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
In several one-sided treaties imposed by Washington Territory Governor Isaac Stevens, local Native Americans were promised they would at least retain their accustomed fishing rights, particularly for salmon -- a primary food source for generations. Those rights were repeatedly violated, and federal policy sought to erase Indian culture after passage of the Dawes Severalty Act in 1887.
After years of having their fishing rights slowly whittled away by state regulations, the tribes took a cue from the civil rights movement of the mid-twentieth century and began publicizing their plight through peaceful protest. Their primary tactic was fish-ins, where salmon were caught without state permits. Even actor Marlon Brando joined in to help the cause, as did comedian Dick Gregory, and the fight for rights made national news.
In 1970 the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit in federal court to stop Washington state from preventing or restricting Native American tribes "from taking fish at their usual and accustomed places," as guaranteed by the treaties. Native American fishing rights were reaffirmed by the Boldt Decision on February 12, 1974.
On February 12, 1968, Jimi Hendrix performed a homecoming concert at the Seattle Center Arena, his first local appearance since becoming a rock star. Born and raised in Seattle, Hendrix got his start performing with teenage dance combos in local venues. After a brief stint in the army and tours backing, among others, Little Richard, Hendrix became an overnight sensation after his psychedelic performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.
At his return concert, Hendrix's family and old friends were seated in the front row. KJR radioman Pat O'Day welcomed the near-capacity crowd, and after British band Soft Machine played its opening act, Hendrix and his band came on stage to a roaring ovation. They performed nine songs in what was described as an "avalanche of sound"' that overwhelmed the venue.
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.
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.
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.
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.