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Bellingham, Washington, dedicates a new monument this Saturday that speaks to the Pacific Northwest's long and conflicted history with immigration. The "Arch of Healing and Reconciliation" memorializes the past expulsions of immigrant Sikhs, Japanese and Chinese.

Safety representative for the Seattle Tunnel Partners, Marisa Roddick, wears stickers on her helmet for each year that she has worked on the tunnel project, from 2013 to 2018, on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, in Seattle.
KUOW photo/Megan Farmer

When Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct was built in the 1950s, we didn't know much about earthquakes. California's Loma Prieta quake in 1989 opened our eyes when their viaduct collapsed and crushed 41 people. 

And when the Nisqually quake in 2001 damaged our own viaduct, it sealed the deal for officials: The viaduct had to go.

An American flag is shown between rows of headstones in the Veterans section on Thursday, March 1, 2018, at Evergreen Washelli Cemetery in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle’s biggest cemetery begins with a tragic story.  

A woman walks past a large mural of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on the side of a diner, painted by artist James Crespinel in the 1990's and later restored, along Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tuesday, April 3, 2018, in Seattle.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Fifty years ago today, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered on a balcony in Memphis, Tennessee. Decades later, a motion passed in the King County Council to rename the county for King, rather than a slave owner from Alabama. 

Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968.
Wikimedia Commons

On April 4, 1968,  Gary Heyde had just arrived for a conference at Kentucky State College. He and more than 500 students from every major black university waited in line to register. Heyde happened to be the only white student there.

No more than 20 minutes had passed when a girl came running into the lobby where conference-goers waited to register. “They’ve killed Martin,” she screamed.

At first, the room was cloaked in complete and total silence. Then chaos ensued.

The George Washington statue on the University of Washington Seattle campus.
Flickr Photo/Chris Blakeley (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1jEzCcs

Bill Radke talks to historian, author and former This American Life contributor Sarah Vowell about America's troubled history and how it can better help us understand today. 

Gabino Abarca was able to attend the University of Washington thanks to state lottery funds.
KUOW Photos/Megan Farmer

Retired school teacher Michael Hobson is displeased by how much his property tax is increasing, even though lawmakers did it to fully fund public schools.

Photo Courtesy of FBI Records

In the early 2000s ten Russian nationals were living normal lives in the United States. They went to school, got jobs, and tried to infiltrate the inner circles of U.S. policymakers and businesses to send information back to Russia.

Elmer Dixon, left, laughs with Ben Abe, right, the current owner of the space where the Seattle Black Panther Party had their first office, while reminiscing about the location, on Wednesday, January 10, 2018, on 34th Avenue in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Madrona is a posh Seattle neighborhood with million-dollar homes. But 50 years ago, at the playground here, it was where hundreds of Black Panthers trained.

 


Bruce Lee spent formative years in Seattle. He attended the University of Washington from 1961 to 1964, majoring in philosophy. Behind him is Lake Washington, the subject of many of his poems.
Courtesy of Wing Luke Museum/® & © Bruce Lee Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Before he was a martial arts icon, Bruce Lee was a poet, philosopher and fledgling instructor in Seattle.

Now there’s an exhibit at the Wing Luke Museum that focuses on that time in his life.


Seattle native Merlin Rainwater holds a map outlining the red line zone on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Longtime Central District resident Merlin Rainwater advocates for alternative forms of transportation, like walking and biking. She leads neighborhood “slow rides” to get older women more comfortable with urban cycling and shows them around parts of the Central District they might not know about: public art, small parks, black-owned cafes and restaurants.

A Sony Walkman, belonging to a fictional character named Alex, holds a cassette mix tape.
GeekWire Photo/Kurt Schlosser

Let this segment take you back — WAY back.

We’re in your high school computer class. It's the 1980s: Walkmans in backpacks, satin jackets in lockers, Apple IIe computers running BASIC. Where is this nostalgic wonderland, you ask? 

Public domain

Kim Malcolm talks with Jeff Obermeyer about the history of professional hockey in Seattle. Obermeyer runs the Seattle Hockey website and is author of several books, including "Seattle Totems" and "Hockey in Seattle."

Family photos, including one of 2-year-old Jerry Yamashita with his father, Masahide Yamashita, are shown on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Oysters are a cornerstone of Pacific Northwest cuisine. But there was a time when our region’s oysters were in trouble, all but obliterated by over-harvesting and pollution.

Then a Japanese immigrant helped turn things around.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Underground Railroad” is the story of a young slave named Cora who escapes from a Georgia cotton plantation.

Fai Mathews makes her way from Garfield high school to Westlake Park during the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day march on Monday, January 15, 2018, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Thousands gathered on Monday, January 15, 2018, to participate in the 50th anniversary Martin Luther King Jr. Day march. An opportunity fair, workshops and a rally preceded the march at Garfield High School. Demonstrators marched from Garfield to Westlake Park. 

