7294 HistoryLink.org essays now available.
On October 14, 1891, the schooner Lizzie Colby landed the first load of Bering Sea cod at Anacortes, ushering in a new industry for the Skagit County city. For more than half a century, sailing schooners based in Seattle, Poulsbo, and Anacortes fished cod in the Bering Sea and Alaskan waters and returned home with their catch.
On October 18, 1899, Seattle unveiled its latest and proudest possession -- a 60-foot totem pole in Pioneer Square. The untold story was that some of Seattle's most prominent citizens, including Chamber of Commerce Acting President James Clise, had gone to Alaska and swiped the pole from Tlingit Indians. Charges were filed, but little came of them. The carved log lingered until it was damaged by an arsonist in 1938. Its burnt remains -- along with a check from the federal government -- were returned to the Tlingits. They magnanimously carved a replica that still stands in Pioneer Square.
On October 14, 1913, six years after the Georgetown Steam Plant came on line, engineers began straightening and deepening the nearby Duwamish River. With ocean-going ships and barges able to navigate the dredged river, firms like the Boeing Airplane Co. began locating in the valley's burgeoning industrial center.The steam plant supplied electricity to the grid for the final time on October 15, 1952, and is now a National Historic Landmark.
On October 15, 1945, Darrington incorporated as a fourth-class town. This wasn't the first time that the small community had made an attempt at self-governance. In 1910, as Snohomish County prepared to ban the sale of alcohol, Darrington's citizens hoped to keep their liquor flowing by becoming a city and voting to keep the town "wet." Instead, they were rebuffed by Prohibitionists, who had more than a little help from local lumber interests.
On October 13, 1976, the federal Court of Appeals ruled that the proposed Trident submarine base at Bangor in Kitsap County was not per se exempt from the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The case highlighted the tension between two of Senator Henry Jackson's abiding concerns -- a strong military and environmental protection. Despite the ruling, the Trident base by 2010 was home to almost a third of the nation's deployed nuclear arsenal.
'Tis strange -- but true; for truth is always strange;
Stranger than fiction; if it could be told.