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29 January 1941
General Metaxas, Greek Premier, dies and is replaced by Koryzis
South Africa troops invade Italian Somaliland
29 January 1941 - History
IRREGULAR RECORDS OF THE EARLY ’FORTIES
Published 1991 by Fordham University Press, 312 pp.
With this volume, the BSI Archival History series shifted from scrapbook to historical narrative, though the archival aspect remained intact with the inclusion of much contemporary correspondence and documents.
INTRODUCTION: SONS OF THE BAKER STREET BOYS
1. 1941: “ENTERTAINMENT AND FANTASY”
Enter Rex Stout. — The annual dinner. — The “Watson Was a Woman” outrage. — Morley leaves the Saturday Review of Literature. — Deplorable situations of Vincent Starrett and Frederic Dorr Steele. — 221B
en Espanol? — Boston doings of The Speckled Band. — “Baker Street Bibliography.” — Howard Haycraft interprets Sherlockiana to the public. — On to 1942.
Splendid past, threadbare present. — Boissons . — Parlor F
and Parlor G. — An Age Passes when the Murray Hill closes. —
“Murder at the Murray Hill.”
3. BAKER STREET INDUSTRIALIST by Peter B. Spivak
Edgar Smith’s birth, education and war service. — His General Motors career. — Corporate life between the wars. — Technology changing American life. — The business day and Irregular time. —
Smith the internationalist and good comrade.
4. 1942: “A WAR — A BEASTLY WAR!”
The annual dinner: “The Road to Baker Street.” — Death of Dr. Gray Chandler Briggs. — Smith’s Pamphlet House resumes. — Vincent Starrett’s sonnet “221B.” — Collecting Sherlock Holmes in the ‘Forties. — Miss Winspear and Miss Mouillerat. — The Sherlock Holmes Coat
of Arms controversy. — Irregulars in uniform. — FDR joins the BSI. — “The Man Who Was Wanted” is discovered. — A new Irregular Reader
is conceived. — Death of James Keddie, Sr. — On to 1943.
5. THE HOUNDS OF CHICAGO by John Nieminski
Vincent Starrett, Charles Collins, and the Chicago Tribune . — Birth of
a scion society. — Search for a proper name. — Early members and meetings. — A name at last. — Hounds beget Hugo’s Companions .
6. THE PAMPHLET HOUSE by Glen Miranker
Non-Sherlockian origins. — Appointment in Baker Street. — Early ‘Forties publications from Edgar Smith’s pen. — Anthologizing other Irregulars. — Sherlock Holmes bibliography. — Recording Harvey Officer’s Baker Street Suite. — The Thorneycroft Press. — Late ‘Forties and Early ‘Fifties titles. — A very non-profit enterprise.
7.1943: “MAY THE DAY BE SPEEDED!”
The annual dinner. — The first The Woman. — “The Man Who Was
Wanted,” still wanting. — The Murray Hill comes under threat. — The Trilogy Books in preparation. — Profile by Gaslight takes shape. — The
credo of the BSI. — Irregular music and song. — The Limited Editions Club. — Sale of Vincent Starrett’s collection. — Closer to the madding crowd. — Debut of James Montgomery. —
Last words of Frederic Dorr Steele.
8. THE SCRIBNER’S CATALOGUE
Vincent Starrett’s “domestic crisis.” — David Randall purchases
his collection. — Unsuccesssful search for an institutional buyer. — Scribner’s sale catalogue, with tongue in cheek. — Some offerings
and prices. — Starrett begins a new collection: philanthropic impulse
9.1944 TO THE EVE OF THE TRILOGY DINNER
The Murray Hill still stands, for the present. — The annual dinner.
— The Sherlock Holmes Prize Competition. — Imminent publication
[The actual first The Woman: Edith Meiser .]
“Sons of the Baker Street Boys”
The Baker Street Irregulars was founded in 1934 by Christopher Morley, and remained throughout the ‘Thirties a matter of his whimsicality, like its forebears, the Three Hours for Lunch Club and Grillparzer Sittenpolizei Verein. Of course the times then (Morley later remarked) were ripe for such a sodality. Sherlock Holmes was in the air in the early ‘Thirties — in print, on stage, screen and radio, and celebrated in books which treated him seriously, albeit in perfectly charming ways, like Vincent Starrett’s Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. The idea of the Baker Street Irregulars, in fact the very name, was already in Starrett’s mind in the autumn of 1933. Had Morley not founded the BSI at the very outset of 1934, a different BSI might have arisen, with its center of gravity in the Middle West instead — led by Starrett in Chicago, Gray Chandler Briggs in St. Louis, and Logan Clendening in Kansas City, and looking to New York not for Morley (whose Sherlockian fervor prior to ’34 was only just perceptible, in the Saturday Review of Literature ), but rather to Starrett’s talented friends, Frederic Dorr Steele and Alexander Woollcott. Morley’s beating Starrett unknowingly to the punch was something of an accident — though Morley’s BSI did come equipped with a ready set of Sherlockian members and customs.
