history | KUOW News and Information

history

After centuries of neglect, the world's largest fortification, the Great Wall of China, has a band of modern-day defenders who are drawing up plans to protect and maintain the vast structure.

They're not a minute too soon: Roughly a third of the wall's 12,000 miles has crumbled to dust, and saving what's left of it may be the world's greatest challenge in cultural preservation.

Qiao Guohua is on the front line of this battle. He lives in the village of Jielingkou, not far from where the eastern end of the Great Wall runs into the Yellow Sea.

chocolate lw
KUOW Photo/Mike Kane

Listener Beth Ann Johnson asked Local Wonder about Seattle's chocolate industry, and reporter Ruby de Luna agreed to report. (We know. Tough assignment.)

Food writer Hsiao-Ching Chou
Courtesy of Hsiao-Ching Chou

What’s the best Chinese restaurant in Seattle? Seattle food writer Hsiao-Ching Chou gets this question all the time.

She struggles to answer, she told KUOW’s David Hyde, because there isn’t one.

A photocopy of the Seattle Times' front page the day after 9-year-old George Weyerhaeuser returned home to Tacoma. A sports reporter found him in Issaquah and drove him home.
Seattle Public Library archives

It was the Northwest’s most notorious kidnapping case. Little George Weyerhaeuser had been snatched off the streets of Tacoma and held for $200,000 ransom.  

Eighty years later, Weyerhaeuser, the timber titan, told me he hadn’t read much news coverage about his kidnapping. 

He has a vivid memory of those eight days, he said, but he hadn’t dug through those old stories from 1935. He was 9 at the time, after all, and his parents wanted to leave the kidnapping in the past. They wanted him to grow up without this traumatic event hanging over his life.

David Hyde speaks with Knute Berger about how Washington became the only state in the union to put a fascist presidential candidate on the ballot.  

A reprint of Adolf Hitler's notorious autobiography, Mein Kampf, or "My Struggle," is for sale in German bookstores today for the first time in 70 years.

The annotated edition is being published by the Munich-based Institute for Contemporary History, and its editors say the new version points out Hitler's lies and errors and includes critical commentary on how the original version, published in the 1920s, influenced Nazi atrocities.

Siblings David Ko and Karen Ko
Courtesy of StoryCorps

When Roy and Alice Ko were released from internment camps after World War II, they ended up in Richland, Washington – home to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Their children David and Karen Ko talked about growing up in Richland in the years after the war.

Native American tribes, cattle barons, trappers, farmers and wildlife advocates have all fought over what’s now known as Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon for centuries.

StoryCorps

In this StoryCorps segment Anne Roda, 70, interviews her mother, Marie Prichett, 98, about the time her family spent at Manzanar, a Japanese Internment Camp, where her husband was a social worker.

One of the world's most precious volumes starts a tour on Monday, in Norman, Okla. The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is sending out William Shakespeare's First Folio to all 50 states to mark the 400th anniversary of the bard's death. Published seven years after he died, the First Folio is the first printed collection of all of Shakespeare's plays.

Jeff Coats kidnapped David Grenier and stole his car in Tacoma, Washington on September 6, 1994. Coats was 14 years old, and was sent to adult prison. Now, Coats is a successful real estate agent who speaks on issues of imprisonment and rehabilitation.
Provided courtesy of Katherine Beckett, University of Washington

Ross Reynolds speaks with University of Washington sociology professor Katherine Beckett about the story of Jeff Coats who, along with two 17-year-old friends, robbed and kidnapped Tacoma resident David Grenier on Sept. 6, 1994. Beckett helped produce a full-length audio documentary about Coats, who she believes has rehabilitated himself.

In 1944, the U.S. pinned its hope on a secret project to win World War II. The government was counting on the B Reactor at Hanford in southeast Washington state to make enough plutonium in time. One of the physicists working against the clock was a 24-year-old woman: Leona (Woods) Marshall Libby.

Mike DiCecco carrying a Christmas tree
Courtesy of MJD Distributors Garden Center

Have you ever heard of the Chubby and Tubby variety stores? Back in the day they were a Seattle institution. They were known for cheap Converse shoes, cheap fishing supplies, cheap everything. 

It's been about 12 years since the Chubby and Tubby stores shut down, but it turns out their cheap Christmas tree tradition lives on.

'White Christmas' composer Irving Berlin.
Wikimedia Commons

The most popular Christmas carol in America stands apart from the others in a number of ways: It’s not upbeat, there are no fanciful characters and it isn’t religious. Instead, it’s melancholy and wistful – full of longing for bygone days.

Taylor Atchison (L) and Antonio Knoy (R) work in their shop, Knoy Metalworks, in the old Fenpro building in Ballard. They're one of many workshop owners who will be displaced when the building is torn down.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

An old metal lathe thunders in the massive warehouse on Ballard’s main street. It sounds like freedom to Denny Jensen, one of those toiling in the maze of workshops there.

“We’re so independent; we really like to be our own boss,” said Jensen, a metal fabricator. “That’s what this place gave me for 11 years.”

Pages