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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


News Then, History Now


On February 19, 1909, Teamsters Local 174 was chartered in Seattle. Initial membership was about 400, mostly wagon men. When motor-truck drivers were brought into the fold, the local grew quickly and has since become one of the region's most influential unions.

Grangers' Creation

On February 21, 1935, the state legislature approved the blanket primary initiative sponsored by the Washington State Grange and promoted by Grange Lecturer (and future Speaker of the House) Charles W. Hodde. The popular blanket primary remained in place for nearly seventy years until it was voided by the courts. The Grange responded with another initiative, which established the state's current top-two primary when voters overwhelmingly approved it in 2004.

Forced Relocation

On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, setting in motion the expulsion of some 110,000 people of Japanese descent, most of them U.S. citizens, from the West Coast to inland prison camps. The internment uprooted thousands of Washington residents from Bainbridge Island, Seattle, the San Juan Islands, the Yakima Valley, Spokane, and elsewhere around the state.

Book Circulation

On February 16, 1946, Issaquah's first library opened in the town-council chambers in the community's town hall. The tiny room was in use until 1963, when a new library opened in a converted school-cafeteria building that had been moved near city hall. A bigger and better library building opened in 1983. Then, a decade after annexing to the King County Library System in 1990, the Issaquah Library got a modern new structure to call home.

Street 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 federal courthouse in downtown Seattle. This led to indictments of the organizers, who became known as the Seattle Seven.

Death and Ruination

Thirty-five years ago this week, on February 18, 1983, three young men raided the Wah Mee Club in Seattle's International District, tied up and robbed 14 patrons, and then shot them all in cold blood. Only one victim survived, and his testimony led to the conviction of all three assailants.

Today in
Washington History

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Image of the Week

Tacoma's Eleventh Street Bridge -- later renamed in honor of author Murray Morgan -- opened on February 15, 1913.

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--Nelson Mandela

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