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On November 13, 1851, 24 Americans-including the Denny, Boren, Terry and Bell families-camp at Alki Point, and found Seattle, encountering native people and Hudson's Bay Company employees.


King County is created on December 22, 1852, and is at the time still part of Oregon Territory. It is named for the new Vice President of the United States, William Rufus DeVane King, who died in office shortly thereafter. Seattle is the county seat.


On March 2, Washington Territory is separated from Oregon Territory, and Isaac Stevens is appointed territorial governor. His principal responsibilities include survey of a railroad line through the Cascade Mountains to Puget Sound, and successful completion of treaty negotiations with Washington tribes.

The Oregon Territory's ban on black settlers does not apply in the newly created Washington Territory. Manuel Lopes, born in CÔte d'Ivoire on the West African coast, is the first black to settle in Seattle.

Seattle's first factory opens - a steam-powered sawmill owned by Henry Yesler.


Thomas Mercer names Lake Union, part of his homestead claim, at a July 4 picnic, foreseeing its future role joining salt and fresh water.


Representatives of local Native American tribes sign the Point Elliott Treaty, ceding their land to the United States, on January 22.


The Battle of Seattle, a siege of the settlement during the Treaty Wars, takes place on January 26.


Chief Leschi is hanged on February 19 for his military activities during the Treaty War.


Eliza Anderson, Seattle's first weekly mail steamer, goes into service.

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King County's first Masonic Lodge is organized.


The University of Washington opens on land donated by Arthur Denny, at today's University Street and Fourth Avenue.


U.S. Congress passes the Homestead Act, authorizing 160-acre allotments of unoccupied federal lands to settlers.


The Seattle Post-Intelligencer begins publication, and remains the city's oldest newspaper.

Aaron Mercer is believed to have taken up the earliest land acquisition in Bellevue, an 80.5-acre plot located on what is now the west bank of the Mercer Slough.

In South King County, the town of Vinemaplevalley is established. It will be renamed Maple Valley in 1882.


The first group of Asa Mercer's marriageable young ladies of good character arrives on May 16. Lizzie Ordway was the only Mercer Girl to remain single.


Butterfield and Company open the first commercial brewery in Seattle.


Chief Sealth, chief of the Suquamish and Duwamish tribes, who welcomed American settlers and had the city of Seattle named in his honor, dies on June 7, and is buried at Suquamish.


The first coal mine at Newcastle begins production.

The United States purchases Alaska from Russia, beginning a profitable trading relationship.


Seattle's first stone building is erected to house Dexter Horton's bank.


Seattle incorporates, for the second time. Henry Atkins is the city's first mayor.

African American George Riley establishes "Riley's Addition" on Beacon Hill.

William Meydenbauer homesteads the first claim site on what is now Meydenbauer Bay.

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The federal census shows total population for Washington Territory at 23,355, for King County at 2164, and for Seattle 1142. Walla Walla is the most populous town in Washington Territory.

Captain Allen takes up a claim at the entrance to Mercer Slough, which he farms.


William Hedges, a former slave who arrived in Seattle in 1864 and became the wealthiest property owner in Seattle's African American community, dies.


The Daily Dispatch, Seattle's first daily paper, begins publication.


The Northern Pacific Railway chooses Tacoma as its western terminus; the line opens a decade later.

Captain Sturtevant, a Civil War veteran, takes up a claim on the site of the present Bellevue City Hall and Lake Bellevue.

Coal is discovered in Renton. The city will be named for Captain William Renton, who assisted in financing and operating the Renton Coal Mine.


In reaction to the Northern Pacific decision, Seattle men begin construction of the Seattle and Walla Walla Railroad.


Erasmus M. Smithers files the original plat for Renton, and plats part of his land into city lots.


Clara McCarty is the first graduate of the University of Washington.


King County Poor Farm is established on the Duwamish River to house the poor, sick, and homeless.


The Seattle and Walla Walla Railroad is complete between Newcastle's coal mines and Seattle's waterfront bunkers, hauled by the locomotive A.A. Denny.

Seattle's first hospital-Providence Hospital-is opened, operated by the Sisters of Charity.

The first telephone in Seattle connects Seattle to West Seattle.


In the city's first great fire, 20 downtown buildings burn, including Henry Yesler's mill.

Mary Grose, born to Mary E. and William Grose Jr., is probably the first African-American child born in Seattle.

