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Chronicling Washington: WSL receives additional funding for newspaper digitization project ?>

Chronicling Washington: WSL receives additional funding for newspaper digitization project

(Image courtesy of the Washington State Library.)

We are pleased to announce that the State Library has received an extension of funding from the National Digital Newspaper Program to continue digitizing historical newspapers through 2014.  The NDNP is a collaborative grant program between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.  The Chronicling America project covers all newspapers in the public domain in all U.S. states and territories, approximately from 1836-1922.  Select titles are available through the Chronicling America website.  Washington State has participated in the program since 2008.

Shawn Schollmeyer, who manages the newspaper digitizing project for the State Library,  says, “The Washington State Library will coordinate scanning and prepping another 100,000 pages from microfilm for remaining titles in Seattle and Olympia. A panel of partner libraries across the state has preselected more than 25 titles representing large and small communities and historically significant regions to share on the Chronicling America site. Among  the titles already available are  the Aberdeen Herald, Colfax Gazette, Lynden Tribune, San Juan Islander, and Tacoma Times.” Shawn said the Wenatchee Daily World and (Everett) Labor Journal just became available.

One of our student workers, Ashley Fejeran from the University of Washington, is assisting with this project. Here is a blog post, written by Ashley and State Librarian Rand Simmons, about how this project is affecting both Ashley’s personal and professional life.



And they’re off and running! ?>

And they’re off and running!

Washington’s campaign season is officially under way.

Filing Week opened with a bang Monday with hundreds of candidates statewide filing for office.  There are 344 state offices open this year, along with potentially thousands of party precinct committee officer slots.

Besides the presidential election and a U.S. Senate race, the state has an unusually rich assortment of open offices this year that are sure to attract heavy attention this week, says Secretary of State Sam Reed.  Reed himself is an example of an officeholder who will turn over the reins to someone else.   The state also will elect a new governor, attorney general and state auditor, in addition to numerous new judges, local officials and state and federal lawmakers.

There is unusual turnover in the state’s U.S. House delegation: Jay Inslee has resigned from the 1st District to run for governor, touching off two elections — one in the old 1st for the final month of his unexpired term, and a second contest in the newly redrawn 1st for the upcoming two-year term. Washington has a brand-new 10th District, thanks to population growth in the state, and Norm Dicks is retiring after a long career representing the 6th District. All districts have changed boundaries, some drastically.

Reed said he’s expecting heavy interest in running for office this year, and that most candidates have been fund-raising, organizing and campaigning for weeks or months. He added:

“The voters I’ve met as I traveled around the state in the past month are very enthused about this election, and you get the sense that it is a generational or ‘change’ election coming up.   When you add the presidential election and potentially some very volatile ballot measures, we may see record voter registrations and record turnout.”

The crop of candidates who file this week will be on the Top 2 Primary ballot and the two favorites for each office will advance to the General Election.  Ballots go out in July for the primary, with an Aug. 7 deadline for postmark or return to the elections office or a drop-box. The General Election deadline for return or postmark is Nov. 6.

Online filing runs day and night until 4 p.m.  Friday, May 18.  In-person filing ends at close of business on Friday. If you’re running for a legislative or judicial office within one county, you file with your county elections office. If you’re running for a legislative or judicial office encompassing more than one county, you file with the Secretary of State. You can file online, by mail, or in person. In-person candidate filing at the Secretary of State’s office will be at our Executive Office, second floor of the Legislative Building in Olympia.

Filing Week previously took place in early June, but a state law passed in 2011 moved it to mid-May, starting this year, to accommodate overseas and military voting. This year’s Top 2 Primary is a week earlier than last year.

Slade talks redistricting, 9/11, Senate and more ?>

Slade talks redistricting, 9/11, Senate and more

John C. Hughes and former U.S. Senator Slade Gorton sign copies of the book that Hughes recently wrote about the longtime statesman.

Former state Attorney General and U.S. Senator Slade Gorton was the featured guest at a forum and book signing Thursday in the Legislative Building’s State Reception Room.

