Former Gov. Spellman visits WA Capitol

Former Gov. Spellman visits WA Capitol

More than three decades after serving as Washington’s governor, John Spellman returned to Olympia to tour the Governor’s Mansion and Capitol and meet with current Gov. Jay Inslee. Before seeing the governor, 90-year-old Spellman, along with two of his sons, a grandson and a granddaughter, stopped by our office to meet with staff, including two alumni from Spellman’s gubernatorial staff – State Archivist Steve Excell, who served as Spellman’s chief of staff, and Patrick McDonald, who was an intern and…

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Dollivers visit building named after their father

Dollivers visit building named after their father

It isn’t every day that a building is named after one of your parents. In the case of Peter and Beth Dolliver, the James M. Dolliver Building in Olympia is named after their father, who was an advisor and chief of staff for Gov. Dan Evans for 12 years and later a State Supreme Court Justice for nearly a quarter century, including two years as Chief Justice. James Dolliver died in 2004 at age 80. The building, located at 801…

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Second-grader gives WA Capitol thumbs-up in letter

Second-grader gives WA Capitol thumbs-up in letter

Washington’s Capitol Campus receives thousands of visitors each year, including many tourists from other states or other nations. But a large number are elementary school students from right here in Washington. Usually, an entire grade of students from a school will make the bus trip to Olympia to see the campus. For most of these students, it’s their first time to the Capitol. So you can imagine their reaction when they look up at the top of the domed Legislative…

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Greek history in Seattle again reaches for global audience

Greek history in Seattle again reaches for global audience

In the early days of the Seattle-based Washington Hellenic Civic Society, little did community citizens know their comings and goings would reach an international audience through the publication of the monthly newspaper, the Washington Hellenic Review. It had just over a 10-year run (1924-1936) under the vision of WHCS president Pericles H. Scarlatos.   It reached an audience mostly in Seattle, but also across to subscribers in 33 cities, and even a few in Greece. The many activities of members of…

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Descendants of `last signer’ view state constitution

Descendants of `last signer’ view state constitution

Like they say, it’s better late than never. Even if it’s 42 years late. James A. Hungate would have agreed. A Democrat and farmer from Pullman, Hungate was a delegate to the 1889 Constitutional Convention in Olympia. But Hungate had to leave for home before the new state constitution was ready for him to sign. “The constitution was almost ready for signature,” Hungate recalled in a 1931 interview with the Spokesman-Review, “when I received a letter from Mrs. Hungate telling…

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Batman star Adam West’s connection to Washington State Archives

Batman star Adam West’s connection to Washington State Archives

Like many “Batman” fans, we were saddened to hear of last week’s passing of Adam West. West, who played Batman on the 1960s TV series, died in Los Angeles on June 9 following a brief battle with leukemia. He was 88. What we didn’t know is that our State Archives has a connection to the actor who played the Caped Crusader in the popular yet short-lived series.   Holy Archives, Batman! West had deep roots in Washington! On September 19, 1928,…

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From Digital Archives: photos of 1889 Seattle Fire

From Digital Archives: photos of 1889 Seattle Fire

When you ask the historical significance of June 6, most people think of the anniversary of D-Day. But June 6 also marks a horrific event in Seattle history. On that date in 1889, a fire destroyed much of Seattle, which was then a timber town and many years from becoming a world-famous city. Our Legacy Washington program’s exhibit on the year when Washington reached statehood, “Washington 1889: Blazes, Rails and Year of Statehood,” includes a section on the 1889 Great…

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Legacy Washington honors those with ties to Korea

Legacy Washington honors those with ties to Korea

As it prepares for the September launch of its new online program and exhibit called “Korea 65: The Forgotten War Remembered,” our Legacy Washington team gathered about 40 people who are either Korean Americans or connected to the Korean War. They included veterans and people displaced by the war. The group met at the Korean War Memorial on the Capitol Campus in Olympia Monday for photographs, followed by an honorees reception in Secretary of State Kim Wyman’s office and a…

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From the Archives: Postcard of 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition

From the Archives: Postcard of 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition

If you were around for this opening, you have lived a very long time! On June 1, 1909, about 80,000 people attended the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition opening in Seattle where the University of Washington campus stands today. More than 3 million people attended the 1909 expo, which closed that year in mid-October. The Washington State Archives has this classic color postcard (above) offering a bird’s eye view of the exposition grounds, with Mount Rainier in the distance to the south. This…

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From the Digital Archives: 1909 Washington highway map

From the Digital Archives: 1909 Washington highway map

Nowadays, when we look at a highway map of Washington, we see a complex web of gold, red and black lines crisscrossing the state. But it wasn’t always this way. In the early 1900s, highways were a rarity in the Evergreen State. Probably because cars and trucks were rarities as well, considering that the automobile had just been invented. This 1909 map displays Washington’s located and proposed highways, railroads (the dominant form of transportation then) and county seats. The map…

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