The settlement of the Eastside continues, as W.H. Miller settles in what is now the Beaux Arts area of Bellevue and John Zwiefelhofer secures a 124-acre homestead patent near the present site of the Safeway Distribution Center in Bellevue.

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Seattle is a small city, extending 1.5 miles along Elliott Bay, and ¾ mile inland-from Denny Way south to Atlantic Street. By night, a few downtown blocks are lit by gaslamps.

Rutherford B. Hayes visits Seattle, the first president to travel west of the Rocky Mountains.

The filling of Seattle's tideflats has begun, and about 100 acres have been reclaimed.

Benson Northup settles at the south end of Yarrow Bay.

Two earthquakes strike Puget Sound, December 7 and 12.


Seattle's population surpasses Walla Walla.


The Seattle Chamber of Commerce is organized.

The first King County Courthouse is erected on the corner of Jefferson Street and Third Avenue in downtown Seattle.

East of Lake Washington, Patrick Downey homesteads the south slope of Clyde Hill, a site which includes the present Vuecrest; Matt and Lou Sharpe homestead in the area that would become the heart of downtown Bellevue; Albert Burrows settles in the Killarney area south of Meydenbauer Bay; and an informal post office is established in Isaac Bechtel's cabin. The pioneers name the area Bellevue, from the French meaning "beautiful view."


Daily coal shipments from Seattle reach 550 tons.

A group of local women found Seattle's chapter of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), and the women of Washington Territory receive the right to vote.

Bellevue's first public school is built by Albert Burrows near Burrows Landing. His daughter, Calanthia Burrows, is its first teacher.


Seattle's first horse-drawn streetcar debuts on rails laid along Second Avenue, from Main to Pike.

Frye's Opera House opens, bringing high culture to the city.

Seattle's Ladies Relief Society is founded, and opens an orphanage the following year.

The Seattle and Walla Walla Railroad reaches Black Diamond, and the coal mine begins production the following year.

David Denny donates five acres to Seattle as its first public park.

The Hans Miller cabin is built on the site of the present Robinswood Park. It is the oldest structure still located at its original site remaining in Bellevue.


The log canal is cut through from Lake Washington to Portage Bay. Chinese laborers, supplied by Seattle's Wa Chong Company, complete the two-year excavation of the log canal that connected Lake Union with Lake Washington.

The Chinese population numbers 3,276 in Seattle.

The last black bear to be shot within the city limits of Seattle is killed at the eastern end of Jackson Street, near the shore of Lake Washington.

Ed Clark becomes the first African American to settle on Vashon Island.


Anti-Chinese mobs and vigilantes attempt to drive hundreds of Chinese workers from Seattle and King County, resulting in riot and death.

Electric lights are demonstrated in Seattle's Pioneer Square, described by the April 13 Post-Intelligencer as "When the dynamo started, the room was made brilliant by a clear white light." The dynamo was housed in the first central electric light plant west of the Mississippi River.

The first meeting is held at the First AME (African Methodist Episcopal) Church.


Seattle's transportation network grows tremendously. Forty steamers serve the city, and four railroads carry passengers and freight. The Yesler Cable car begins service between Pioneer Square and Leschi Park, and the streetcar lines include 4 miles of horse-drawn railway and 5 miles of cable railway.

The women of Washington Territory lose the right to vote.

African American contractor Charles Harvey arrives in Seattle.

The original Highland School opens near present-day NE 24th and 142nd NE Streets in Bellevue.

The second city park, Kinnear Park, is established on fourteen acres on Queen Anne Hill donated by George Kinnear.


The City of Seattle ferry begins regular runs between downtown Seattle and West Seattle.

The Seattle, Lakeshore and Eastern Railroad reaches Issaquah.

William Grose opens the restaurant/hotel "Our House" on Yesler Way.


An electric-powered streetcar runs for the first time on Second Avenue, said to be only the fourth electric streetcar in the world. Seattle's first electric streetcar fatality occurs within two months.

In this year of Washington's statehood, the city of Seattle burns to the ground on June 6.

Robert O. Lee becomes the first African American to practice law in Washington, while William McDonald Austin is the first black student admitted to University of Washington's law school.

William Scott is the first African American to settle in Kent.

Ove Larsen homesteads the Larsen Lake area on the Eastside.

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William Grose purchases property in East Madison on 24th Avenue, establishing the beginnings of an African American community in Seattle's Central District.

