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Honoring National Guard Day ?>

Honoring National Guard Day

National Guard 1936 Camp F

(Photos courtesy of Washington State Digital Archives)

In honor of Friday being National Guard Day, here are two classic photos from our State Digital Archives featuring the Washington National Guard. The photo above is from 1911 and shows officers of the National Guard of Washington at Camp Fortson. The bottom shot, taken in 1906, features five Guard members with Company D, 2nd Infantry.

The photos are from the State Digital Archives’ Military Department Photograph Collection, 1890-1975. The collection includes 500 photos of military personnel, equipment, facilities and military activities within the state during this period.

Go here to learn about the history of the Washington National Guard.

National Guard 1906 photo

From Digital Archives: Vintage pass views & autos ?>

From Digital Archives: Vintage pass views & autos

Snoqualmie Pass

(Photos courtesy of Washington State Digital Archives.)

Anyone who drives across the Washington Cascades gets to enjoy million-dollar views and recreational opportunities of mountain pass highways that are the envy of the nation. The passes also play a crucial role in Washington’s transportation system, connecting the western and eastern sectors of the state and providing speedy farm-to-market roadways.

Our Digital Archives has cool classic photos that will get you in the mood for a roadtrip down memory lane!

The top photo, taken between 1940 and 1960, shows the Snoqualmie Pass Highway (a precursor to Interstate 90) and Keechelus Lake during summer. Note that the highway was only two lanes back then. Snoqualmie Pass has an elevation of 3,022 feet.

Cayuse Pass

The middle photo features Cayuse Pass (4,675 feet), located on the east side of Mount Rainier National Park. Cayuse, which is closed during the winter, is where Highway 410 and Highway 123 meet. In this 1937 photo, cars are parked along the snow banks as skiers and others walk along the road.

The bottom photo, taken around 1945, shows several people sitting beside a car at Chinook Pass (5,430 feet), with Mount Rainier and Tipsoo Lake in the background. Chinook, just a couple of miles east of Cayuse, allows Highway 410 to proceed east into Yakima County. Like Cayuse, Chinook is closed during winter.

The Snoqualmie and Cayuse photos are found in the State Library Photograph Collection, 1851-1990. The Chinook Pass shot is found in the Digital Archives’ General Subjects Photograph Collection, 1845-2005.

Chinook Pass

Remembering Mount St. Helens & May 18 eruption ?>

Remembering Mount St. Helens & May 18 eruption

Mount-St.-Helens---boating-on-Spirit-Lake

(Photo courtesy of Washington State Library.)

For many Washingtonians, the eruption of Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980, is one of those moments forever ingrained in collective memory.

Saturday is the 33rd anniversary of the iconic mountain blowing her top. We  feature photos from our State Archives and State Library showing how the mighty mountain and nearby Spirit Lake were popular recreational spots in the years before the devastating eruption. The last photo shows the mountain sending ash thousands of feet into the air during the 1980 eruption.

Mount-St.-Helens---kids-swimming-at-Spirit-Lake

(Photo courtesy of Washington State Archives.)

Mount-St.-Helens---women-at-campfire

(Photo courtesy of Washington State Library.)

Mount-St.-Helens---1980-eruption

(Photo courtesy of Washington State Archives.)

Hooray for Digital Archives! ?>

Hooray for Digital Archives!

Congratulations to our Digital Archives for making Family Tree Magazine’s “101 Best Websites of 2012.”

Secretary of State Sam Reed said it’s a great honor for the Digital Archives team.  The Digital Archives, housed on the campus of Eastern Washington University in Cheney, was one of earliest and best digital archives in the country and frequently gets visitors from around the world. The facility opened in 2004.

Jerry Handfield, the State Archivist, called the shout-out “a testament to the passion of every memeber of the Digital Archives team, the decision of Archives and Records management and staff, the cooperation of our local government partners and contributions from our many volunteers.”

Family Tree,  considered one of the most popular genealogy magazines, says in the  September edition:

 “A digitization pioneer, this superb state website lets you search nearly 30 million records by names, keywords or any combination of record series, county and title. Among the total of 100 million genealogical and historical records here are indexes to 347 cemeteries, vital records, censuses, naturalizations and land records” (page 23).

