history

Nearly 4,000 blacks were lynched in the American South between the end of the Civil War and World War II, according to a new report by the Equal Justice Initiative.

The report, Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror, says that the number of victims in the 12 Southern states was more than 20 percent higher than previously reported.

Lynchings were part of a system of racial terror designed to subjugate a people, says the Alabama-based nonprofit's executive director, Bryan Stevenson.

The organization United4Iran displayed this billboard in Washington, D.C., in 2012 to protest the treatment of Baha'is in Iran.
Flickr Photo/United4Iran (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Jeannie Yandel talks with Mitra Zarakani, an employment specialist at Jewish Family Service's Eastside location, about her immigration to the U.S. and attending a secret university in Iran.

Courtesy Jason Yeatman

Two years ago Jason Yeatman, a researcher at the University of Washington, stumbled into a secret corridor of the mind.

The Kalakala on the day she was to be scrapped. The unlucky vessel had shone on Puget Sound waters as a ferry between 1933 to 1967.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

It was before dawn on Thursday, and the cold air off the Blair Waterway in Tacoma was damp and penetrating.

Karl Anderson, a mustachioed man in his 70s, stood on his company’s graving dock, waiting for the Kalakala.

American soldiers in presence of gas, 42nd division. Essey, France. September 20, 1918.
Flickr Photo/Otis Historical Archives (CC-BY-NC-ND)

To mark the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, University of Washington professor Robin McCabe planned a series she calls “Music from the War to End All Wars.”

The debut event includes professor Robert Stacey’s talk ,“A Gathering Storm? Artistic Crisis and the Coming of the First World War.” 

Matt Smith in "My Last Year With The Nuns"
John Jeffcoat

Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood is hipster central these days: the place to go for the latest in music clubs, trendy restaurants and street style.

That wasn't always the case.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer photo/Museum Of History & Industry

Did you know that fur is still a big industry in Seattle?

One of the main ways this region became settled and explored was by fur trappers in the early 19th century. And fur farms are still scattered throughout Washington.

This is the story of a man whose ideas could have saved a lot of lives and spared countless numbers of women and newborns' feverish and agonizing deaths.

You'll notice I said "could have."

The year was 1846, and our would-be hero was a Hungarian doctor named Ignaz Semmelweis.

A piece of the original Antikythera Mechanism. Divers found the first pieces off the coast of the Greek island Antikythera in 1901.
Wikimedia Commons

Jeannie Yandel talks with University of Puget Sound professor James Evans about the Antikythera Mechanism, which is believed to be the world's first computer. Evans and a colleague recently found the mechanism may be as old as 205 BC, which is 50-100 years older than originally thought.

It all started with milkmaids.

Edward Jenner, an 18th-century English country doctor, noticed that they seemed to be immune to smallpox.

And that was a time when smallpox was a truly terrifying disease. Each year, it killed hundreds of thousands of Europeans. It made people terribly sick. Its oozing blisters scarred many of its victims for life. And there was no cure.

When the federal government decided to make plutonium in southeast Washington, early farmers and whole villages of Native Americans were kicked out. Now, a new collection of oral histories tells some of these stories of the Hanford site.

A picture of the Kalakala ferry from 2001.
Flickr Photo/rbanks (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Knute Berger, columnist for Crosscut and Seattle Magazine, about the final demise of the famed art deco ferry, the Kalakala.

Via Crosscut

Seattle writer Knute Berger was combing through old articles when he spotted an unusual character: “A woman, dressed as a man, riding a bike recklessly.”

Most Americans know about the Underground Railroad, the route that allowed Southern slaves to escape North. Some slaves found freedom by hiding closer to home, however — in Great Dismal Swamp.

The swamp is a vast wetland in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. In George Washington's time, it was a million acres of trees, dark water, bears, bobcats, snakes and stinging insects. British settlers, who first arrived in 1607, believed the swamp was haunted.

By 1620, some of their slaves may have overcome that fear to find freedom there.

Thornton Wilder, the novelist. Storyteller Gary Heyde wrote him letters before his death.
Wikimedia Commons

In 1975, I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Someone handed me a copy of Thornton Wilder’s “The Eighth Day.” When I finished that novel, someone else handed me “Theopolis North.”

I decided I had to get in touch with Thornton Wilder. I remembered from the play “Our Town,” by Wilder, that little Rebecca tells the story of Jane Crofut getting the most amazing letter.

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