African Americans in Puget Sound gather in Kent to celebrate the Pacific Northwest's first Juneteenth, marking the anniversary of the enfranchisement of people of color with the June 19, 1865 adoption of the 15th Amendment to the Constitution.


Seattle's public library is established.

Miners strike at coal mines in Franklin, Issaquah, and Newcastle. African American miners are brought to King County coal fields from Missouri to replace striking miners.

Isabel Bechtel succeeds her husband Isaac as postmistress of Bellevue. After Isabel's retirement, William Ivey became postmaster and used his own home as the post office.

The Great Northern Railway connects the Shoreline area to downtown Seattle, opening up the northern shore of Lake Washington to residential and recreational development.

The Rainier Avenue Electric Railway extends from downtown Seattle to Columbia City, signaling the beginning of development in the Rainier Valley.


The city's first Jewish congregation, Ohaveth Sholum, opens its synagogue.

Captain John Anderson operates a fleet of steamers on Lake Washington and begins the first scheduled ferry service to Bellevue with the C.C. Calkins.

On the Eastside, Mrs. Sam Belote names the town of Medina after the holy city of Arabia, and the two-room Bellevue Main Street School with bell tower is erected on the southeast corner of 100th NE and Main Street.

Renton's Central School is built on Fifth between Wells and Main. Considered by many citizens to be too large, the school was filled with 110 children during its first year.


The Great Northern Railway begins transcontinental service to Seattle.

A new county hospital is built in Georgetown, near the mouth of the Duwamish River.


A 6-week long Great Northern strike paralyzes regional rail shipping.

Mt. Zion Baptist Church is founded.

African American Horace Cayton, who had arrived in Seattle in 1889, founds the Seattle Republican.

The first Japanese immigrants arrive in Bellevue, logging and clearing the land for farming.


The University of Washington, at its present site, opens the Administration Building, known today as Denny Hall.

The Renton Cooperative Coal Company is organized. Coal miners immigrate to Renton from Wales, Italy, Austria, Scotland, and other European nations.


The Miike Maru begins regular steamship service from Japan to Seattle. A century later, Japan was Seattle's principle trading partner.

African American J. Edward Hawkins, Attorney, is admitted to practice in the Washington courts and serves as an alternate Republican delegate to the presidential convention.

The Seattle and Rainier Beach Railway (later the Seattle, Renton, & Southern Railway) reaches Renton.


The steamer Portland arrives on July 17 from Skagway, beginning the Gold Rush to the Klondike. A series of gold rushes begin that will boom Seattle, and bankroll its growth into the new century.


Seattle's Chamber of Commerce succeeds in bringing a U.S. Assay Office to the city.

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Seattleites are awed by the city's first automobile, an electric-powered vehicle.

The Colored Baptist Association of Washington forms at Newcastle.

Wilburton, the name derived from Wilbur and England logging camp, becomes a boomtown at the head of Mercer Slough.


The Renton Clay Works opens in the newly incorporated City of Renton. It merges in 1905 with industrial plants in Taylor and Van Asselt to become the Denny Renton Clay and Coal Company, the largest paving brick manufacturing plant in the world.


The Interurban opens, connecting Seattle with Tacoma by rail.


Seattleites vote $500,000 for parks, and adopt John Olmsted's elegant plan for parks and boulevards. The Olmsted firm will later design the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exhibition on the University of Washington campus, as well as the Washington Park Arboretum.


The Moran Brothers Company shipyard launches the battleship Nebraska, completing the yard's first major federal contract.

The Wilburton timber railroad trestle is built across the Wilburton gap.


The Alaska Building, Seattle's first real skyscraper, is completed.

The First Baptist Church of Bellevue is built, after organizing in 1900. The building still stands at 315 100th Avenue NE.

Pacific Car & Foundry (PACCAR) opens a plant in Renton.


Seattle's downtown Carnegie Library opens, at 1000 Fourth Avenue, to serve 22,000 borrowers in its first year.

The Mountaineers are founded in Seattle "to explore, study, preserve and enjoy the natural beauty of the outdoors." They will help to create Olympic National Park (1938), North Cascades National Park (1968) and the Alpine Lakes Wilderness (1976) in Washington.

Flooding south of Kent alters the course of the White River and creates a dry riverbed which will become Auburn.


