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Category: Washington history

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The Washington State Library’s annual Washington Digital Heritage grant cycle has helped preserve a wealth of historical documents from organizations and private collections statewide.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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Winners of the 2019 Zine Contest announced

Winners of the 2019 Zine Contest announced

The advent of the internet opened all sorts of possibilities for self-expression but even before the internet, people with something to say have always found a way to get their story out.  One of the ways, that originated in the 1930s, are Zines.  Originally created by science fiction fans to share ideas and analyses, later adopted by the Beat generation, and the art and literary scene of the 1960s and 70s, people used the Zine format publish their own stories.The…

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Throwback Thursday: What Washington libraries looked like in 1904

Throwback Thursday: What Washington libraries looked like in 1904

J.A. Gabel, appointed Washington State Librarian in 1902 at just 29 years old, penned an insightful report on the condition of the state library system as “an active and aggressive force” for state education and governance. We found the document well worth sharing, both as an interesting historic record and as an explanation of how the State Library came to grow to its current form. Enjoy! Above is a map of the state’s library system as it existed then: the…

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Remembering Governor Spellman

Remembering Governor Spellman

The Jan. 16 death of former Gov. John D. Spellman at 91 prompted personal reminiscences from several staffers in the Office of the Secretary of State who knew Spellman during and after his 1981-85 time in state office. State Archivist Steve Excell, who served as Gov. Spellman’s chief of staff, said in a television interview with KING-5 that Spellman had changed his life, as well as those of countless Washingtonians. “He was a true statesman,” Excell said. “He was a…

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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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WA Archives: First Dan Evans scrapbook has been digitized!

WA Archives: First Dan Evans scrapbook has been digitized!

As we shared in March, the Washington State Archives received a historical bonanza in the form of 40 scrapbooks covering the long career of iconic Washington statesman Dan Evans. The scrapbooks cover a political career starting when Evans was a state representative from Seattle in the 1950s and early ‘60s, followed by his 12 years as governor from 1965 to 1977, and capped by his five-plus years as a U.S. senator in the 1980s. A crew at the Archives’ Olympia…

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From the WA State Digital Archives: 1939 bill-signing photo

From the WA State Digital Archives: 1939 bill-signing photo

Gov. Clarence Martin signs a bill into law in 1939 as Secretary of State Belle Reeves (seated on left) and female legislators watch. (Photo courtesy of Washington State Digital Archives) We’ve reached that point of the legislative session when Gov. Jay Inslee starts signing bills into law. In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re sharing a Washington State Digital Archives photograph from 1939 that depicts a bill-signing ceremony. This shot shows Gov. Clarence Martin signing into law House Bill 300,…

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