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Topic: Government & Politics

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Seattle City Halls

Since the City of Seattle was incorporated in 1869, city government has occupied various spaces, beginning with rented facilities all over town. Seattle's first City Hall, built in 1882, was located a...

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Seattle General Strike, 1919

The Seattle General Strike began at 10 a.m. on February 6, 1919, and paralyzed the city for five days. Never before had the nation seen a labor action of this kind. Many in Seattle were expecting revo...

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Seattle Housing Authority -- Part 1

The Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) was established in 1939 during the waning days of the Great Depression. It was inspired by New Deal legislation and brought to life largely through the tireless eff...

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Seattle Housing Authority -- Part 2

The 1960s brought a renaissance of sorts for the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA), which had been established in 1939 and endured bleak years during the 1950s. In the Sixties different forms of federal...

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Seattle Housing Authority Chronology

The Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) was founded in 1939 as part of a federal program to clear slums and create jobs by building housing for the poor. After the United States entered World War II, the ...

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Seattle Housing Authority: Interview with Charles Royer

In this interview, former Seattle mayor Charles Royer (b. 1939) discusses the housing crisis that faced older residents of Seattle in the early 1980s, and how the City of Seattle and the Seattle Housi...

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Seattle Housing Authority: Interview with Doris Koo

In this interview Doris Koo, who oversaw Phase 1 redevelopment of the Holly Park project in South Seattle for the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA), describes how changes in federal funding for public h...

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Seattle Housing Authority: Interview with Norm Rice

In this interview, former Seattle Mayor Norm Rice (b. 1943) describes how one person's comments at a hearing on low-income housing helped him find his "true north" in relation to housing the homeless ...

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Seattle Landmarks: Firehouse No. 23 (1909)

Address: 722 18th Avenue, Seattle. The city of Seattle built Firehouse No. 23 to base Engine Company No. 23 (steam), Hose Company No. 23, and Ladder Company No. 3, all horse-drawn, as well as the fire...

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Seattle Liberation Front

The Seattle Liberation Front (SLF) was one of the more flamboyant, if short-lived, radical organizations to rise out of the student movement of the 1960s. Organized in January 1970 by University of Wa...

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Seattle Mayor's Desk: A History

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels shares an undated "history" of his official desk, which dates back to 1928. The anonymous typescript was found in the desk by Mayor Nickels and is an artifact in its own rig...

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Seattle Office of Arts & Culture Arts Education: Road to The Creative Advantage

This is a snapshot history of the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture's leadership in providing quality arts education to students in Seattle public schools. The Office of Arts & Culture was established ...

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Seattle Transportation: From Trolleys to Monorails, A Timeline

This condensed chronology traces major milestones in the evolution of public transportation in greater Seattle and was originally published in The Seattle Times on October 20, 2002. Detailed essays on...

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Seattle Water System -- A Slideshow

The Seattle Public Utilities water system provides direct water service to around 630,000 people in and just outside the city of Seattle and sells water wholesale to cities and water districts serving...

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Seattle's 1 Percent for Art Program

In 1973, Seattle passed a 1 Percent for Art ordinance, which sets aside 1 percent of capital-improvement-project funds for the commission, purchase, and installation of artworks in a variety of settin...

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Seattle's First Female Officers on the Beat

This essay by Adam C. Eisenberg on Seattle's first female patrol officers hired and trained to be cops on the beat equal to men (nine women hired in 1976), originally appeared in the Seattle Post-Inte...

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Seattle's Little City Halls

Creation of Seattle's Little City Halls, now formally known as Neighborhood Service Centers (NSC), was inspired by a 1972 trip to Boston by aides to Mayor Wes Uhlman. The early program, while popular ...

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Seattle's Sister City Program

President Dwight Eisenhower created the Sister City program in 1956 to encourage the people-to-people exchange between Americans and citizens of other countries. Seattle was quick off the mark with th...

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Shaping Seattle's Central Waterfront, Part 1: Moving People and Freight

The natural harbor of Elliott Bay offered a wealth of resources to the settlers who came to its shores in the 1850s to build Seattle into a city. Its deep waters provided ample space for ships to anch...

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Shaping Seattle's Central Waterfront, Part 2: From "Back Alley" to "Front Porch"

The late 1960s and early 1970s saw a profound shift in thinking about Seattle's central waterfront. As the central business district struggled with declining customers and community groups advocated f...

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Simpson, Buster (b. 1942)

Beginning in the early 1970s, when Buster Simpson camped out in buildings about to be demolished in downtown Seattle and made art out of the readily available materials in his rapidly changing ecologi...

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Sims, Ron (b. 1948)

Ron Sims spent more than 20 years in King County government, first as a member of the King County Council elected in 1985 and then as King County Executive since 1996. Sims guided the county governmen...

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Smallpox Outbreak in New Tacoma (1881)

Smallpox struck New Tacoma, a recently platted town encompassing much of what later became downtown Tacoma, in October 1881. The outbreak sickened an official count of 80 people and killed 14 by the t...

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Smith, Sam (1922-1995)

Sam Smith was the first black person to be elected to the Seattle City Council and the second black State Legislator from King County. He has been credited with helping to bridge the political and cul...

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