first of the seven BSA councils that now serve Washington.

Grievances Aired

One of Washington's longest and nastiest strikes began on April 22, 1948, when aeromechanics walked out of Boeing. Group Health Cooperative expressed solidarity with the machinists, but the strike took a peculiar twist when Boeing allied with Teamsters leader Dave Beck to lure workers into an alternative union local. The IAM beat back Beck's effort, but its members returned to work after six months with no new contract.

Fairgoers Stared

Century 21 -- America’s Space Age World’s Fair -- opened in Seattle on April 21, 1962. For the rest of that summer visitors got an optimistic glimpse of things to come, even though the fair got off to a rocky start and almost ended with a bang.

Today in
Washington History

New Essays This Week

Image of the Week

Northgate Mall, one of the nation's first modern shopping centers, opened in Seattle on April 21, 1950.

Quote of the Week

"Time is the fire in which we burn."

--Delmore Schwartz

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