And by the late ‘Thirties, the flame of Morley’s BSI had burnt very low. After 1936, no more annual dinners were called until Edgar W. Smith came along in 1938, and then only after Smith repeatedly brought up the subject of organized sodality for a year and a half more. At last the BSI did meet again, as we saw in the last volume of his archival history series, with the publication of Vincent Starrett’s anthology of Irregular writings, 221B: Studies in Sherlock Holmes , for excuse.
Thus dawned the BSI’s Murray Hill era, on January 30, 1940, lasting until 1948. This time it was Edgar Smith who sent out the invitations, in his new capa-city as the BSI’s “Buttons.” The office was extra-constitutional, but once Smith had the bit between his teeth, he amiably, indeed endearingly, but firmly, kept it there. Doubtless he had no intention of letting the BSI slip back into suspended animation again, and he had the secretarial resources of General Motors’ New York office to help him keep the thing going — fortunately for the BSI, since World War II made the early ‘Forties unusually busy years for Smith. Even Christopher Morley, whose instinct was always to avoid over-organization of his whimsical clubs, was won over:
The happiest achievement of the BSI was when it attracted the attention of our devoted Edgar Smith [who] wrote in a vein of decorous modesty asking if he could be put on the mailing list and offered to undergo any sort of inquest of suitability. It was plain from the first that here was THE Man . . . most of us were content to go on without any Stated Meetings . . . but Edgar Smith’s affectionate zeal, not less than his Sherlockian scholarship, his gusto in pamphleteering, his delight in keeping orderly records, and his access to mimeographic and parchment-engrossing and secretarial resources, all these were irresistible. I don’t suppose that any society of Amateur Mendicants had ever had a more agreeable or competent fugleman.
The BSI took on new energy under Edgar Smith’s tactful but effective steer-ing. Smith called the annual dinners, arranged the programs, negotiated with the waiters, wrote and mailed the invitations, kept and sent out the minutes, dupli-cated other Irregulars’ papers for distribution, maintained the membership list, served as the BSI’s principal point of contact, faithfully attended the Five Or-ange Pips’ and Speckled Bands’ annual dinners, and composed a long series of irregular memoranda to the BSI, to keep the Memory green between Januaries, and the Irregulars au courant about the eventful Sherlockian scene. Old rituals were maintained in the BSI’s new setting new ones were created and added to the body of tradition. And in the meantime, Smith continued to research, write, and publish on his own the series of important Sherlockian works which he began with Appointment in Baker Street in 1938. To call Smith the best and wisest sparking-plug the BSI has ever known is more than just an automotive pun. And it is to Christopher Morley’s lasting credit that no one recognized it more than he, along with his worshipful cronies from the Grillparzer days who had been the original Baker Street Irregulars.
The early ‘Forties were unforgettable years for the BSI. Rex Stout scandalized the Irregulars by claiming that “Watson Was a Woman.” Vincent Starrett charmed them instead, by striking the perfect note with his sonnet “221B,” born of the exigencies of war but timeless in its sentiments. Franklin D. Roosevelt honored the Irregulars by accepting the honorary membership they offered him. The Conan Doyle Estate incensed them by withholding an unpublished Sherlock Holmes story that had been discovered. The publishing industry orchestrated the simultaneous publication of three major Sherlockian works by Irregulars. Amer-ica’s most famous stripteaser titillated the BSI by becoming its first avatar of Irene Adler. And Irregulars discovered a new sense of loss when several of their comrades fell from the ranks. The BSI continued to grow, though, and for the first time, the dinner’s size became a point of concern.
