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On December 15, 1868, 24-year-old Chun Ching Hock -- believed to be Seattle's first Chinese immigrant -- opened the Wa Chong Company, a general-merchandise store at the foot of Mill Street (now Yesler Way). Chun moved back to China in 1900 but remained an owner of the Wa Chong Company, which later moved to 719 S King Street -- now home to the Wing Luke Museum -- in the Chinatown-International District.
On December 17, 1871, record snow blanketed much of the Puget Sound region, and it was so cold that the Snohomish River froze. On December 17, 1990, a windstorm tore through Puget Sound and cost Washington State Ferries more than $3 million in damage. The Hanukkah Eve Wind Storm ravaged Western Washington beginning on December 14, 2006. And nine years ago this week, two weeks of awful winter weather battered the state beginning on December 17, 2008.
On December 19, 1898, the Skagit County towns of Sedro and Woolley merged after almost a decade of rivalry. Sedro began as a coal town and incorporated in 1891, just about the time that railroad developer Phillip A. Woolley platted his own namesake company town right next door. Even after the merger, some residents sought to maintain each community's individual identity.
On December 15, 1899, students at the University of Washington accepted an offer from developer and rowing aficionado E. F. Blaine to help establish a rowing club on campus. In 1923, a UW crew won the national rowing championship -- the school's first national title in any sport -- in a shell designed by George Pocock, who went on to design shells for the 1936 crew from UW that won Olympic gold and many other American Olympic champions.
On December 20, 1966, the NBA awarded Seattle a franchise for a new basketball team. Team owners chose to name the team after the supersonic
transport -- a fast and high-flying jet plane of the future that was then under development at Boeing. But whereas the SST never left the runway, the Sonics (as they were generally called) took off and soared to great heights before leaving town in 2008.
Fifty years ago this week, on December 22, 1967, "Rockin' Robin" Roberts died in an automobile accident in San Mateo, California. Seven years earlier, Roberts helped transform an obscure rhythm & blues song -- Richard Berry's "Louie Louie" -- into a garage-rock hit with his band, the Wailers.
Do you know the difference between education and experience? Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.