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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

2/11/2021

News Then, History Now

Bridge Tending

On February 15, 1913, Tacoma's Eleventh Street Bridge opened. In 1997 it was renamed in honor of author and historian Murray Morgan, who had served as its bridge tender. We invite you to enjoy this story he wrote in the 1960s, about a wild night he experienced when he was unable to open the span.

Dam Ending

On February 12, 1914, a ceremony in Port Angeles celebrated the arrival of electricity from the Elwha River hydroelectric project. But progress came with a price -- the loss of massive, multiple runs of salmon and steelhead. By 2011 other energy sources were powering the peninsula, and demolition began on the dam. Within a few years hundreds of thousands of salmon were once again able to run free, from mountains to sea.

Bomb Sending

During the waning days of World War II, Japan attacked the Pacific Northwest with incendiary balloons. The first ones to reach Washington were found and neutralized on February 12, 1945, but in Oregon one such device later killed a Sunday School teacher and five of her students.

Preservation

On February 14, 1963, the Central Association of Seattle announced plans to tear down the historic Pike Place Market. Many were unhappy with the decision, and after years of controversy and protests, Seattleites voted to preserve the market. It remains one of the city's most popular and historic attractions.

Conservation

On February 12, 1970, the Washington State Department of Ecology was established, making history as the first such state-level organization. Its creation preceded the first Earth Day celebration, which took place that April.

Agitation

On February 17, 1970, "The Day After" the rulings in the Chicago Seven trial, protesters led by the Seattle Liberation Front clashed with police in front of the Seattle Federal Courthouse. This led to indictments of the organizers, who became known as the Seattle Seven.

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"You ain't supposed to get salmon when they're swimming upstream to spawn. But if you're hungry, you do."

--Loretta Lynn

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