This Irregular hubbub was taking place in a milieu very different from 1934’s. The BSI had been founded in an atmosphere of speakeasies, peace, and Depression. When it was revived in 1940, the Depression was finally over, but 1934’s worst fears about the world overseas had materialized, and weighed heavily on American minds. America was not yet at war as 1941 began, but most of Europe was, and Japan seemed poised to overrun Asia and the Pacific. The New York World’s Fair, saluting a mockingly inappropriate future of peace and progress, was over, and being dismantled. Instead, America was beginning to rearm, and an intense debate over neutrality versus intervention in the world’s quarrels raged throughout the land.
In January 1941, Franklin Roosevelt was inaugurated for a third term as President. During a Fireside Chat on December 29, 1940, he had called upon America to transform itself into the “Arsenal of Democracy.” Now he stepped up his campaign to woo public opinion away from neutrality. Gradually Americans realized that the threat to democracy would not pass the New World quietly by. Even though it was a time of labor unrest, production of military aircraft increased threefold from mid-1940 to -1941, and by the end of ’41 a new cargo ship was being launched every day. Automobile production was cut 20% as General Motor and other companies started producing large numbers of military vehicles. To pay for it all, the President signed a record tax bill in September. America’s court calendar was thick with cases of illegal communist and fascist activity and espionage. In March, Lend-Lease for Britain was passed despite bitter opposition from isolationists and German and Soviet sympa-thizers. In November, after a Nazi U-boat torpedoed an American destroyer on the high seas, killing most of its crew, a Joint Resolution of Congress repealed significant portions of the Neutrality Act of 1939. But by then the issue was nearly academic. On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked the American fleet at Pearl Harbor, and plunged America into war.
Given all this, though, there was a remarkable atmosphere of normalcy in America during 1941. FDR treaded carefully for fear of outstripping public opinion. Many Americans listened to Edward R. Murrow’s broadcasts from wartorn London, but the largest radio audience continued to belong to Jack Benny. Fiorello LaGuardia was still mayor of New York, first-class postage was three cents, and Cokes just a nickel. Trainfare from Chicago to Miami Beach was just $23.35. Ted Williams and Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio thrilled fans in the best baseball season in years. 90,000,000 Americans went to the movies every week, and the Oscar for 1941’s Best Picture went to the elegiac How Green Was My Valley . Bing Crosby, Kate Smith, and Guy Lombardo’s band topped the musical charts in 1941. The publishing event of the year was Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls. The most popular whisky in America was Cutty Sark, and there was plenty available, even though Britain was at war.
And even though public opinion was beginning to swing behind the Presi-dent, on August 7th, just four months before Pearl Harbor — the very day that seemingly invincible German tanks planted the swastika on the shores of the Black Sea — General George C. Marshall’s brand-new and barely trained Army survived by a single vote in the House of Representatives.
America’s complacency vanished during the two years that followed. America had begun to rearm in 1940, but that was nothing compared to the mobilization which got underway in 1942. Before long, taxes were raised again, food and gasoline rationing was imposed, industry shifted from peacetime to round-the-clock military production, women went to work in unprecedented numbers, over 16,000,000 Americans went into the Service, and the armed forces of the United States began to carry the war across the Atlantic and Pacific to the enemy. Peacetime plans were set aside for the duration. The first commercial television broadcasting license had been granted in 1941, for example but by 1942, television was being used to train air raid wardens instead — 150,000 of them by 1943.
America’s mood also changed perceptibly. One barometer was the Hollywood genre of Screwball Comedy. Born brilliantly in 1934 with Twentieth Century , it seemed distastefully shallow by 1943, because of the war. In January 1941, The Philadelphia Story had been released to adoring audiences without conveying the slightest hint of the storms gathering on America’s horizon. Screwball Comedy continued on its merry way through 1941, in hilarities like Love Crazy with William Powell and Myrna Loy. But then came Pearl Harbor, and Screwball Comedy began to vanish from the theaters. By the end of the war, it was as dead as Hitler’s mustache. Meanwhile, a new strain of movie had begun to portray an emphatically gloomy view of the world in 1941: Orson Welles brooded on the corruption of ideals in Citizen Kane , Humphrey Bogart created the anti-hero in The Maltese Falcon , and even Frank Capra’s view of the common man grew wary, in Meet John Doe.
