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history

Graphic courtesy UW Special Collections

Before Move Seattle and Bridging the Gap, there was Forward Thrust. Fifty years ago this week civic leader Jim Ellis introduced Forward Thrust at a rotary luncheon at the Olympic Hotel. Forward Thrust was the name for a huge package of infrastructure improvements and for a countywide political campaign Ellis envisioned to get them paid for.

Geochemist Frannie Smith would like to see more girls get into science like she did. Women make up only about 25 percent of geoscientists in the U.S. and only a quarter of all the scientists or engineers at the Pacific Northwest National Lab in Washington state are female.

Coby Burren was reading his textbook, sitting in geography class at Pearland High School near Houston, when he noticed a troubling caption. The 15-year-old quickly took a picture with his phone and sent it to his mother.

Ross Reynolds interviews former King County prosecutor Christopher Bayley about his new book, “Seattle Justice: The Rise and Fall of the Police Payoff System in Seattle." 

On November 10, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of the Interior will enter into an agreement establishing the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

David von Blohn/AP

The lake is the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir, created when the local Grijalva River was dammed back in 1966. The church ended up submerged under water.

But now it's visible again, as the reservoir's waters have receded. The reservoir's level has dropped by more than 80 feet because of a long drought.

A hidden chemistry lab was unearthed by a worker doing renovations to the iconic Rotunda at the University of Virginia, and school officials say the room is directly linked to the third U.S. president, Thomas Jefferson, who helped design the building.

The "chemical hearth," which dates back to the 1820s, is thought to be one of the few remaining in the world. It featured two sources of heat for conducting experiments and a system for pulling out fumes.

Illustration by Drew Christie

What is the history of Washington state's political allergy to an income tax? Steven Thomson of Olympia posed this question to KUOW's Local Wonder.

We had an income tax once in Washington state.

It was during the Great Depression, and a lot of people were down and out.

People were so excited about the income tax that they voted twice. First, they changed the state constitution to allow the tax. Then voters approved the tax – 70 percent in favor.

Highway sign on a road entering the Hanford Site
Wikipedia Photo/Ellery (CC BY SA 3.0)/http://bit.ly/1LnhFqH

David Hyde speaks with attorney Richard Eymann about the history of 'Hanford downwinders' -- people who believed they suffered health problems after being exposed to radiation from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Starving prisoners in Mauthausen camp liberated on 5 May 1945.
Public Domain

Kim Malcolm talks to Dee Simon, executive director of The Holocaust Center for Humanity, Seattle's first Holocaust museum, about why she works to share the story of the genocide.

1962: Remembering The Deadly Columbus Day Storm

Oct 12, 2015
Columbus Day Storm damage at 30th Avenue and East Spruce Street. The photo was taken Oct. 15, 1962, three days after the storm struck.
Seattle Municipal Archives

A lot of strange things happened in October 1962.

In Hollywood, Bobby "Boris" Pickett topped the charts with “Monster Mash.” In New York, James Brown recorded his incredible "Live at the Apollo" album. And in Cuba, offensive missile sites were being built, marking the start of the Cuban missile crisis.

Closer to home, the Pacific Northwest was about to face one of the most destructive natural disasters in American history.

Children's book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, points to a 3-year-old fan Marcus Gabrielli as he signed autographs in New York.
AP Photo/Mike Appleton

Did Maurice Sendak, author of "Where The Wild Things Are," talk to kids about his work?

It was 1991, and Sendak had come into the KUOW studios for an interview with Ross Reynolds on “Seattle  Afternoon.”  

Bertha K. Landes served as mayor of Seattle from 1926 to 1928. She was Seattle's first and only female mayor -- also Seattle's first female police chief, according to journalist Emmett Watson.
University of Washington Digital Archives

Before Bertha was a boring machine stuck under Seattle, she was Seattle’s first female mayor.

In 1926, her campaign motto was “municipal housekeeping.”

Bertha K. Landes was her full name and “she was wonderful,” according to columnist Emmett Watson.

Julia Child was tired of hearing people complain about salt, cholesterol and fat. Try moderation and exercise, she said. This photo was taken in 1992, two years after her interview with KUOW's Ross Reynolds.
AP Photo/Jon Chase

Julia Child was mad.

“I think the word ‘healthy’ and the word ‘light’ are really kind of meaningless,” the renowned cook told KUOW’s Ross Reynolds in a prescient 1990 interview. “There are no bad or good foods; they are just healthy and unhealthy ways of using them.”

Author Walter Mosley and his father in front of their home in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Waltermosley.com

People usually remember as far back as the generation that raises them, says writer Walter Mosley.

Mosley had come into KUOW’s studios to speak with KUOW’s Ross Reynolds. It was 1992, and his third book, "White Butterfly," had just been published.

Easy Rawlins, Mosley’s main character, emerged from those memories. Easy was a fixer, a guy who does favors for people.

The writer Ursula K. Le Guin in 2012.
Photo © 2012 Laura Anglin

“If you have a person who is both male and female, what’s the pronoun you use?”

Ursula K. Le Guin posed that question in 1988 when she came in to the KUOW studios for an interview with Ross Reynolds.