More than 50 attendees heard Gorton speak about his enduring and prominent career in state and national politics.  Gorton is the subject of a recent biography entitled “Slade Gorton A Half-Century in Politics.” The book is written by John C. Hughes, chief historian with our office’s Legacy Project and former editor and publisher of the Aberdeen Daily World.

Gorton answered questions from a panel and audience members about his more than 50 years of public service, which includes membership on the 9/11 Commission and the 2011 State Redistricting Commission, which recently finished redrawing Washington’s congressional and legislative district boundaries.

The forum panel included Hughes; David Ammons, communications director for Secretary of State Sam Reed and former Olympia bureau reporter for The Associated Press; and Austin Jenkins, Public Radio Northwest Network’s Olympia correspondent.

The book costs $37.50 (including shipping and handling) through the Secretary of State’s Online Store at . Proceeds from the sale of the Gorton book support the publication of Legacy Project books. No state funds are used to publish Legacy Project books.

All Legacy Project books are available to read free online at and are available for Kindle and e-readers at

The forum was hosted by the Office of Secretary of State and the Washington State Heritage Center.  TVW covered the event, which will be shown on the channel in the coming days. The forum’s air times can be found at

From Your Corner Of Washington: Dick & Jane’s Spot ?>

From Your Corner Of Washington: Dick & Jane’s Spot

Photo courtesy of Jim Nielend

Dick and Jane’s Spot
“Art for the heart, from the heart, in the heart of Washington”
101 North Pearl St., Ellensburg, WA 98926

If you’re ever rolling through Ellensburg, check out this vibrant and eye-catching corner, you can’t miss it! Dick and Jane’s Spot is made up of their own homemade artwork but also various other artists that they have compiled together. It’s so intricate! All the different artistic elements that they incorporate can keep you captivated for hours! Dick & Jane’s Spot is dedicated to the philosophy of “one hearty laugh is worth ten trips to the doctor.”

Check out more pictures & History of Dick and Jane’s Spot here!

Exploring all the corners of Washington, from mine to yours!

Have you traveled anywhere recently around our beautiful state and taken any pictures?  If so, we invite you to e-mail your photos!  We need them to continue our ongoing feature called “From Your Corner of Washington” – we want to gather images of landscapes, homes, views and personal narratives from all over the state.  (Seriously, where are all the great pictures of beautiful Eastern Washington?! Please send us some!)

Q) How do I submit a photo or story to be used in “From Your Corner of Washington”?
A) Please send your text or image attachment (in JPG format) via e-mail to Stephanie Horn at .

Q) What are the guidelines for submissions?
A) All submissions will be screened according to our blog use policy .

By submitting a photo to us, you are acknowledging that you are the copyright owner of the image or have the owner’s authorized permission to supply this to the Secretary of State’s website for use on its blog.  For questions, please contact our communications staff.

March is National Umbrella Month ?>

March is National Umbrella Month

Despite Washington’s notoriously long (okay, endless) rainy season, Washingtonians tend to be ambivalent about the use of umbrellas.  The following is a typical conversation in a Washington workplace…

Jill: “Ack, it’s pouring!  It wasn’t pouring two minutes ago when I was packing up for lunch.”

Jane: “Give it two minutes, and it’ll stop.”

Jill:  “What do you think?  Should I bring my umbrella?”

Jane:  “No.”

Jill:  “But I don’t want to ruin my suit.”

Jane:  “Fine, then take an umbrella.”

Jill:   “Okay…[looks for umbrella under desk]…um, I can’t find my umbrella.  May I borrow yours?”

Jane:  “I haven’t used an umbrella since 1976.  Check with Bob.  He’s from California.”

Jill:  “Okay.  Oh, look!  It stopped raining!” 

And scene. 

It is no wonder that our Archives staff had a tricky time digging up historic photographs of umbrellas in our records.  We did find a great picture of Sylvester Park in Olympia, circa 1900, replete with several umbrellas…on a very sunny day.  This was, undeniably, not a day in March.  Yet this month does serve as a good reminder that the umbrella truly is…sometimes…a useful invention…rain or shine…on occasion- even for us frontiering Washingtonians.

