History

The History of Seattle

Timeline


19th Century

  • 1830's
          • First white forays in the area.

The Winter Wars

  • 1856
          • Issac Stevens ruins any chance of a white-native truce when he says "Nothing but death is mete punishment for their perfidy."
          • The Cascades Massacre. Yakama tribesmen repel white settlers.
          • Battle of Seattle takes place on January 26th lead by Nisqually Chief Leschi and Chief Owhi. Chief Seattle does not take part. The city was defended by Commodore Guert Gansevoort. Seattle residents fire muskets at attacking natives, upset over attempts to relocate them. The sloop Decatur fires its cannon, routing them.
          • Washington Territory governor Isaac Stevens issues a bounty on Native scalps and declares Martial Law. The largest claim of scalps came from Snoqualmie Chief Patkanim.
          • Doc Maynard passes the bar and becomes the city's only lawyer.
          • William Nathaniel Bell, an influential member of the city, moves to Portland.
  • 1857
          • Chief Leschi and his brother, Quiemuth, turns themselves in to Stevens. Quiemuth is murdered soon after.
  • 1858
          • Chief Leschi is hung (for the crime of having killed Stevens' soldiers in defensive open combat) by Issac Stevens. Many rallied against his actions, but he was never removed from office, his critics ignored.
          • Battle of Four Lakes near Spokane.
          • Issac Stevens was elected as a Washington Senator.
  • 1860
          • Military Road from Fort Vancouver to Seattle is completed, the first road connecting Seattle to other Western Washington cities.
          • Chinese railworkers arrive in the area.
  • 1862
          • Smallpox breaks out among the natives killing roughly half the population.
          • Wealthy land owner Arthur Denny is elected as Territorial Representative.
          • Ezra Meeker settled in modern-day Puyallup and began growing hops, slowly gaining a fortune.
  • 1863
          • The Gazette, Seattle's first newspaper, is published. It evolves into the Post-Intelligencer.
  • 1865
          • Seattle is incorporated as a town.
  • 1866
          • Chief Seattle dies.
  • 1867
          • Civil unrest breaks out and the town charter is revoked in response to the riots.
  • 1869
          • The City of Seattle is reincorporated and founded.
  • 1870 - Seattle's population is 1,107
  • 1873
          • Tacoma becomes the local hub for Northern Pacific Railway. Seattle attempts numerous times to gain a functioning railway, but never gets very far.
          • Doc Maynard dies.
          • Nez Perce Chief Joseph evades U.S. soldiers in a chase all over the northwest.
  • 1875
          • Bailey Gatzert becomes mayor of Seattle for one year.
          • Steamship service to San Francisco begins.
  • 1878
  • 1880 - Seattle's population is 3,533
  • 1882
          • Lynch mobs grow out of control.
          • Unionized labor began to appear.
  • 1884
          • Seattle finally gains their own railway in the form of the Great Northern Railway.
          • Women rise to end Women's Suffrage in the city.
          • Cable cars come into service.
  • 1885
          • Unemployment raises anti-Chinese sentiments and on September 7th, several Chinese are massacred near Issaquah.
          • A mob burned down Chinatown on October 24th
          • A mob in Tacoma expelled most Chinese in the town via trains.
  • 1886
          • An anti-Chinese mob herds Chinese residents to the docks to load them onto Queen of the Pacific. However, Captain Jack Alexander refuses to allow them on the boat. A riot ensues and resulted in one dead and four others wounded among the anti-Chinese faction, and martial law was imposed.
  • 1888
          • The exclusive Club Rainier is founded.
          • David Denny looses his fortune and the lives of his children.
  • 1889
          • Great Seattle Fire occurred on June, 6th. 29 blocks were left in smoldering ruins.
          • Business and political leaders form the Washington National Building, Loan and Investment Association to help rebuild the city. It is the precursor to Washington Mutual.
          • Alki collapses as a settlement.
  • 1890 - Seattle's population is 42,837
          • The Frederick & Nelson store opens. It becomes the city's premier department store for 101 years, until closing in 1992.
          • The first transcontinental train arrives in Seattle.
  • 1892
          • Henry Yesler, the wealthiest man in Seattle, dies.
          • Seattle's first synagogue, Ohaveth Shalom, opens.
  • 1893
          • The gold rush hits and Seattle gains a boom in population.
  • 1899
          • A totem pole is stolen from the alaskan Tlingit village of Gaash on Cape Fox and displayed in Pioneer Square. The totem pole was burned and the City of Seattle was forced to replace it and pay Gaash twice its value.
          • Arthur Denny dies.
  • 1900 - Seattle's population is 80,671