Last week, Oprah Winfrey's speech at the Golden Globes brought many in the audience to tears and to their feet. She was accepting an award for contributions to the world of entertainment, but the billionaire broadcaster and philanthropist decided to use her moment to tell the story of a far less celebrated woman: Recy Taylor.

If the United States were more like the rest of the world, a McDonald's Quarter Pounder might be known as the McDonald's 113-Grammer, John Henry's 9-pound hammer would be 4.08 kilograms, and any 800-pound gorillas in the room would likely weigh 362 kilos.

One reason this country never adopted the metric system might be pirates. Here's what happened:

In 1793, the brand new United States of America needed a standard measuring system because the states were using a hodgepodge of systems.

Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

Looking back at a year that was tumultuous in so many ways, this talk by author Walter Isaacson stands out as something that has almost nothing to do with our modern day trials and tribulations. 

Activist group Backbone Campaign hung this banner in September 2015. Chief Seattle is often quoted by environmental groups.
Flickr Photo/Backbone Campaign (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/yJnSzW

“The earth does not belong to us. We belong to the earth.”

These words are from an 1854 speech that made Chief Seattle famous, inspiring environmental movements in the city that bears his name and beyond.

Except, he never really said that.


Julia Yesler, pictured, is the offspring of a Duwamish woman and white settler Henry Yesler.
Courtesy of Kathie Zetterberg

Chief Seattle was the leader of the Duwamish tribe in the days when white settlers were entering the region that would eventually bear his name.

The chief had an unusual way of brokering peace: encouraging his family members to marry the settlers.


Senator Patty Murray in the KUOW offices, Jan. 2016.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Minnesota Senator Al Franken said today he'll resign in the coming weeks. He's repeatedly apologized as several women accused him of sexually inappropriate behavior.

Portrait of Mary Elizabeth Bowser, Union spy in the home of Jefferson Davis.
Courtesy of Melinda Mueller

Bill Radke talks with poetry correspondent Elizabeth Austen about Seattle-based poet and science teacher Melinda Mueller’s poem “Covert Acts.”

The three-part poem is set in the American Civil War, and illuminates the lives of Union soldier Private Mary Galloway, field surgeon Mary Edwards Walker, and freedwoman and Union spy Mary Bowser — three women who defied the constraints of their time.

Fred Appelbaum first read about Don Thomas' use of marrow transplantation to treat leukemia. After reading that article, 'I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,' said Appelbaum.
Courtesy of Fred Hutch News Service

Dr. Fred Appelbaum started his career in the 1970s when leukemia patients were given months to live. He worked with Dr. Don Thomas, a researcher at Fred Hutch who pioneered bone marrow transplantation. The procedure was considered radical at the time, but it would save tens of thousands of lives and change the course of cancer treatment.

Joe DiMaggio, Dr. E. Donnall Thomas, and patient Darrell Johnson in LAF (laminar airflow) room, 1978
Courtesy of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

There was a time when the cure for leukemia was almost as lethal as the disease. Before bone marrow transplants, patients were treated with arsenic or radiation — and the outlook was often considered hopeless.

MOHAI, Cary W. Tolman Photographs, [2002.68.9.10]

In the 1960s, an era when activism across racial lines was uncommon, four Seattle activists became allies. They were called the Gang of Four.

Larry Gossett, Roberto Maestas, Bernie Whitebear and Bob Santos collaborated and supported each other’s efforts throughout their activism careers.

November 2, 1972, two days after the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kingdome, Bob Santos led a protest. The rallying cry: HUMBOWS NOT HOT DOGS!
Courtesy Eugene M. Tagawa

The 1960s brought marches, boycotts, and moments of unrest to Seattle as the battle for civil rights played out across the country.

That was also when four local activists — Roberto Maestas, Bob Santos, Bernie Whitebear and Larry Gossett — joined together to give voice to Seattle’s minority communities. Their nickname was the Gang of Four.

Nellie Cornish, founder of the school that became the Cornish College of the Arts, taken in the 1920s.
Courtesy Cornish College of the Arts

When Nellie Cornish arrived in Seattle in 1900, she was a 24-year-old piano teacher looking to make a living in a city that was more hospitable to Gold Rush prospectors than it was to the fine arts.

Updated Oct. 27, 9:50 p.m. ET

The 2,891 records relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy released by the National Archives Thursday contain many interesting tidbits.

  • The FBI tried to track down a stripper known as "Kitty" who may have been an associate of nightclub owner Jack Ruby, who shot Lee Harvey Oswald two days after Oswald killed Kennedy.

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