Photograph courtesy of Washington State Archives

Countdown to the November 8th Day of Jubilation – Part 11 ?>

Countdown to the November 8th Day of Jubilation – Part 11

Image courtesy of Washington State Archives

In 1889, Congress passed the Enabling Act, which “enabled” Washington to draft a state constitution and request admission to the Union.  During the Washington State Constitutional Convention, women petitioned the delegates to include women’s suffrage in the new state constitution.  The issue was presented to the voters as a separate amendment on the ballot.  In the ensuing vote, 16,527 voters voted to include the amendment granting women the right to vote, but 34,613 voted no.  The measure failed to pass, though the new constitution authorized women to vote in school elections.

In 1897, the Fusionist and Populist reformers in the state Legislature passed a bill to provide for a statewide vote to amend the Washington Constitution to grant women’s suffrage.  Despite work by suffrage groups statewide, the amendment lost by a vote of 30,540 to 20,658.

1909 saw suffragists from around the nation arriving in to Seattle to attend the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. The suffragists brilliantly utilized the event as a forum to promote voting rights for women.  Encouraged by the fanfare, the Legislature passed an act which would put women’s suffrage on the 1910 ballot as a constitutional amendment.

Come party like it’s 1910! ?>

Come party like it’s 1910!

Mark your calendars for November 7 and 8 for two events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the vote to amend the Washington Constitution for women’s right to vote in the state as part of a Day of Jubilation.  The American Association of University Women is sponsoring a Women’s Suffrage Pink Tea at the State Capital Museum in Olympia  on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Visit this website for more details!

The Office of the Secretary of State, the WSHS/Women’s History Consortium, and the Interagency Committee for State Employed Women (ICSEW) have planned a  full day of events, exhibits, performances, activities and celebrations at the Legislative Building and Temple of Justice on Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The day will begin with a 9:15 parade from the Washington State Archives to the Legislative Building.  Dress in your suffrage whites or your 1910 regalia!  Please visit the Day of Jubilation website for information on the day’s events.

All events are free and open to the public.

Countdown to the November 8th Day of Jubilation – Part 10 ?>

Countdown to the November 8th Day of Jubilation – Part 10

1887 and 1888 proved to be dark years for the women’s suffrage movement in Washington.  In the 1887 case of Harland v. Territory, the Territorial Supreme Court overturned the Women’s Suffrage Act of 1886 because it allowed women to serve on juries.  Justice George Turner (photo on left courtesy of Washington State Archives), who firmly believed that women were incapable of voting intelligently on public matters (tsk-tsk!), ruled that the title of the 1886 election law was defective and the law giving women the right to vote was revoked.  The ruling of the court snatched the voting franchise away from women before they had a real chance to exercise it.

On January 18, 1888, the Washington Territorial Legislature passed a new law, specifically stating:  “That all citizens of the United State, male and female, above the age of twenty-one years .  .  .  shall be entitled to vote at any election in this Territory. . .”  However, the law went on to state: “. . . nothing in this act shall be so construed as to make it lawful for women to serve as jurors.”  Once the January law was passed, women could vote once again, but they couldn’t serve on juries.

Believing that women’s suffrage would conflict with his business interests, saloon owner Edward Bloomer of Spokane hatched a plot to end women’s suffrage.  On April 3, 1888, Bloomer marched his wife, Nevada, to the polls.  After marking her ballot, she handed it to the election official who, as pre-arranged, refused to accept it.  A few days later, Nevada Bloomer sued the election officials for $5,000 for “wrongfully depriving her of the privilege of voting.” The case was appealed to the Territorial Supreme Court.  On August 14, 1888, the Court struck down the territorial women’s suffrage law, asserting that “citizen” meant male citizenship, and that the territorial law conflicted with federal law.

Promoting trade between India and Washington State ?>

Promoting trade between India and Washington State

Hemant Sonawala of Mumbai, India, with Secretary Reed

Hoping to increase trade and tourism between Washington State and India, good friend of Sam Reed, Hemant Sonawala, met in the Secretary of  State’s Office today with colleagues from the Department of Commerce and the Lieutenant Governor’s Office.  Hemant is on a two-week trade mission, promoting India and the vast opportunities for small- to medium-sized Washington businesses to invest in that market.