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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

4/2/2020

News Then, History Now

Four from the Past

This week marks four notable events in Vancouver history. On April 5, 1879, Fort Vancouver was renamed Vancouver Barracks, 54 years after its establishment by the Hudson's Bay Company. On April 6, 1912, the Port of Vancouver was created, and on April 5, 1943, the city's Kaiser shipyard launched its first escort aircraft carrier. Lastly, on April 5, 1972, a rare severe tornado struck the city, killing six and injuring more than 300.

Eerie Forecast

On April 6, 1888, Jochin Henry Timmerman was hanged for murder in Goldendale, the first and only execution in the history of Klickitat County. Local lore later held that just before his hanging, Timmerman -- proclaiming his innocence -- prophesied that Goldendale would soon be destroyed by fire. One month later, seven blocks of the town's business district burned to the ground.

Serving Steadfast

More than 50 years after the Civil War ended, Union veteran James Gillespie of Seattle offered to re-enlist when the United States entered World War I on April 6, 1917. Others responded to the war effort by knitting wool socks, sweaters, and other garments to warm American soldiers at home and abroad.

Feeling the Heat

One hundred years ago this week, on April 7, 1920, a raging fire destroyed Seattle's Lincoln Hotel, killing four. The loss of the structure got the city thinking about building a better hotel, which led to a funding campaign for the Olympic Hotel. This week also marks the anniversary of the April 8, 1973, fire that destroyed the Gaches Mansion in La Conner. The building was later restored and is now home to the Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum.

Out on the Street

The first section of Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct opened on April 4, 1953. The final phase of the project was completed in 1959, and the structure carried traffic well into this century. Last year it all came down following the opening of the State Route 99 tunnel.

Missing a Beat

By 1991 Seattle's modern rock-music scene was the darling of the global music industry -- an overnight success just 15 years in the making. After the suicide of Kurt Cobain on April 5, 1994, the bubble burst, and music critics began looking elsewhere for the "next Liverpool." Nevertheless, the Northwest music scene persevered, although the death of Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley on April 5, 2002, carried tragic synchronicity when he accidentally overdosed on the anniversary of Cobain's suicide.

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Washington History

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Image of the Week

On April 3, 1977, Tacoma's Top of the Ocean Restaurant was destroyed by arson.

Quote of the Week

"Jazz washes away the dust of everyday life."

--Art Blakey

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