If Dashiell Hammett had created Sam Spade, he had also created Nick and Nora Charles. But Hammett’s best work was behind him when he enlisted in the Army in 1942, at the age of 47. His literary heir was Raymond Chandler, whose first novel, The Big Sleep , had appeared in 1939. While his Philip Marlowe was never a sadistic Mike Hammer, the morose Chandler was altogether incapable of producing anything as debonair as Hammett’s The Thin Man . Instead, the early ’Forties became a time when the unrelievedly dark visions of writers like Cornell Woolrich began to find a market. The refined, cerebral Philo Vance gave way to tough private eyes like Mike Shayne. Ellery Queen dropped the pince-nez and the effete mannerisms of his early novels, and a new, sober, melancholy Ellery emerged in Calamity Town in 1942. Rex Stout all but gave up Nero Wolfe as he threw himself into war work for the duration.
And yet — many Americans would look back longingly at these years after the war was over. If times were bad, the country was overwhelmingly united now behind the President’s policy of making war against the Axis until Germany and Japan surrendered unconditionally. The sacrifices which that required were accepted in common. Early defeats and setbacks only led to renewed efforts and determination. Acts of heroism prompted tears and pride in equal measure. Even in the worst days of 1942, the American people never doubted the outcome of the war: America would win, and emerge bloodied but victorious into a better world. And if Americans were no longer “In the Mood” they’d been in back in carefree 1939, Glenn Miller’s “American Patrol” in 1942 was no less jaunty, for all the world’s woes.
The war permeated the BSI’s world as well. During 1941, Britain’s fate, and the prospect of America entering the war were constantly on the minds of Irregulars. After Pearl Harbor, some donned uniforms and before long were in action far away. Others immersed themselves in home-front work, producing the weapons and supplies that American fighting men and their Allies needed. No one’s life was unaffected. Even Sherlock Holmes was mobilized: the Victorian milieu reproduced so well in Basil Rathbone’s Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in 1939 was replaced in 1942 by the first of several modernized Holmes movies pitting the great detective against the Nazis. Baker Street Irregulars may have winced but they did not complain. Instead, they added their own voices to the cause of keeping Holmes’s London free of Nazi jackboots, in Harvey Officer’s stirring anthem of the period, “The Road to Baker Street.”
It is a curious coincidence that this volume was compiled during the autumn and winter of 1990-91, as several hundred thousand American troops deployed and went to war in the Persian Gulf. It was a strange but oddly satisfying feeling to spend days at the Pentagon engaged in the work of that war, and evenings and weekends reliving the eerily similar thoughts and feelings of wartime Baker Street Irregulars in the early ‘Forties.
Our understanding of the BSI’s history in the ‘Thirties was largely limited to the incomplete memories which survive in old letters and newspaper and maga-zine reporting. Beginning in 1940, Edgar Smith kept minutes of the BSI din-ners, through 1960, and supplemented them with his periodic memoranda to the BSI, until the creation of The Baker Street Journal in 1946 rendered them unnecessary. Those Irregular Records are supplemented here by contemporary correspondence among Irregulars.
While it is impossible to say how much past Irregular correspondence has been lost over the years, we are fortunate indeed that so much has survived. And in our electronic age, the historian cannot help but be struck by a remarkable difference between ourselves and our Irregular forebears. Except for an occasional three-hour lunch together, the vast majority of BSI business was transacted between Christopher Morley and Edgar Smith by letter , not by telephone, even though Smith was writing from his office at 57th and Broadway, and Morley from his barely ten blocks away at 47th and Sixth. Did they think about leaving their Irregular descendants a permanent record? I doubt it but we should be extremely grateful that they did.
When I know where a letter was written, I have provided that information. Often that is not the case with Edgar Smith’s letters, because many survive only as carbon copies lacking return addresses. Smith dictated most of his Irregular correspondence to his General Motors secretary in New York City. Occa-sionally he wrote from his summer cottage “Thorneycroft” in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, but I have never seen a letter with his Maplewood, New Jersey, home as the return address.
This volume could not exist without the generous assistance of others. I am grateful to Peter B. Spivak and Glen Miranker for contributing original research and essays to this volume, and additionally to Glen for digging out of his collec-tion a great deal of the correspondence which appears in it. Other collectors who dipped deep into their holdings were Peter E. Blau, Daniel Posnansky, Steven Rothman, and John Bennett Shaw. Robert G. Harris, Edwin V. King, Jr., and Dirk Struik were kind enough to dip into their memories of the era. The late John Nieminski’s account of the early years of The Hounds of the Baskerville (sic) is taken from the fortieth-anniversary history of that scion society which he published privately in 1983.