 

Secretary Reed tapped for open-government honor ?>

Secretary Reed tapped for open-government honor

Secretary of State Sam Reed, who has made government transparency and access to public records a signature issue during his three terms, has been ann0unced as the 2011 winner of the James Madison Award of the Washington Coalition for Open Government.

The award honors Reed’s “appreciation for, and dedication to, the cause of open government since taking office,” including advocacy of accessible and accountable government, preserving and displaying public records, battling successfully in the Supreme Court to defend the public’s right to initiative signatures,  and creating the Digital Archives in Cheney, serving customers and voters online, and saving the State Library.

WCOG President Toby Nixon said:

“Sam Reed has been a consistently strong and outspoken proponent of preservation of and access to public records, including being a champion of establishing the first state-level Digital Archives for public records in the country. We can only hope that our next Secretary of State continues Reed’s leadership in defending and extending the public’s right to know.”

Reed, who recently announced that he will not seek a fourth term next year, will receive the award at a breakfast ceremony Sept. 23 in Seattle. The award has been presented annually since 2004 to honor the works of those who bring openness, transparency and accountability to government institutions in the Evergreen State.

March is National Craft Month ?>

March is National Craft Month

Photograph courtesy of the Washington State Digital Archives

How do the beauty and frontiering spirit of Washington inspire the creative genius in us?  Whether you are a maker or appreciator of crafts, springtime in Washington is a special time for artistic types.  As you may have witnessed, the emergence of spring sparks the openings of Washington’s festivals, markets, craft shows, and art fairs.  Though March is nearly over, it is never too late to try out a new craft or creative pursuit.

Hard Times in Washington: Hunger March ?>

Hard Times in Washington: Hunger March

Photograph courtesy of the Washington State Archives, Susan Parish Collection and Vibert Jeffers.

On January 16, 1933 hundreds of people gathered on the State Capitol steps in Olympia for a “Hunger March” to demand food, shelter, relief and programs to create jobs for the unemployed throughout Washington State.

October is Washington Archives Month, and this year’s theme is Washington’s struggles and setbacks over the years and how the people of this state have overcome them.

Booze & ballots: A popular initiative topic ?>

Booze & ballots: A popular initiative topic

The very first initiative ever passed by Washington voters, back in 1914 when the state was just a pup, was Prohibition.   And ever since, liquor and its sales and regulation has been a regular topic for initiatives, including two dueling liquor privatization measures now circulating for signatures (I-1100 and I-1105).

Drinkin 2

Photograph courtesy of the Washington State Digital Archives

An Elections Division compilation covering most of statehood showed 58 booze-related initiatives. Measures dealing with DUIs and alcohol servers also were filed in 2004 and 2008, respectively.  We ended the Sunday “blue laws” and approved liquor-by-the-drink via initiative, but never overturned the state liquor monopoly. The Legislature has grappled with many of the same sensitive issues, including abolition of the state-run liquor stores, lowering the drinking age and so forth.

This year, business and industry groups,  are sponsoring measures with different approaches to allowing the private sector to sell hard liquor. Both organizations got a late start collecting signatures, waiting until after the conclusion of this year’s legislative session.  The deadline for turning in roughly 300,000 voter signatures (241,153 bare minimum, plus a pad for invalid and duplicate signatures) is less than three weeks away — July 2.  Both groups are well-financed and express optimism about qualifying for the ballot. Text of all initiatives is available online.

Didyaknow…? ?>

Didyaknow…?

… that the Washington State Digital Archives is a treasure trove of historical pictures?  Thousands of scanned photos are available for anyone to download, free of charge.  Just last week as I was thumbing through the collection, I came across this slightly unique photo below:

Rosellini with Pickle Week representative. web

In the photo, Governor Rosellini is presenting a giant pickle to a gal representing National Pickle Week.  National Pickle Week still exists and begins tomorrow, May 15, and ends the 25th.  It first began in 1948 and runs 10 days rather than a typical 7 day week and is sponsored by Pickle Packers International.   Hmmm, interesting but true!  Geez, you never know what kinds of interesting facts and photos you can find in our digital archives.  It’s worth giving it a try.