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Tag: King County

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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Profile of civic activist Jim Ellis completes new 1968 history exhibit

Profile of civic activist Jim Ellis completes new 1968 history exhibit

A profile of Jim Ellis, regarded as the most visionary civic activist in King County history, is the final chapter in Legacy Washington’s new project: “1968: The Year that Rocked Washington.” His profile — part of a new exhibit at the State Capitol — is now online at the project’s homepage. In 1958, Ellis mobilized a volunteer task force to rescue Lake Washington from the run-off of suburban sprawl. “No Swimming” signs posted along lakefront beaches were famously featured in the…

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Discover unique collections in Washington libraries

Discover unique collections in Washington libraries

From our standpoint here at the Washington State Library, one of the best things about this summer’s Washington Library Passport Project is that every week, we learn interesting and unique things about the libraries in Washington. Everyone knows about the spectacular architecture of Seattle’s flagship branch, but often our small libraries fly under the radar. By encouraging people to visit Washington libraries and post about something they’ve learned during their visit, all sorts of interesting stories have emerged. This morning,…

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Archives Spotlight: Weird headstones of Washington

Archives Spotlight: Weird headstones of Washington

The Washington State Archives comes across some strange findings, and we truly embrace the state’s oddities. You should see us around Halloween. Recently, one of our researchers came across a series of weird headstones in Washington. We suppose the families would be ok if you chuckle. Perhaps that’s what they would’ve wanted. A sample of our findings: 5 Bratty Kids Done Her In Coy B. Shillinger, who is buried at Green Hills Memorial Cemetery in Burlington, Skagit County, lived to…

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Understanding the February Special Election

Understanding the February Special Election

Did you know there’s an election coming up on Tuesday, February 13th? Springtime special elections sometimes get overlooked, especially when it feels like the recent November election is so fresh in mind. But in the February 2018 special election, 65 percent of Washington’s registered voters are eligible to participate — that’s 2,753,553 people. Voters from all but two counties have issues and/or races on the February ballot. San Juan and Skamania are the exceptions, but not all other counties have…

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The remarkable, formidable Lois Spellman

The remarkable, formidable Lois Spellman

Former Washington State First Lady Lois Spellman died Thursday, January 25th, just days after the passing of her husband, former Washington State Governor John D. Spellman. Lois Elizabeth Murphy was born in 1927 in Havre, Montana. She and her husband prayed the Rosary together every night before bed for all 63 years of their marriage. They have six children and six grandchildren. Legacy Washington Chief Historian and Spellman biographer John Hughes remembers Lois in his book about the former governor: In…

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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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The One Minute Jail Sentence

The One Minute Jail Sentence

From the desk of Steve Willis, Central Library Services Program Manager of the Washington State Library The following news article describes what was most probably the shortest jail sentence in Washington State history. This is from the Seattle Daily Times, January 20, 1906: MINUTE IN JAIL  SHORTEST SENTENCE EVER PASSED GIVEN TO JOE INCARCERATION. JUDGE FRATER THINKS HE SHOULD GO TO JAIL BUT NOT STAY THERE. RESULT OF SIX MONTHS’ LITIGATION IS ONE MINUTE’S INCARCERATION. “Joe Munch yesterday received from Judge…

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James Fitzgerald, the Human Ostrich

James Fitzgerald, the Human Ostrich

Random News from the Newspapers on Microfilm Collection: James Fitzgerald, the Human Ostrich From the desk of Steve Willis, Central Library Services Program Manager of the Washington State Library: “No, sir. This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” I was reminded of this quote from the movie The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance after breezing through several old newspaper articles regarding the life and adventures of James Fitzgerald, who was known on both sides of…

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Illegal Booze at Wellington

Illegal Booze at Wellington

From the desk of Steve Willis, Central Library Services Program Manager of the Washington State Library: Found in The Seattle Telegraph, Nov. 13, 1894, p. 8: THE COUNTY BOUNDARY  Twelve Men in Judge Humes’ Court Define It.  ILLEGAL WHISKEY TRAFFIC  Defendants Take Refuge Behind Technical Bulwark and Escape Penalty for Their Crimes — Some Groundless Fear That the Verdict May Affect the Election Count of Martin Creek and Wellington.  “A jury in Judge Humes’ court yesterday acquitted Pat Cunningham of the…

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