history

NWPR Books
10:20 am
Tue July 22, 2014

London Through The Eyes Of Dickens In 'The Victorian City'

In September 1777, Samuel Johnson declared to his friend James Boswell, "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life."

Johnson actually was referring to his hectic social calendar, but he did have a point. The city he was discussing was on course to become the largest metropolis the world had ever seen. In 1800, London was home to 1 million residents. By 1911 that number had grown to a staggering 7 million: a population far greater than Paris, Berlin, St. Petersburg and Moscow combined at that time.

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NWPR Books
2:04 am
Sun July 20, 2014

An Elegant, Thoughtful Exploration Of Life In 'Two Italies'

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 8:51 am

I remember taking an intermediate Italian class in college, and to gauge our linguistic level of proficiency, the professor assigned us a short essay to write. Using the Italian I had picked up from my grandparents, I proudly wrote about my familial ancestry in Calabria. The essay came back with every other word circled in red and labeled "dialetto."

"In this class," the professor said as he picked up the paper from my desk, "we will learn the proper Italian language of Dante." At that moment, I felt at once robbed of my Italian heritage, and ashamed of my Calabrian ancestry.

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Tacoma Pinball Show
9:49 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Pinball In America - From A New York Ban To Northwest Fans

A Pac-Man arcade cabinet, made by Midway in 1980.
Credit Max Bartlett

When you first walk in to the annual Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show in Tacoma, you’re greeted by a wall of sound. It’s the loud rocket-engine hum of hundreds of people, pinball machines and arcade cabinets.

Get up close and you’ll pick up some familiar sounds – Ken’s cries of “Shoryuken!” in Street Fighter, Shao Khan’s laughter in Mortal Kombat, Mario’s famous jump and even the “wakka wakka wakka” of Pac-Man devouring pellets. And of course the sounds of flippers flipping, spinners spinning, and silver balls hitting bells.

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Washington Holocaust Museum
7:36 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Washington State's First Holocaust Museum To Be Unveiled In Downtown Seattle

The nation’s newest Holocaust museum is about to be unveiled in downtown Seattle. The Holocaust Center for Humanity will host artifacts and testimony from local survivors, and provide resources for students and teachers. Executive Director Dee Simon says it will also draw connections between the Holocaust and other dark chapters of history a little closer to home.

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Native American History
7:31 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Gathering The Stories Of Northwest People "Left Out" Of History

Author LLyn De Danaan at home in Mason County, Washington.
Credit Mary Randlett

It started with the discovery of long-forgotten gravestones in a thicket of bramble and alder. That set one author on the faint trail of a feisty Native American woman and oyster farmer who lived in 19th century western Washington. The biographer is using the resulting book to inspire other Northwesterners - particularly tribal members. She wants to bring out the stories of people who, in her words, have been "left out of our histories." Correspondent Tom Banse reports from Oyster Bay in Mason County, Washington.

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Washington State Archives Flood
6:01 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Flood At Washington State Archives; County Birth and Death Records Wet

Blue tarps protect historic records from flood waters dripping down from above at the Washington State Archives in Olympia.
Credit Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Cleanup efforts are underway at the Washington State Archives in Olympia after a newly installed kitchen sink line caused a flood overnight. 

Among the historic records that got wet: marriage and birth records from the late 1800s. But the damage could have been much worse. 

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Oregon Trail Damaged
6:21 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Treasure Hunters Destroy Idaho’s Historic Oregon Trail Ruts

The Oregon Trail passed through Idaho for hundreds of miles a century and a half ago. In some places you can still see the ruts from the wagons that brought people west. Now vandals have damaged a section of the trail in Idaho.

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Historical Preservation
8:14 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Senator Murray Still Pressing For Historic Preservation Of Hanford Sites

Exterior view of the B Reactor in Hanford, Washington.
Credit notpsion

Senator Patty Murray is pressing legislation in the U.S. Senate that would make some historic sites at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeast Washington part of the national parks system. The Democrat toured the historic site of Hanford High School Thursday. The building was part of the town that was forcibly vacated to make way for the secretive Manhattan Project during World War II. Now, the remains of the building sit amid the brush near the Columbia River. Murray says she wants these sites preserved and available for public visits along with the more famous “B” Reactor.

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NW Historic Site
7:33 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Historic Site, Rock Art Cave Delay Transmission Line

Four human-like figures were painted here hundreds, if not thousands of years ago. BPA says it’s committed to preserving culturally sensitive spots and agreed to move the power tower 20 feet away from its original spot when the Yakama Nation brought up concerns over drilling near the cave.
Credit Mike Taylor / CultureWatch Northwest

Northwest history is colliding with the need to upgrade the region’s electric transmission grid. It’s happening on a windblown patch of riverfront property at the east end of the Columbia River Gorge.

The Bonneville Power Administration is trying to build a new transmission line across that land. But conflicts over historical preservation have increased the cost of the project to $185 million and stalled progress for more than a year. Colin Fogarty begins our story in Wishram, Washington.

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Museum Of Clean
6:11 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Idaho's 'Museum Of Clean' Built As Monument To Way Of Life

Don Aslett, founder of the Museum of Clean in Pocatello, Idaho.
Jessica Robinson

There's a museum tucked away in a corner of the Northwest dedicated solely to the idea of “clean.” In fact, it's called the Museum of Clean, housed in an old brick warehouse in Pocatello, Idaho. Our correspondent Jessica Robinson discovered it's a monument to one man's lifelong campaign to improve the world – one scrub brush at a time.

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