In Irregular Memories of the ‘Thirties last year, I lamented that it had not been possible for me to examine Vincent Starrett’s papers at the University of Minnesota Library. For this volume, and ones to come, not only Starrett’s papers there, but Frederic Dorr Steele’s and Howard Haycraft’s as well, were thoroughly combed by Allen Mackler, Andrew Malec, and Bruce Southworth. I am grateful to them, and to Austin McLean at the University of Minnesota Library. I am also indebted to my wife and many others for help of different kinds: Ray Betzner, Jr., James Duval, Joseph Eckrich, George Fletcher, Mickey Fromkin, Andrew Fusco, Robert S. Gellerstedt, Jr., Paul Gitlin, William D. Jenkins, Robert S. Katz, John McAleer, Robert Mangler, Jerry Margolin, C. Paul Martin, Bruce Mont-gomery, Bjarne Nielsen, W. T. Rabe, Susan Rice, Theodore G. Schulz, Charles Shields, Philip A. Shreffler, Robert G. Steele, Thomas L. Stix, Jr., Wayne B. Swift, Michael F. Whelan, and the staff of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, New York, whose permission to reprint the Irregular correspondence of the late President is gratefully acknowledged. And as before, I would have shrunk from undertaking this task were it not considerably lightened by Ronald De Waal’s Bibliographies.
Finally, I tender my apologies to anyone whose help I have forgotten to ac-knowledge.
Ch. 7, 1943: “May the Day Be Speeded!”
[from Edgar W. Smith’s minutes for the BSI annual dinner held at the Murray Hill Hotel on January 8, 1943—]
Upon conclusion of the unrecorded preliminaries in Parlor F, the Gasogene-cum-Tantalus called the meeting to order in Parlor G at 7:30 p.m. . . . .
Notes on the 1943 BSI dinner
The “unrecorded preliminaries” which took place in Parlor F of the Murray Hill Hotel prior to the dinner are worth some attention, for this brief and colorless expression masked a colorful event which set a custom and created an institution still honored by the Baker Street Irregulars today. This was the first time that a lady was invited to the BSI dinner’s cocktail hour, as a living avatar of The Woman, to be toasted as such before being sent upon her way before the Irregulars sat down to their meal. Such an avatar had been suggested by Logan Clendening in 1934 how it finally happened in 1943 is unknown to us. The lady in question was Rose Louise Hovick — known to the entire world, surely, as Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous ecdysiast (to use the term coined for her by the acerbic H. L. Mencken). Edwin King [“Captain Arthur Morstan,” BSI] remembers her that evening as “assuredly at or near her peak in beauty and charm, and fresh from her successes as a writer of witty mysteries, The G-String Murders and Mother Finds a Body , and her then current engagement in the smash Broadway musical, Star and Garter .” From 1943 to the present day, it has been the custom of the BSI to invite some suitable lady to attend the cocktail hour as The Woman, and since Julian Wolff fully institutionalized the custom in 1961, The Women have been a distinguished society with traditions of their own.
Irregular Records of the Early ‘Forties was sent to Fordham University Press on July 24, 1991. On August 2nd, I was in San Francisco with the Scowrers, and spent the afternoon at the home of Glen Miranker (“ The Origin of Tree Worship ,” BSI) immersed in his superb collection of Sherlockiana and Baker Street Irregularity. My mind was primarily on future volumes of the BSI History as I examined the huge number of contemporary letters by Edgar W. Smith, Christopher Morley, Vincent Starrett, Gray Chandler Briggs, P. M. Stone, and many other Early Irregulars which Glen has collected. Many of them have been preserved and arranged in well-organized files others are waiting to be read again for the first time in many decades.
Suddenly I spied a letter dated February 13, 1942, from Edgar W. Smith, thanking a certain lady for having participated in the cocktail hour of the BSI dinner on January 9, 1942: “I have not had an opportunity until now to express, on behalf of the Baker Street Irregulars, the appreciation which all of us felt for your having graced our gathering on January 9th, even if for so short a time.” The lady in question was the redoubtable Edith Meiser, at that time the writer of Basil Rathbone’s Sherlock Holmes radio series, and in 1930 the writer of the first Sherlock Holmes radio broadcast ever, with William Gillette in his immortal role.
Smith’s letter does not say whether Miss Meiser came in the specific role of The Woman. The minutes of the dinner give no hint, not even the veiled reference to “unrecorded preliminaries” which appears in the minutes of later BSI dinners. But Smith’s letter makes clear that Miss Meiser attended the 1942 cocktail hour and the mere fact of her being invited to attend and be honored by the BSI in that way means that the origin of the custom of The Woman should be dated from 1942, not from 1943 and Gypsy Rose Lee, as I suggested earlier in this volume.