The Pike Place Market opens, offering farm-fresh produce to Seattle shoppers.

A lone telephone line reaches Medina.


After years in homes and rented space, the first Seattle Buddhist Temple opens at 1020 Main Street.

The Village of Beaux Arts is established as an artists' colony by the Beaux Arts Society.

The Woodson Apartments, located at 1820 24th Avenue in Seattle, are built by Zacharias and Irene Woodson as the first apartment building in the city for African American tenants. The building is known today as the Cascade View Apartments.


The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition runs from June through September at the University of Washington, drawing 3.7 million visitors.

Harbor Island is completed in Elliott Bay, built with earth dredged from the Duwamish River and from south Seattle regrades. It is the largest manmade island in the United States.

Bellevue's Main Street School is enlarged and expanded to include the first two years of high school.

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Washington State women regain the right to vote as part of a landslide of progressive legislation, including the direct primary (1907), workmen's compensation (1911) and the recall, initiative and referendum (1911).

African American Clarence J. Allen is listed as a dentist in the 1910 census.

The Medina Grocery store, still in use, is built.


Voters approve creation of the publicly-owned and operated Port of Seattle.

Renton's first hospital is built by and named after Dr. Adolph Bronson.


Charlie Chaplin earns rave reviews in Seattle for his performance in "A Night in an English Music Hall," at the Empress Theatre.

Construction of the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard begins.


More than 100,000 attend Seattle's annual summer festival - the Potlatch - but the celebration ends in disaster as servicemen wreck and burn socialist bookshops and halls.

The Seattle branch of the NAACP is founded.

The Bellevue Community Clubhouse on 100th Avenue NE is built. The "thriving, prosperous suburb of Seattle situated on the east shore ... the population of the Bellevue district is about 1900 ... there are three good stores, three grammar schools, a fine high school, two churches, one blacksmith shop, one large sawmill, a post office ... plenty of pure air and an abundance of the purest water (but no saloons)."

The King County wagon/auto ferry, Leschi, begins a run between Bellevue and Leschi Park in Seattle.

Puget Power takes over the job of supplying electricity to the Eastside.

Daniel Dugdale opens a baseball stadium on Rainier Avenue South in Seattle's Mount Baker neighborhood. The Seattle Braves and the Seattle Indians play at Dugdale Stadium until it is destroyed by a fire in 1932.


Smith Tower is completed, at 42 stories, the tallest building in Seattle through 1968.

The first telephone service begins in Bellevue, and the Bellevue Improvement Club is formed to foster good roads and other community improvements.

The Renton Public Library is built with a $10,000 grant from Andrew Carnegie on land donated by Rafael Sartori.


A timber bridge is built over Meydenbauer ravine on what is now NE 1st Street. It was demolished in 1961.

Eugene Sherman starts the Dirigo Compass Factory on NE 1st just west of 100th Avenue NE in Bellevue. Compasses were shipped all over the world from this factory.


The new King County Courthouse and Municipal Building (also known as the County-City Building) opens on Third Avenue in downtown Seattle.

The American Pacific Whaling Company makes its winter home in Meydenbauer Bay, and continues to do so until after World War II.


The Lake Washington Ship Canal officially opens on July 4, linking Lake Washington to Puget Sound, causing Lake Washington to fall nine feet, and the lakeshore, Foster Island, and Mercer Island to greatly increase in size. It also uncovers Mercer Slough, eliminates the South outfall of Lake Washington through the Black River to the Duwamish, and dries up the Wetmore Slough of Columbia City.

Under the leadership of Corinne Carter, the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA opens in Seattle's Central District.


The worldwide influenza epidemic hits the area.

King County lives are lost in the "Great War" before the signing of the Armistice in the fall.

The Wilburton Mill closes due to the lowering of Lake Washington, which rendered Mercer Slough navigable for logging operations. Bellevue's school transportation system begins when the Wilburton School closes and the children are transported to Bellevue School by Andy Sharpe and his brother in a 1914 Studebaker.

African American J.A. Roston organizes Longshoreman's Union, Seattle & Colored Marine Benevolent Association of the Pacific.

African American Sam Peoples is a patrolman in the Seattle Police Department.


Seattle's General Strike-the first in North America-idles 60,000 workers from February 6 through February 9.

This year marks the peak salmon catch from Puget Sound waters.

The Sojourner Truth Home, a charitable home for elderly women and women with children, opens at 1422 23rd Avenue.