Before he created The Simpson, Matt Groening created the 'Life in Hell' comic series. Among his characters were Akbar and Jeff, whose origins go back to Groening's fifth-grade attempts at mimicking 'Peanuts.'
Matt Groening / 'Life In Hell'

Before The Simpsons, there were crazy rabbits and Akbar and Jeff.

Matt Groening, who created television’s most iconic cartoon family, spoke with Ross Reynolds in the late 1980s on the show Seattle Afternoon.

Students play double-dutch at recess at Colman School in 1971. Back then, students had an hour or more time to eat and play at school.
Seattle Public Schools Archives

There was a time Seattle students got 95 minutes of lunch and recess.

Most of that time was for a languid midday break that allowed plenty of time to eat and play.

Reporter Ashley Ahearn dug into the Northwest history of the B-17 bomber with her father, Joe Ahearn, Jr.
EarthFix Photo/Katie Campbell

There’s an old photograph in my father’s office that I’ve always wondered about. In it my grandfather and nine other young airmen stand in front of their B-17 plane, shoulders squared, staring proudly at the camera. They were probably in England at the time, getting ready to fly bombing raids over Germany in 1943.

Share Your Family Connection To World War II

Sep 27, 2015

In a recent story, KUOW Ashley Ahearn reports on the making of the B-17 bomber in Seattle – and the women who moved here to work on Boeing’s production lines.

We want to hear from you. How was your family affected by World War II? Share your memories and photos with us. Write to pictures@kuow.org. If you send photos, please be sure to describe what's pictured.

Submissions may be published at KUOW.org and our social media accounts.

Jazmyn Scott stands in front of a mural created for MOHAI by SPECSWIZARD who has been making art and beats in Seattle since 1978.
KUOW Photo/Jenna Montgomery

This week MOHAI opened a new show called The Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop. The exhibit is not just about the history here, it’s also about how Seattle hip-hop fits into the larger culture.

For Daudi Abe, author of the upcoming book “Emerald Street: A History of Hip-Hop in Seattle 1979-2015,” it all began 36 years ago.

Howard Lake, north of Stehekin in Washington's North Cascades.
Courtesy of Mike Annee

Several years ago a Seattle man hiked into a lake in the North Cascades that had an unusual name:  Coon Lake.

Jonathan Rosenblum thought that sounded racist. "This was a wrong that needed to be corrected," he told David Hyde on KUOW's The Record.

He convinced Washington state officials to change the name to Howard Lake after Wilson Howard, a miner who staked claims in the area and was one of only two black miners to stake claims in the North Cascades.

History can be tricky. Something that you think has never happened before has, actually, happened before. Someone who seems thoroughly modern actually lived long ago. And a quote that sounds up-to-the-nanosecond contemporary was actually uttered more than 100 years ago.

So let's see how you do: Here are seven items — six quotes and a photo. Your task is to determine whether they occurred before 1900 or after 1900. Answers are at the bottom.

1) Newspaper quote: "Dick got an idea somehow that Theo thought he was a slouch."

Jeannie Yandel talks with Crosscut's Knute Berger about his article on Beriah Brown, a mover and shaker in early Seattle who also had a long body of work underlining his pro-slavery, white supremacist beliefs. 

'Gassed' by American painter John Singer Sargent.
Public Domain

How can we make sense of the staggering history of loss -- loss of reason, life, and hope for the future -- represented by World War I?

In 2014 University of Washington professor Robin McCabe launched a three-part series of concerts with accompanying lectures to explore that question through music. The theme, inspired by the centenary of the start of World War I, was “Music From The War To End All Wars.” Speakers Forum aired Part I, featuring a talk by UW dean Robert Stacey, this past January.

The legendary Gold Rush of the late 1840s was a game changer in American history.

The promise of overnight wealth — and the industries that rose up around the wealth-seekers — lured legions of people from all over the world to Northern California and to cities and towns along the Pacific Coast. But there were other Gold Rush ramifications — economic and environmental — as well.

For example: the wholesale taking of tortoises from the Galapagos Islands by sailors and fortune seekers on their way to and from California.

Tortoise Soup

Scientists have discovered the fossilized remains of an unusual human-like creature that lived long ago. Exactly how long ago is still a mystery — and that's not the only mystery surrounding this newfound species.

The bones have a strange mix of primitive and modern features, and were found in an even stranger place — an almost inaccessible chamber deep inside a South African cave called Rising Star.

Mosquito fleet steamers are seen at Houghton, Wash., in 1945.
Courtesy of MOHAI

Jeannie Yandel speaks to Leonard Garfield, director of the Museum of History and Industry, about a time when Seattleites got around on a "swarm of little steamers" known as the Mosquito Fleet.

Henry Chamberlain looks at mementos from World War II. He spent three and a half years as a prisoner of the Japanese.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

In 1945 President Harry Truman declared Sept. 2 as Victory Over Japan Day. Japan surrendered aboard the USS Missouri. It was the official end of World War II.

But the suffering wasn't over for Henry Chamberlain, who had been captured on the Philippines' Bataan Peninsula more than three years before.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TESS VIGELAND, HOST:

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