History

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

For decades, a graphic letter sent from J. Edgar Hoover's FBI to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was thought to only exist in a censored form. The letter focused on King's sex life and his extramarital affairs. Yale historian Beverly Gage, who's working on a biography of Hoover, recently uncovered an unredacted version of the letter at the National Archives. It begins:

"King,

Washington state is 125 years old. There was a celebration Tuesday at the state capitol. It featured an historic reenactment, a time capsule ceremony and, of course, cake.

German Architecture.org

Ross Reynolds speaks with Peter Schneider, author of "Berlin Now," about the vast changes there since the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago this month.

Remember Washington's 2004 Election Soap Opera?

Nov 4, 2014

If you can’t remember the details of the 2004 Washington state governor’s race, you shouldn’t feel bad. It was pretty complicated and had more twists and turns than a soap opera.

Ross Reynolds talks with activist Elizabeth Campbell about her voter initiative to fund planning to build a monorail line in Seattle. Then, Reynolds talks with Crosscut's Knute Berger about the political history of the monorail.

Wikipedia Photo/Nancy Wong

Ross Reynolds interviews Matt Bai, national political correspondent for Yahoo News, about his book on the Gary Hart debacle.

If you know who Hart is, you probably remember his flame-out campaign for president. In 1987 the Democratic Senator from Colorado was running against George H.W. Bush was ahead by double digits. But when the Miami Herald ran a story about a supposed affair Hart was having with model Donna Rice, his campaign fell apart within a week. 

Seattle.gov

Little surprises Knute Berger, writer and local historian, when it comes to Seattle history.

So when he discovered that Seattle had used chain gangs – ball and chain style – into the 1900s, he thought, “Chain gangs? That’s a Southern thing.”

Who Are The Descendants Of Seattle's Early Families?

Oct 19, 2014

What are the descendants of Seattle's pioneers up to? KUOW Listener Ben Lee wanted to know.

For KUOW's Local Wonder project, I escaped into Seattle's past in hopes of turning up the present. Turned out that finding Seattle's dead pioneers was the easy part. 

They’re all in one spot: Lakeview Cemetery on Capitol Hill.

Flickr Photo/Jonathan Cohen (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds marks the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Friends of the Pike Place Market by speaking with international market consultant David O'Neil. O'Neil says the Friends' efforts to save Pike Place Market turned the tide for public markets all over America.

Public Domain

Americans honor the memory of Reverend Martin Luther King with street, school and place names, a national holiday, and a national monument.

Tavis Smiley appreciates that, but he also knows that many, if not most, Americans can’t quote more than King’s most famous line from his “I Have a Dream” speech. 

Marcie Sillman talks with Steven Johnson, author of "How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World," about the technological innovations that led to widespread clean water in America, despite the E. coli in Mercer Island's drinking water this month.

Public Domain

Bill Radke talks with public radio host Tavis Smiley about the forgotten final year in the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The old saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words." That was the reaction of a U.S. Forest Service researcher when he rediscovered a trove of landscape panoramas called the Osborne Panoramas.

Seattle's Great Northern Tunnel Turns 110

Oct 10, 2014

SEATTLE -- This month the Great Northern Tunnel, which runs through the heart of the city of Seattle, turns 110 years old. Back in the fall of 1904, when it was finished, the mile-long tunnel was the tallest and widest in the United States.

The Great Northern Tunnel took a year and a half to build and cost $1.5 million back in 1904.

That’s about $38 million today.

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