An eight-room grade school is built on 102nd NE between NE 1st and NE 4th in Bellevue. The Main Street School continues to house high school students.

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The University of Washington dedicates a new stadium on the lakeshore.


Seattle streetcars ban smoking.


KJR, Seattle's first radio station, begins broadcasting.

The Bellevue Women's Club, organized the previous year, starts the first public library in Parrish's Cafe on Main Street and 100th NE with 300 books donated by the Seattle Public Library.

Bellevue's first Strawberry Festival is held behind the Main Street School. It grew to be a three-day festival attracting thousands of people every year until 1942.

Renton's Henry Ford School opens. It is hoped-in vain-that its namesake will finance its construction.


The Husky varsity men's crew wins the national intercollegiate championship on the Hudson River, in New York.


Eight U.S. Army Air Corp pilots fly around the world from Sand Point Naval Air Station.


The Montlake Bridge opens, spanning the Cut.


Bertha Landes is elected mayor, the first woman to be so honored in a major American city.

Sacred Heart Church is built at 108th Avenue NE and Main Street in Bellevue. Organized around the turn of the century, services had previously been held at Patrick Downey's home.


"Lucky" Charles Lindbergh visits Seattle following his record-breaking trans-Atlantic flight.


At the height of Prohibition, former police officer Roy Olmstead, King of Seattle's bootleggers, is sentenced to a four-year term at McNeil Island Penitentiary.

African American Nella Carter earns a nursing degree in Public Health at the University of Washington.

Bellevue Way (then Lincoln Avenue) is paved from Main Street to NE 8th and opens as a county arterial. This causes a shift in the location of Bellevue's commercial area from Main Street to the north.


The Great Northern Railway completes the eight-mile long Cascade Tunnel, the longest rail tunnel in the United States, running from Scenic to Berne.

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In December, after 32 years of work, the massive Denny Regrade is completed.

Union "S" High School is built on 102nd Avenue NE between NE lst and NE 4th in Bellevue. It was demolished during construction of the downtown park.

Playland Amusement Park is established on Bitter Lake in North Seattle.


Hooverville is founded on Seattle's tide flats, a community of homeless, jobless men.


The Seattle Art Museum opens in Volunteer Park.

In just 28 days, the racing oval, grandstand, and jockey's quarters are built at Longacres Race Track in Renton. The gates open for the first race on August 3.


The Great Depression hits home, and Washington State unemployment crests at 40%. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt combats unemployment with the "alphabet soup" of public works programs.


The Kalakala, flagship ferry of the Black Ball Line, takes her maiden voyage July 3.

Will Rogers and Wiley Post stop at the Renton airport prior to departing for Alaska, where they were killed in a plane crash.


The Seattle Urban League incorporates, with an all-volunteer staff, to advocate for open housing and open hiring.

Seattle Negro Repertory Company of the WPA Federal Theatre Project is established.


Emil Sick, president of Rainier Breweries, opens Sick's Stadium to house his Rainiers baseball team.

Twenty-five Northwest climbers join together to found Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a cooperative to purchase climbing gear.

Ground is broken for the construction of the first floating bridge across Lake Washington.


President Franklin Delano Roosevelt approves $3 million loan to the Seattle Housing Authority for construction of Yesler Terrace.

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The Lacey V. Murrow Floating Bridge opens on July 2, linking the east and west sides of Lake Washington.


Just months after the U.S. Navy installations at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, are bombed by the Japanese, nearly 13,000 Americans of Japanese descent are evacuated from the coastal areas of Washington State to inland internment camps.

The relocation of Japanese farmers results in a shortage of agricultural workers and the cancellation of Bellevue's Strawberry Festival.

The Overlake School District is formed, consolidating the Bellevue, Medina, The Points, Highland, and Factoria schools.

Florise Spearman is the first African American hired by Boeing (as an office worker).


Warren Magnuson is first elected to the U.S. Senate, after completing four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.


On the World War II home front, Seattle industries mobilized to manufacture ships, tanks and planes for war.

Japanese Americans begin returning to their homes, not always receiving a warm welcome.


Kemper Freeman opens Bellevue Square, the first regional suburban shopping center.

The City of Renton purchases Renton Airport from the federal government for $1.

The Bellevue Chamber of Commerce is established.

