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During the last week of April 1792, British explorer Captain George
Vancouver and American fur trader Captain Robert Gray met on the
high seas near Cape Flattery before continuing on with their separate explorations. Vancouver sailed east into the Strait of Juan de Fuca and onward to uncharted waters that he began naming and surveying, while Gray continued south down the coast and explored the mouth of a huge river that he named for his ship.
Exactly 40 years after the Louisiana Purchase, a few hundred American settlers in Oregon declared a provisional government on May 2, 1843, although the region was then under joint occupation by both the United States and Great Britain. The latter finally struck its colors in 1846, and two years later Oregon Territory was formally established. In 1853, Washington Territory was formed at the request of settlers north of the Columbia River.
On April 28, 1919, Seattle mayor Ole Hanson received a bomb in the mail, part of a nationwide plot by anarchists to attack politicians and well-known businessmen. Fortunately, it did not explode. The same can't be said for a bomb that fatally injured pioneering Spokane aviator Major
John T. Fancher on April 29, 1928, when he accidentally set it off following a flight demonstration in Wenatchee. Fancher had been instrumental in bringing the 1927 National Air Derby and Air Races to Felts Field.
On April 28, 1940, experimental music pioneer John Cage debuted his "prepared piano" at Seattle's Repertory Playhouse. The instrument was augmented with screws, bolts, nuts, and leather strips that dampened the strings and produced a range of new sounds along with standard piano tones. Exactly 28 years later, thousands gathered in Duvall to witness an even stranger piano performance: to hear what one sounded like when dropped from a helicopter.
It has been said that, at its best, preservation engages the past in a conversation with the present over a mutual concern for the future.