Seattle history

seattlepi.com

Fifty years ago today, a quarter-million people gathered in Washington, D.C., to hear Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. But the summer of 1963 marked a critical point in Seattle history as well, as young activists staged the city’s first sit-ins of the civil rights movement.

The issue that galvanized them was housing discrimination. And in a place that likes to think of itself as progressive, segregation was rampant. 

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Tomorrow is a big day for Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry. The museum is hosting a grand opening at its new location near South Lake Union in the former Naval Reserve Armory. The museum will be free all day, with special events like musical performances and craft activities.

Leonard Garfield, executive director of the museum known as MOHAI, says they’ve greatly expanded their collection.

Lindsay Lowe / KPLU

The Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) is in the process of moving from Seattle’s Montlake neighborhood to the Armory building in South Lake Union.

MOHAI has been around for nearly 60 years, and some people call it “Seattle’s attic.” It has a huge collection of historical objects from the Puget Sound region.

The museum has transported over 50,000 pieces already, and not all of them fit inside a box.

Here are just a few of the things they've moved:

- The first commercial Boeing airplane ever built

Images courtesy of the Museum of History and Industry

Maybe you’ve heard the line, "Will the last person leaving Seattle turn out the lights." That well-worn phrase came from a billboard in 1971 as the Boeing Company stalled and then fell into a tailspin.

And while the "Boeing Bust" happened a long time ago, that economic slump, almost as much as the most recent one, is still a part of our collective consciousness.

Why does it still resonate all these years later?

Read more on I Wonder Why ... ?

Illustration by Justin Steyer / KPLU

You might say Jesus Christ Made Seattle Under Protest. Or, Jesus Christ Made Seattle Under Pressure.

Either way, this provocative statement is a big help when you’re trying to get around downtown Seattle.

It's a mnemonic device, a sentence that helps you remember the names and order of the city’s streets. The first letter of each word corresponds to a pair of streets between Pioneer Square and Belltown. Jesus starts with a "J" which means Jefferson and James come first. The "C" in Christ signals that Cherry and Columbia are next, and so on.

You might've already known that, but do you have any idea where the memory trick came from? Or, why it remains so popular?

Read more on I Wonder Why ...?

The Seattle World’s Fair – which opened 50 years ago this weekend – was pretty small on the global scale, compared to later World’s Fairs in Montreal or Vancouver, B.C., or Seville, Spain. It would seem tiny next to the immense Exposition in Shanghai in 2010.

But the memories of 1962 burn strong for those who attended. And historians and civic leaders say the legacy still matters today.

Even if you're brand-new to Seattle, you might have heard that once upon a time there was a World’s Fair here. Maybe, you even learned about it on an elevator ride – to the top of the 605-foot Space Needle.

Read more ...

The Associated Press

The Hearst Corporation, owners of the Seattle Post-Intellingencer, announced today that it will give the iconic Seattle P-I globe to the Museum of History & Industry and the city of Seattle.

Seattle city councilmembers Sally J. Clark, Jean Godden and Tim Burgess said in a press release that MOHAI would take the globe down from its perch atop the old P-I building on Elliott Avenue West sometime this year, refurbish it and then put it up somewhere else.

The proposal will go before the city's Landmarks Preservation Board this afternoon.

The Associated Press

An agreement among Hearst Corp., the city of Seattle and the Museum of History and Industry is expected to preserve the Seattle P-I globe, an icon of the city for more than 60 years.

The fate of the 18-ton, neon-lit orb has been uncertain since the Hearst-owned Seattle Post-Intelligencer ceased printing and became seattlepi.com in 2009. The website reports that three city council members who are all former reporters — Jean Godden, Tim Burgess and Sally Clark — are expected to announce an agreement to preserve the globe on Wednesday.