Edith Meiser is “A Fascinating and Beautiful Woman” in the Baker Street Irregulars now, and when she takes her place at the 1992 BSI dinner for the first time, it will be the 50th anniversary of her appearance as the first woman ever honored by the BSI.
(“Education Never Ends, Watson.”)
From Baker Street Miscellanea , No. 74, Winter 1994,
reviewed by Donald A. Yates:
In his earlier Irregular Memories of the ’Thirties (l990), Jon L. Lellenberg chronicled the activities of America’s first organized Sherlockians during the period 1930-1940. That volume was the necessary and welcome history of the origins of the BSI, and also an admiring but clear-headed tribute to the gentlemen who established the group’s singular character and set it on its way. Irregular Records picks up where the first volume left off and meticulously documents three more years, during which, it is evident, the pace of Sherlockian activity in this country was picking up.
As was the case with the earlier memoir, there is much material — some previously published, some original — that Lellenberg deftly positions and weaves together into a fascinating chronicle. Included here are three full chapters contributed by others: a portrait of Edgar Smith by Peter B. Spivak, the late John Nieminski’s spirited account of the early doings of The Hounds of the Baskerville (sic), and Glen Miranker’s well-documented report on the publishing and recording activities of the BSI.
An especially laudable aspect of this volume is the masterfully evoked historical context that Lellenberg provides as backdrop for the burgeoning society. Indeed, his presence throughout stands as one of the most pleasing aspects of the book. His light touch and his always germane running commentary provide the perfect setting for the archival gems that, with the help of others, he has brought all together here.
When Lellenberg’s history reaches 1944, Irregulars and fans will want to breathe a grateful sigh of relief: the first, the now most distant decade of the BSI’s existence has been preserved! The BSI History Project continues, with additional volumes in preparation.
One final word of praise. Should the Irregulars ever get around to awarding “Arthurs” (as the Mystery Writers of America awards “Edgars”) to the most deserving authors among them, my script has Jon Lellenberg standing somewhere near the head of the line.
Donald Yates was chairman of the Romance Languages department of Michigan State University, and lives today in the heart of Napa County, California, in St. Helena.
Invasion of Manchuria 1931
Japanese Troops in Manchuria 1931
On September 19 1931 Imperial Japanese troops began their invasion of China by invading the region of Manchuria. They turned the region into a puppet state called Manchukuo and would be involved in attempting to conquer and subdue the rest of China until the end of World War Two.
Mr. Churchill in the White House
On December 13, 1941, six days after the “infamy” of Pearl Harbor, Winston Churchill boarded the battleship Duke of York bound for America—and the White House. The British prime minister did not return to London until January 17, 1942, and this wartime visit to confer with President Franklin Roosevelt established Churchill’s own “special relationship” with the Executive Mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. He was no longer alone, and his darkest hours had become history.
Before the United States entered World War II, the two leaders had exchanged over 200 messages (telegrams, letters, or phone calls) and met for four days in Newfoundland during August 1941. Churchill, who had become prime minister on May 10, 1940, as war in Europe escalated, desperately sought greater American involvement, while Roosevelt remained cautious yet helpful.
President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill give a joint press conference on December 23, 1941 in the Oval Office.
Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum/NARA
Everything changed on December 8 with the declaration of war by Congress. That day Roosevelt wired Churchill: “Today all of us are in the same boat . . . and it is a ship which will not and cannot be sunk.” 1 Churchill immediately began making travel plans to Washington, even though Roosevelt worried about his future guest’s safety on the Atlantic crossing. Protected by three destroyers and weathering gale-force winds, the Duke of York arrived at Norfolk Navy Yard in Virginia on December 22—with the president meeting the prime minister at a Washington airfield shortly thereafter.
How concerned was Roosevelt that there might be a leak about Churchill’s voyage? First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt remembered being told by her husband “that we would be having some guests visit us” that December. “He told me that I could not know who was coming, nor how many, but I must be prepared to have them stay over Christmas,” she wrote years later in The Atlantic. “He added as an afterthought that I must see to it that we had good champagne and brandy in the house and plenty of whiskey.” 2
President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill preside over the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on December 24, 1941. Each leader gave a speech from the South Portico.
Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum/NARA
Once he was safely inside the White House, news of Churchill’s visit prompted banner headlines in newspapers around the world, and radio stations interrupted their broadcasts to announce his arrival. The two comrades in arms lost no time settling down for the first of many long discussions to plan military operations. Thus began the first of the prime minister’s five sojourns on American soil for consultations with FDR about the course of the war and its aftermath. The two leaders spent 113 days together between 1941 and 1945, and Churchill stayed at the White House on four different occasions. He also traveled with Roosevelt to the presidential retreat in Maryland (then called Shangri-La and today Camp David), as well as to Roosevelt’s beloved home in Hyde Park, N.Y.
Having Churchill as a guest in the Rose Bedroom of the White House meant that the president and his staff adapted to Churchillian ways. The Monroe Room on the Second Floor was converted into a map room to display the movement of troops and ships. His personal secretaries set up workspaces in the Lincoln Study. The visitor did much of his work—dictation of correspondence, reports, and speeches—after dinner and into the early morning hours. A self-described “tardy riser,” he liked to lounge in bed reading newspapers and catching up on affairs until lunchtime, and following that meal usually retired to his suite for an afternoon nap. But when the sun went down, he came alive for long conversations with his host or for composing his endless stream of documents.
In her book, On My Own (1958), Eleanor Roosevelt registered some displeasure with Churchill’s long-established routine. “They could talk for hours after dinner on any number of subjects,” she observed. “My husband, however, was so burdened with work that it was a terrible strain on him to sit up late at night with Mr. Churchill after working until 1 or 2 A.M. and then have to be at his desk early the next day while his guest stayed in his room until 11 A.M.” 3 Some memoirs detailing Roosevelt’s presidency mention that that he often needed time to recover from Churchill’s visits.
Both figures were outsized political personalities with immense confidence in themselves and what they were doing. Though Churchill was eight years older than Roosevelt, the prime minister understood that the president served as both head of state and head of government—and that Roosevelt had occupied this dual position since early 1933. Recognizing these realities, as well as America’s much larger population and capacity for resources, the prime minister tended to defer to Roosevelt, despite differences of opinion that occurred, particularly in the later years of the war. Interestingly and despite trips abroad to Casablanca, Tehran, and Yalta, Roosevelt never visited Britain as president. Churchill, whose mother was an American, kept crossing the Atlantic for conferences at the White House and elsewhere.
Diana Hopkins, daughter of advisor Harry Hopkins, stands beside Mr. Churchill with President Roosevelt's dog Fala in January 1942.
The White House Historical Association
The first visit from late December 1941 through early January 1942 was not only the longest but also the one that aroused the most curiosity and public interest. On December 23, Roosevelt and Churchill held a joint press conference. The next day the pair participated in the annual lighting of the National Christmas tree. On Christmas Day, they attended morning church services—and ended a round of White House events with a 90-minute discussion in Churchill’s suite. On December 26, the prime minister addressed a joint meeting of Congress, the first of three times (between 1941 and 1952) that he spoke to members of both the House of Representatives and Senate.
The evening after his speech at the Capitol, Churchill experienced what he called “a dull pain over my heart.” During an examination the following day, his doctor Sir Charles Wilson, later named Lord Moran, found that the “symptoms were those of coronary insufficiency,” a diagnosis he didn’t share with his patient. 4 Though Wilson suggested slowing down, Churchill kept to his busy schedule and headed to Ottawa for a speech to the Canadian Parliament on December 30. In his diary, published as Churchill in 1966, Lord Moran uses the phrase “heart attack” to describe the incident. 5 Medical professionals who have more recently studied Churchill’s records dispute that assessment.
Besides his public activities and a succession of planning meetings with Roosevelt and his war council, Churchill supplied a constant flow of reports and memoranda back to government officials in London. One update he wired to Clement Attlee, the deputy leader of the House of Commons and Lord Privy Seal, on January 3, 1942 is revealing in its description of what it was like to reside and work in the White House. Each page of the prime minister’s account—now available in the National Archives outside London—is marked with a warning in red: “HUSH—MOST SECRET.”