The Negro League baseball debuts in Seattle, with the Seattle Steelheads vs. San Diego Tigers.


The first African American teachers, Thelma Dewitty and Marita Johnson (Harris), are hired by the Seattle Public Schools.


Chairman Albert Canwell, Washington State representative, convenes two hearings in Seattle of the Joint House-Senate Legislative Fact-Finding Committee on Un-American Activities in Washington State.


The passenger terminal at Seattle-Tacoma Airport is dedicated.

Overlake Senior High dedication ceremony officially opens the school.

The tolls are removed from the Lacey V. Murrow floating bridge, marking the beginning of the suburban population explosion.

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The last Lake Washington ferry runs between Madison Park and Kirkland.

Northgate Mall opens.

Charles Stokes becomes the first African American Washington State legislator.


Puget Sound Navigation Company-the "Black Ball Line"-is absorbed by Washington State Ferries.


Henry "Scoop" Jackson is first elected to the U.S. Senate, after twelve years in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Paul Robeson performs at Seattle's Civic Auditorium.


The City of Bellevue incorporates, and approves a comprehensive zoning and street plan. Charles Wesley Bovee is elected its first mayor, and City Hall is located in the VFW Hall, formerly Main Street School. As the decade proceeds, a number of other Eastside communities follow Bellevue's lead, incorporating as third and fourth-class towns.


King County's "Jet Age" begins with the maiden flight of the Dash-80, the prototype of a Boeing 707 passenger jetliner. It is the first of the jet-powered planes to be built at Boeing's Renton plant.


The 1950s are the Golden Age of locally-produced television in Seattle, featuring KING newscaster Charles Herring and children's TV characters Wunda Wunda, Captain Puget and J.P. Patches.


Bellevue is declared an All American City by the National Municipal League and Look Magazine.

Frederick & Nelson opens a branch store in Bellevue Square.

Puget Power moves to a new four-story headquarters in Bellevue.


Teamsters President and Seattle native Dave Beck is indicted by a federal grand jury, and eventually convicted and imprisoned for income tax evasion.


After failing at the polls, a scaled-back Metro plan is passed to clean up Lake Washington.

Madeline Wright is the first African American female member of West Seattle Women's Golf Club; Faye Kimbrough is the first African American female member of Jackson Park Women's Golf Club.

Safeway builds a distribution center in Midlakes, becoming Bellevue's first big industry.


Pan American World Airways begins Seattle-Tacoma Airport's first regularly scheduled jet service.

The first traffic light is installed at Main Street and Bellevue Way in Bellevue.

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The University of Washington Huskies trounce Wisconsin, 44-8, in Rose Bowl.


Invited by Mt. Zion Baptist Church, the Reverend Martin Luther King visits Seattle in November.

The Crossroads Shopping Center opens at 156th NE and NE 8th in Bellevue.


Between April 21 and October 21, nearly ten million visitors attend Seattle's World Fair, Century 21. Century 21 brings the world to Seattle, and Seattle to the world.

Wing Luke is the first Chinese-American elected to Seattle's City Council.


Governor Al Rosellini cuts the ribbon, opening the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, the second bridge crossing Lake Washington.

The first Seattle Urban Renewal project is completed.

Highway I-405 takes shape.


Voters defeat Seattle's Open Housing Ordinance, 2-1.

The new Bellevue City Hall is completed at Main Street and 116th Ave SE.

The Beatles pay their first visit to Seattle.


Ted Griffin purchases Namu, the world's first captive killer whale, and transports him to Seattle for display at his waterfront aquarium.

Bellevue's sewage treatment is abandoned and the new Metro pumping station activated, eliminating discharge into Lake Washington.

King County acquires its first computer.


Seattle voters elect Sam Smith, the first African-American on the City Council.

The Bellevue Library moves into a new building on Main Street next to City Hall.

Ground is broken for the Eastside's first Community College.

Bellevue's first "skyscraper," the 400 Building, is completed. It is located on 108th Avenue NE and NE 4th.

A new Renton Public Library is dedicated. It is built across the Cedar River, allegedly because the City could not find any available land.


A scaled-back version of Forward Thrust is approved by King County voters, who authorize the largest public improvement plan in U.S. history, at $333.9 million.


When the city's 50-story Seattle-First National Bank Building opens, it is the tallest building in Seattle, and locals describe it as "The Box the Space Needle Came In."

