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Archives finds tooth in zoological catalog

Archives finds tooth in zoological catalog

The University of Washington Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture has been collecting zoological specimens for more than 130 years to help document critters from Washington state and around the world. For months, Burke staffers have been preparing for a move into a new building. The Washington State Archives digitized three volumes of Zoological Catalogs dating back to collections from the 1890s to help preserve these unique books. The catalogs include species from land, air, and sea, with scientific…

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Archives Spotlight: The World’s Largest Inaugural Cake

Archives Spotlight: The World’s Largest Inaugural Cake

This 1933 photo features the cake for Washington Governor Clarence Martin’s inauguration to his first term in office. From the Susan Parish Photograph Collection, 1889-1990. Clarence Martin was born and raised in Cheney, where the Eastern Regional Branch Archives and Digital Archives offices are now located. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1906 and joined his father in running the Cheney Grain and Milling Company. From 1928 to 1933 Martin was the mayor of Cheney. While still in…

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Archives Spotlight: The Washington Senate Committee on Public Morals

Archives Spotlight: The Washington Senate Committee on Public Morals

Years ago, the Washington state legislature included a Senate Committee on Public Morals. According to Sine Die: A Guide to the Washington State Legislative Process, the committee lasted from “1909 through 1954,” but there’s evidence it was around in the 1890s. Perhaps there was a hiatus between the 1890s and 1909. It is unclear what the committee met about, since its files were not retained in the State Archives. Do any of you around the Legislature know some of the…

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Archives spotlight: Notorious Spokane criminal shot dead in 1918 at state penitentiary

Archives spotlight: Notorious Spokane criminal shot dead in 1918 at state penitentiary

Gunshots rang through downtown Spokane in a firefight between Fred “Tiger” Johnson and the police as Johnson attempted to flee across Northern Pacific and Great Northern Railway yards. After he robbed a streetcar, he attempted to avoid arrest but was outgunned by law enforcement. Tiger was shot twice, then booked by the Sheriff’s Office on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, highway robbery, and first-degree assault. This punched Tiger’s (sometimes known as Louis Coynt) ticket to the Walla Walla…

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Archives spotlight: Dan Evans’ keynote speech at the 1968 Republican National Convention

Archives spotlight: Dan Evans’ keynote speech at the 1968 Republican National Convention

Borrowing from the title of Legacy Washington’s current exhibit, 1968 was “the year that rocked Washington.” From the civil rights movement to Vietnam and to growing concerns about the environment, it was a turbulent era in our history. With a passion for these issues and many more, Dan Evans went to Miami in August 1968 to deliver the keynote address of the Republican National Convention, at which Richard Nixon accepted the party’s nomination for president. Evans, who was in his…

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Archives spotlight: Historical weather

Archives spotlight: Historical weather

Even if you do enjoy the occasional snow, we can probably all agree that it creates headaches for driving, scheduling, dealing with kids who stay home from school, keeping the driveway shoveled, and so forth. Perhaps this look at a few historical weather storms will help remind us that the current weather isn’t that bad. Walla Walla flood, 1931 Floodwaters overcame the streets of Walla Walla during a storm in 1931. According to a State Archives researcher, this house is located…

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Archives spotlight: The tale of the pickled pioneer

Archives spotlight: The tale of the pickled pioneer

Willie Keil was an ambitious 19-year-old when his family decided to travel the Oregon Trail in 1855. Willie had dreamed of driving a wagon out west, so he learned and was anointed the lead driver of the group’s wagon train. In the weeks leading up to the venture, Willie contracted malaria and died just four days before his family’s departure from Bethel, Missouri. His father, Dr. William Keil, knew it meant the world to Willie to ride the lead wagon,…

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Archives spotlight: The Mary Mahoney Registered Nurses Club

Archives spotlight: The Mary Mahoney Registered Nurses Club

2019 brings the 70th anniversary of the Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Association, which was founded as the Mary Mahoney Registered Nurses Club of Seattle. Mary Mahoney was one of the first African-American nurses in the United States. In recognition of Black History Month, Washington State Archives researcher Dr. Jewell Lorenz Dunn researched the historical records held at the Archives to show some history behind the trailblazers who founded the club. Mary Mahoney, was born in 1845 in Boston, Massachusetts, to…

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Archives Spotlight: Washington native Bing Crosby’s hit single “Black Ball Ferry Line” in 1951

Archives Spotlight: Washington native Bing Crosby’s hit single “Black Ball Ferry Line” in 1951

Last week we watched a little history. This week we’ll listen. Bing Crosby, who was born in Tacoma and raised in Spokane, teamed up with the Andrews Sisters in 1951 to sing an ode to the Puget Sound ferry system. Have a listen: Please follow and like us:

Archives Spotlight: Ride through Highway 99’s past and future via the State Archives

Archives Spotlight: Ride through Highway 99’s past and future via the State Archives

The last car to travel the Alaskan Way Viaduct cruised into a cold, dry Seattle night around 10 p.m. Friday, January 11, 2019. The two-level stretch of State Route 99 along coastal downtown has been an element of the city’s skyline since the early 1950s, but safety concerns have hastened its departure. The viaduct was damaged by the Nisqually earthquake in 2001, and has been deemed susceptible to future damage should another earthquake rock the structure. A tunnel under downtown…

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