20th Century

  • 1903
          • David Denny dies.
  • 1904
          • Club Rainier's clubhouse is built to completion.
          • Chief Joseph dies.
  • 1905
          • Several city parks begin construction.
          • William Pigott incorporates Seattle Car Manufacturing, which in 1972 becomes PACCAR, now one of the world's largest manufacturers of custom-made heavy-duty trucks.
  • 1906
          • Forestry industry booms as timber is needed to rebuild San Francisco.
          • The King Street Station opens to serve the Great Northern and Northern Pacific railroads.
  • 1910 - Seattle's population is 237,194
          • The Bogue Plan, an attempt to overhaul the city's design, never becomes implemented.
          • Washington state grants women the right to vote. In 1854, a proposal by Arthur Denny to enfranchise women had failed by one vote in the territorial legislature. Seattle women won the right to vote in 1883, but that was ruled unconstitutional by the Territorial Court in 1887.
  • 1913
          • A confrontation between sailors and an Industrial Workers of the World speaker during Seattle's Potlatch Days festival leads to two days of rioting and fistfights.
  • 1916
          • Longshoremen strike in major ports along the West Coast, including Seattle. The strike is marred by violence and property destruction and is not settled until October.
  • 1919
          • A flu epidemic kills 1,600.
          • The City goes into a general strike.
  • 1926
          • Seattle gains a highway system.
          • Bertha Landes is elected mayor, first woman mayor in any major U.S. city.
  • 1927
          • Henry Art Gallery is founded.
          • Boeing secures the Chicago-San Francisco air-mail contract and forms United Air Lines.
  • 1928
          • Thomas Edison flips a switch in West Orange, N.J., and turns on Seattle's new electric street-lighting system.
          • Ezra Meeker dies.
          • Boeing Field opens.
  • 1940 - Seattle's population is 368,302
          • Seattle has another massive population increase with the need for Boeing airplanes. The Boeing Company also booms.
  • 1942
          • Japanese Americans are ordered to evacuate Seattle. More than 12,000 U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry from King County were held in internment camps during World War II; 7,390 of which were held in Puyallup's "Camp Harmony".
  • 1944
          • African-American soldiers riot at Fort Lawton and lynch an Italian prisoner of war. Twenty-three men are convicted and 13 acquitted in the riot, attributed to racial tension based on unfair treatment of black soldiers.
  • 1945
          • Boeing lost their contract with the military and lays off 70,000 people.
  • 1947
          • Boeing shifts their attention from warplanes to jet planes and experiences a major comeback.
  • 1949
          • A 7.1-magnitude earthquake kills seven in Seattle. The quake only lasted 20 seconds, but repairs went on for years.
          • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport opens.
  • 1951
          • A Boeing B-50D-110-BO Superfortress bomber took off from Boeing Field and crashed into Lester Apartments (the world's largest brothel) on Beacon Hill. The collision and resulting conflagration killing several people. The building was destroyed.
  • 1962
          • Space Needle is built.
          • Seattle World's Fair. Prince Klein declares Seattle an "Open City" where any kindred may come as a valued guest. Indeed many kindred do arrive including Bathory and James Hyacinth
          • A Columbus Day windstorm, the most savage in West Coast history, damages 53,000 homes. Seven people are killed in Washington.
  • 1965
          • An earthquake, which registered between 6.5 and 7 on the Richter scale, kills eight people from either falling debris or heart attacks.
  • 1968
