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HAPPY BIRTHDAY 26th AMENDMENT: “Right to Vote at Age 18″ turns 50

HAPPY BIRTHDAY 26th AMENDMENT: “Right to Vote at Age 18″ turns 50

“Old enough to fight, old enough to vote.” “You fight & die but can’t vote at 18.” These were just a couple of the slogans from the movement to lower the voting age from 21 to 18, which ultimately led to the 26th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which states: The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by…

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HIDDEN COLLECTION GIVES INSIGHT INTO THE DEBATE BETWEEN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE UTILITIES

HIDDEN COLLECTION GIVES INSIGHT INTO THE DEBATE BETWEEN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE UTILITIES

From the 1930s through at least the 1950s, there was tension between “public power” advocates and supporters of privately owned power utilities. The tension is reflected in the fact that many counties and municipalities own and operate their own public utilities, while Spokane’s electrical power comes from a publicly traded corporation called Avista (formerly Washington Water Power [WWP]). In 2021 Eastern Regional Branch Archivist Lee Pierce uncovered a nearly forgotten collection that provides researchers with something of an insider’s view…

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BREAKING NEWS! MORE HISTORIC WASHINGTON NEWSPAPERS ONLINE

BREAKING NEWS! MORE HISTORIC WASHINGTON NEWSPAPERS ONLINE

2020 was an extraordinary year for many reasons, all of which have been immortalized in catchy headlines and sensational news stories. Future generations will marvel at these stories and wonder how we coped during these extraordinary times. Much like how we look back on years past and wonder about the issues and challenges our recent ancestors endured. Yet thanks to the Washington State Library’s Washington Digital Newspapers (WDN) program – funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)…

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WASHINGTON RURAL HERITAGE PRESENTS THE REVIEW CLUB OF ABERDEEN

WASHINGTON RURAL HERITAGE PRESENTS THE REVIEW CLUB OF ABERDEEN

The Review Club of Aberdeen is the oldest women’s cultural group still in existence in Washington. Founded on March 3, 1891, the Review Club meets twice a month to share and discuss “good books.” Topics have included everything from fiction to politics to spiritualism. The group’s longevity speaks to the ongoing desire for intellectual opportunities for women. This Washington Rural Heritage collection includes meeting minutes, beginning with the group’s charter meeting in 1891; annual programs from the 1920s to the…

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WASHINGTON’S DIGITAL HERITAGE: AN AUDIO & VISUAL HISTORY

WASHINGTON’S DIGITAL HERITAGE: AN AUDIO & VISUAL HISTORY

The Washington State Library’s annual Washington Digital Heritage grant cycle has helped preserve a wealth of historical documents from organizations and private collections statewide. These grants support libraries and partner organizations in digitizing historically significant primary sources, special collections, and archives. In addition, the projects support the creation of digital exhibits, oral histories, open educational resources, and other community memory initiatives. Here are some highlights from the 2019-2020 grant cycle. Asotin County Library The Asotin County Library digitized a privately…

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WASHINGTON WOMEN PROJECT HIGHLIGHTED ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF NOTEWORTHY WASHINGTON WOMEN

WASHINGTON WOMEN PROJECT HIGHLIGHTED ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF NOTEWORTHY WASHINGTON WOMEN

Picture it: the year is 1985. A group of children excitedly swap trading cards in a Washington state schoolyard. “I have an extra Dunbar!” “I need a Russ!” Baseball cards? No, they’re Washington Women trading cards! In 1980, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction began work on the Washington Women project to highlight the accomplishments of noteworthy women in Washington. Deirdre O’Neill, an associate instructor at the University of Washington, interviewed several hundred candidates for the project with…

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Frontier Justice: Convicted Walla Walla land-claim fraudsters pardoned by President Hayes

Frontier Justice: Convicted Walla Walla land-claim fraudsters pardoned by President Hayes

Archivists realize that no matter how well they think they know their collection, it still holds surprises. The Washington Territorial Court Case Files collection at the Washington State Archives Eastern Regional Branch recently delivered such a surprise. Eastern Washington University graduate student and Archives Intern Devrick Barnett has been working on the Territorial case files for a few months now. Also known as the Frontier Justice collection, these consist of the surviving case files from the Washington Territorial Courts (1853-1889)….

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Unity Through Disaster: Yakima’s Cleanup after the Eruption of Mount St. Helens

Unity Through Disaster: Yakima’s Cleanup after the Eruption of Mount St. Helens

May 18, 1980, a day many Pacific Northwesterners vividly remember, was the infamous day Mount St. Helens erupted and left much of the state in complete darkness. This day was coined “Black Sunday,” and during the following week, nearly 200,000,000 cubic yards of soot and ash were dumped across Washington and covered nearly half the state.[1] The City of Yakima was in the direct path of the ash plume. To make matters worse, the volcano would continue to emit ash…

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Kittitas Ruralite Magazine provides a glimpse into the past

Kittitas Ruralite Magazine provides a glimpse into the past

Ruralite Magazine was first published in 1954 with “a spirit of public service and forward-looking sensibility.” But the magazine was not exclusive to Kittitas County as it was published by public utility districts across Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Montana, and Alaska. Each state had multiple Ruralite versions specific to particular counties or regions, and by 1977, there were about 38 different editions going out to 157,000 households across the Northwest. This personalization of the magazine provides a unique window…

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Jimi Hendrix’s Family History and Path to Seattle

Jimi Hendrix’s Family History and Path to Seattle

It’s hard to believe master guitarist Jimi Hendrix would have turned 77 this year. He has been gone almost twice as long as he was alive. Just 27 years old when he died in 1970, his musical career — although short — has had one of the most lasting and profound effects on guitarists today. With the 50th anniversary of Woodstock just passed, we are again reminded of Jimi’s guitar style. His guitar sounds are quickly recognizable and argued to…

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