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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

Counties Decreed

On January 21, 1865, Yakima County was established by the territorial legislature, two days after it erased Skamania County during the same session. Skamania's boundaries were restored two years later.

Liquor and Weed

On January 23, 1934, Governor Clarence Martin signed the Steele Act establishing the Washington State
Liquor Control Board
.  In recent years it has become the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, following the legalization of recreational
in 2012.

False Accusation

On January 22, 1964, former state representative John Goldmark won $40,000 in a libel case against four individuals and a newspaper that had called him a Communist "tool." Although he was vindicated against the smear campaign the judgment was later reversed, based on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that a public official cannot collect damages for criticism of his or her official actions in the absence of proof of malice. Two decades later, Goldmark's son Charles and family were murdered in Seattle by a right-wing extremist who said he killed them under the mistaken impression that the Goldmarks were communists

Legal Summation

When the Supreme Court legalized most abortions with its decision in Roe v. Wade on January 22, 1973, it superseded the more restrictive standards of a referendum in which Washington voters had liberalized the state's abortion laws in 1970. Voters returned to the issue in 1991 by narrowly adopting Roe v. Wade as state law, but the issue remains a source of social and political division.

Choosing the Best

On January 25, 1994, the Tacoma City Council appointed Harold Moss as mayor after the sudden death of Mayor Jack Hyde. The vote was unanimous, and Moss -- the first African American member of both the Tacoma City Council and the Pierce County Council -- became Tacoma's first African American mayor.

Starting the Fest:

Twenty years ago this week, on January 20, 1997, Festál kicked off its inaugural year with a Martin Luther King Day Celebration at Seattle Center. The Festál series of community-based festivals promotes ethnic and cultural diversity, and can trace its routes back to the 1962 Seattle World's Fair.

Today in
Washington History

New Essays This Week

Image of the Week

Ferguson County was established on January 23, 1863, but was struck from the books two years later.

Quote of the Week

The banks of a river may belong to one man or one industry or one state, but the waters which flow between the banks should belong to all the people.

-- President Lyndon B. Johnson, upon signing the Clean Water Act of 1965

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