History

The only surviving photo of the Cambodian genocide from Charles Som Nguyen's family. Pictured are his aunt and uncle.
Courtesy of Charles Som Nguyen

When Charles Som Nguyen was a kid in Oregon, his mom would occasionally tell stories over dinner about her home country of Cambodia.  More often than not, she wouldn’t recount happy memories.

Instead, she would tell stories about living in labor camps, of running away while bodies fell and bullets whizzed past her ears, of finding her own sister dead.

The Holocaust memorial in Berlin.
Flickr Photo/Rodrigo David (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman speaks with 89-year-old Holocaust survivor Sonia Warshawski and her granddaughter, Seattle-based filmmaker Leah Warshawski.

Kathy Parrish as a child with her father, George Dean, at the YWCA pool in Seattle. The pool would be heated to a higer degree for polio patients at certain times.
Courtesy of Kathy Parrish

Ross Reynolds speaks with polio survivor and post-polio syndrome sufferer Kathy Parrish about her experience as a child with polio and the lasting impacts of the disease. Parrish was diagnosed with the disease in 1950, five years before the Jonas Salk vaccination was declared safe.

Ralph Munro, Washington's former secretary of state, blows bubbles with Vietnamese refugees. Gov. Dan Evans asked Munro to find out more about the refugees, so he went to Camp Pendleton in California in 1975.
Courtesy of Ralph Munro

Dan Evans was furious.

So furious he cursed (and he was not someone who swore).

It was 1975 and the Washington state governor had picked up the morning paper and read that Gov. Jerry Brown of California had said Vietnamese refugees wouldn’t be welcome in his state.

Coffee and tea both landed in the British isles in the 1600s. In fact, java even got a head start of about a decade. And yet, a century later, tea was well on its way to becoming a daily habit for millions of Britons — which it remains to this day.

So how did tea emerge as Britain's hot beverage of choice?

Lisa Pauley was a volunteer at an Adventist hospital in Hong Kong. Joyce Wertz Harrington, a fellow nurse, photographed their 30-hour journey.
Courtesy of Joyce Wertz Harrington

The scene was chaos.

The mood was tense.

The Viet Cong approached.

Mothers cried as they dropped off their babies to be loaded onto a Boeing 747 in Saigon, final destination Seattle.

The Brontosaurus may be back.

Not that it ever really went away, at least not in the minds of generations of people who grew up watching Fred Flintstone devour one of his beloved Brontosaurus burgers.

But if you're a scientist, you have to stick to the rules, and in 1903, the name Brontosaurus was struck from the record. That was when paleontologist Elmer Riggs deemed that the Brontosaurus was really just a different dinosaur, Apatosaurus.

Ross Reynolds talks to Crosscut's Knute Berger about what is lost when the state makes cuts to heritage sites like the State Capital Museum. 

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.

The Selma to Montgomery March in 1965. Martin Luther King, Jr. is at center.
Public Domain

In March 1965, Steven Graves was studying in a Unitarian seminary in Chicago when he learned Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was asking people from around the country to gather in Selma, Alabama, to march for voting rights for black people.

Graves asked himself an important question that would change his life path.

Newlywed bride and groom stepping into car, circa 1955.  Sign in front passenger side window reads "Hold Her Tight."
MOHAI, Al Smith Collection, 2014.49

Seattle is a young city, young enough that most of its history can be traced through photographs.

Until recently though, most of those photos have been official portraits or documentation of public works projects like the Lake Washington Ship Canal.

Jimi Hendrix in 1967.
Wikipedia Photo

Jeannie Yandel talks with music historian and Jimi Hendrix biographer Charles Cross about a collection of early songs featuring Hendrix getting an official re-release.

Michael Stephens, founder of the Macefield Music Festival, looks at Edith Macefield's house on a recent afternoon. The house is now owned by the bank and could be put on the open market.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

If Edith Macefield had been standing outside the King County courthouse, she might have rolled her eyes.

An auctioneer stood behind a white plastic table. Men in black zip-up jackets sidled up to sign up to bid on her tiny Ballard house. Elbowing reporters jostled for space.

A shot-down fire balloon reinflated by Americans in California.
Wikipedia Photo

On March 13, 1945, World War II came to the U.S. mainland when a Japanese bomb fell on Everett, Washington.

But no airplane dropped it: A hydrogen balloon launched from a beach on Japan’s Honshu island had carried the incendiary device thousands of miles in just three or four days. Once the 30-foot diameter balloon reached 30,000-35,000 feet, strong westerly winds of the upper atmosphere – the jet stream – carried it toward North America.

Our guest on this episode of Speakers Forum is David J. Morris, a war correspondent, former Marine and PTSD sufferer.

Morris served as a lieutenant in the Marine Corps in the 1990s, but did not see combat then. He went on to work as an embedded journalist in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2004 he was nearly killed when a Humvee he was riding in hit an IED.

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