          • Voters approve $40 million of "Forward Thrust" bonds to build the Kingdome, the Aquarium, youth centers and highways. But voters reject a $385 million mass-transit proposal.
  • 1969
          • Edwin Pratt, 38, one of Seattle's most respected black leaders, is fatally shot at his Richmond Highlands home. The case has not been solved.
          • Police Chief Frank Ramon resigns amid a gambling and corruption scandal.
  • 1970 - Seattle's population is 530,831
          • Congress kills the SST project, and the "Boeing Bust" reaches its peak. Boeing employment in the area drops below 38,000 from 95,000 in 1968. Seattle enters a depression.
          • Jimi Hendrix dies.
          • About 100 Indian activists attempt to occupy the abandoned Fort Lawton. They "claimed" Fort Lawton under a provision in an 1865 treaty promising reversion of surplus military lands to the original owners. As a result of the protests, the Daybreak Star Center is formed in what becomes Discovery Park.
  • 1971
          • Pike Place Market is rebuilt to great success.
          • Starbucks is founded.
          • A grand jury issues 28 indictments in a police bribery scandal. Eventually, there were 54 indictments but only two convictions.
          • A man, known only by the pseudonym Dan or D.B. Cooper, hijacks a Northwest Airlines flight from Portland to Seattle. After collecting a $200,000 ransom and four parachutes in Seattle, he orders the pilots to fly to Mexico. As the plane flies over Southwest Washington, he jumps out. About $5,800 of the money is found years later, but neither Cooper nor the rest of the money has been found.
  • 1976
          • Microsoft releases its first product.
          • The Kingdome opens.
  • 1982
          • The body of Wendy Lee Coffield, the Green River killer's first victim, is found. Forty-nine homicides have been attributed to this unknown serial killer.
  • 1983
          • Three Hong Kong immigrants enter the Wah Mee Club, a gambling parlor in Seattle's Chinatown International District, and kill 13 people, the worst mass murder in state history. The three men were convicted of murder.
  • 1985
          • The 76-story Columbia Center (Bank of America Tower) is completed. It becomes the city's tallest building. The towering structure is the pride of developer Martin Selig, who is credited with remaking Seattle's skyline.
  • 1991
          • Seattle Art Museum moves to a new building downtown. The Volunteer Park building becomes the Seattle Asian Art Museum.
  • 1995
          • Four Seattle firefighters die in the Pang warehouse fire. Martin Pang, son of the owners, eventually pleads guilty to manslaughter and is sentenced to 35 years in prison.
  • 1998
          • A Metro bus plunges 50 feet off the Aurora Bridge when passenger Silas Cool fatally shoots Metro driver Mark McLaughlin and then fatally shoots himself. One other passenger is killed and 33 are injured.
  • 1999
          • N30; The World Trade Organization meeting deteriorates into rioting, police confrontations, the closing of downtown and a curfew. Nearly 600 people are arrested, but most of the charges are eventually dropped.
  • 2000 - Seattle's population is 563,374
          • The Kingdome is imploded to make way for the new football stadium.

21st Century

  • 2001
          • Mardi Gras celebrations in Pioneer Square deteriorate into rioting.
          • A magnitude-6.8 earthquake rattles the Puget Sound area, causing more than $1 billion in damage.
          • Boeing moves its corporate headquarters to Chicago.
  • 2004
          • Nisqually Chief Leschi (d 1858) is posthumously exonerated of all crimes.
  • 2005
          • Boeing has ordered CEO Harry Stonecipher to step down because of an improper relationship with a female executive
  • 2010
          • Winter Olympics held during February in Vancouver.
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