The twelve-story Business Center Building on NE 8th and 106th Ave NE in Bellevue opens.

Edwin Pratt, Executive Director of the Seattle Urban League and local civil rights leader, is murdered in front of his Shoreline home.

Walter V. Lawson is named the first African American Captain of the Seattle Police Department.

Renton's Lake Washington Beach Park opens. It is later renamed for Gene Coulon, the former Park Director.

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Thousands of demonstrators leave the University of Washington campus to "take" the Freeway on their way to the Federal Courthouse, in protest against the U.S. bombing of Cambodia.

The annexation of many housing developments and communities makes Bellevue the fourth largest city in the state, with a population of 61,000.


In March, the U.S. Senate rejects funding of the Supersonic Transport. In 1968, more than 100,000 work in local Boeing plants; by 1972, only 32,500 are left.


Voters approve the countywide Metro bus system.


Trapped by "stagflation," King County residents endure oil shortages, rising prices, and gas rationing.


U.S. District Judge George Boldt hands down the decision that Washington's Native American fisherman are entitled to 50% of harvestable salmon, by treaty rights.


Harper's Magazine rates Seattle the most livable city in the U.S.


Authorized by Forward Thrust, the Kingdome opens on March 27, and serves 73,000,000 visitors before its implosion in 2000.

The Shoreline Historical Museum is established in the former Ronald School building.


The Mariners open their season on April 7, and go on to their first year's record of 64 wins and 98 losses.

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Baptist Church is established in Renton.


The Seattle school district adopts a mandatory busing plan to racially integrate its schools.


Under Coach Lenny Wilkens, the Seattle Sonics post a 52-30 record, and win the National Basketball Association trophy.

Sick's Stadium is demolished.

The Renton Historical Museum is established in the former Renton Fire Station.

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African American Dr. Donald Phelps is named Chancellor of Seattle Community College District.


Mayor Charles Royer renames Empire Way in Martin Luther King's honor.


The Kirkland All Stars win the Little League World Series.


The first Post-Intelligencer newspapers are published on Times presses under the Joint Operating Agreement.

African American Al Lee is named Algona Chief of Police.


Hosted by Ross Shafer, Seattle classic Almost Live debuts.


The 76-story Columbia Seafirst Center opens, the tallest building west of the Mississippi, at twice the height of the Space Needle.

Claude Harris is Seattle's first African American Fire Chief.


King County, originally named for Franklin Pierce's vice president, William R.D. King, is renamed in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King.


Built in 1916 and expanded in 1931, the King County Courthouse is added to King County's historic landmarks, a program begun in 1978.


On June 23, Governor Booth Gardner and Chairman Jim Ellis cut the ribbon opening the Washington State Convention and Trade Center.


In this year of the centennial of Washington statehood, Norm Rice is elected Seattle's mayor, the first African-American to hold that office.

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The spotted owl, designated a bellwether species of a healthy ecology by the Endangered Species Act (1973), is featured on the cover of Time magazine.

The 1.3 mile Metro bus tunnel opens beneath downtown Seattle; today, it accommodates 25% of the city's rush-hour commuter bus traffic.


Local grunge band Nirvana releases Nevermind, which sells more than 10 million copies.


Frederick & Nelson, Seattle's grand department store, closes its doors after 102 years in business.


Mariner Ken Griffey, Jr. earns the American League home-run crown with 40, breaking Babe Ruth's record, and is the leading vote-getter for the All-Star Game.


Redmond-based Microsoft debuts Windows 95, beginning its domination of the personal computing industry.

John Stanford is the first African American Seattle Schools superintendent.

Seattle Public Schools' mandatory busing ends.

The City of Shoreline incorporates.


Sound Transit adopts a 10-year regional transit plan, including a mix of transportation improvements: high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lane access improvements, Express bus routes and commuter rail.


The Boeing Company merges with its greatest competitor, McDonnell-Douglas.


The U.S. Department of Justice and 20 state attorneys general sue Microsoft for violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

Sam Smith Park in Seattle's Mount Baker neighborhood is named after first African American Seattle City Council member, who died in 1995.


In November, protestors and police clash in the streets of Seattle as the World Trade Organization meets.

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On March 26, the Kingdome is demolished.

In this year's census, metropolitan Seattle and King County is home to a population of 1,700,000 that is 76% white, 11% Asian, 6% Latino, 5% black and 1% Native American.

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