“We live here as a big family in the greatest intimacy and informality, and I have formed the very highest regard and admiration for the President,” Churchill said. “His breadth of view, resolution and his loyalty to the Common Cause are beyond all praise.” 6 Churchill’s opinion of the congenial domesticity is probably confirmed most dramatically by repeating an anecdote involving the president and his guest. In The Grand Alliance (1950), the third of six volumes comprising Churchill’s historical memoir, The Second World War, he notes that Roosevelt made a middle-of-the-night decision to call the Allies fighting the Axis countries the “United Nations” rather than the “Associated Powers.” In the prime minister’s account, “The President was wheeled in to me on the morning of January 1. I got out of my bath, and agreed to the draft.” 7
President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill fishing at the presidential retreat, Shangri-La in May 1943. This retreat is known today as Camp David.
Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum/NARA
Roosevelt’s recollection of what actually happened is somewhat more colorful. In F.D.R., My Boss (1949), his personal secretary Grace Tully remarked that the president later informed her about the incident, “You know, Grace, I just happened to think of it now. He’s pink and white all over.” 8
Margaret (Daisy) Suckley, a distant relative and confidante of President Roosevelt, corroborated the story. In her diary, published as Closest Companion (1995), Suckley says the president “called to W.S.C. & in the door leading to the bathroom appeared W.S.C.: a ‘pink cherub’ [FDR said] drying himself with a towel, & without a stitch on!” 9
Though Churchill denied ever uttering the quip often attributed to him during the encounter—“You see, Mr. President, I have nothing to conceal from you” 10 —the prime minister did, indeed, report to King George VI after his return later that January: “Sir, I believe I am the only man in the world who has received the head of a nation without any clothes on.” 11
The extended White House stay as the war began nurtured a personal bond between Churchill and Roosevelt. The president, in fact, sent a “Dear Winston” letter in March 1942 that included this advice: “I know you will keep up your optimism and your grand driving force, but I know you will not mind if I tell you that you ought to take a leaf out of my notebook. Once a month I go to Hyde Park for four days, crawl into a hole and pull the hole in after me. I am called on the telephone only if something of really great importance occurs.” 12
Churchill, however, relished action to the point of being somewhat of a daredevil and made more than two dozen trips abroad for meetings or battlefield visits during the war. But his time in Washington was special and sometimes quite out of the ordinary.
Once news broke that Mr. Churchill was residing at the White House, he began receiving fan mail from across the United States. This letter, addressed to "Churchill the Magnificent," was sent from Boston, Massachusetts during his extended visit of 1941-1942.
Robert Schmuhl, Sir John Martin Papers, Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge
In the memoirs of the prime minister’s chief military assistant, General Hastings Ismay relates what happened in September 1943 during Churchill’s fourth visit to the White House. “The President had to go to Hyde Park before Churchill finished all that he wanted to do,” Ismay notes. “On leaving, he said, in so many words, ‘Winston, please treat the White House as your home. Invite anyone you like to any meals, and do not hesitate to summon any of my advisers with whom you wish to confer at any time you wish.” 13
Churchill seized the opportunity, later stopping at Hyde Park to report what he’d done. Ismay’s comment on Churchill’s decision to continue to conduct business at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue without the president in residence is striking: “I wonder if, in all history, there has ever existed between the war leaders of two allied nations, a relationship so intimate as that revealed by this episode.” 14
When Churchill became prime minister for a second time in 1951, he made trips to the United States on three different occasions—in 1952, 1953, and 1954. For the last one, the then-79-year-old leader wrote President Dwight Eisenhower, “My dear Friend,” proposing to “stay four or five days . . . at the [British] Embassy.” 15 Eisenhower, who had served as Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during World War II and worked closely with Churchill, came up with a different plan, which he expressed in an incomplete sentence: “Am desirous that you stay with me . . . at the White House.” 16 From the morning of June 25 until the afternoon of June 29, the prime minister engaged in his usual round of meetings, conversations, and meals with American officials. Despite being increasingly frail, the guest valued his return to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, wiring Eisenhower, “We have many pleasant and enduring memories of our visit to the White House.” 17
Five years later (in May 1959), President Eisenhower welcomed Britain’s most prominent statesman—and still an incumbent member of Parliament—back to Washington for yet another White House stay. Ike even took Churchill, a student of the American Civil War, to his farm in Gettysburg via helicopter to show him the nearly century-old battlefield from the air. Describing Churchill’s departure at the end of this stay, John Eisenhower, the president’s son and a noted historian, remarked that the years and several strokes had taken their toll on Britain’s bulldog. But he still commanded respectful attention: “When he left the White House after the visit, the entire presidential staff poured out to the northwest gate to send him off in his limousine, the members viewing him half in affection and half in awe.” 18
President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill pose with the Chiefs of Staff in May 1943. This photograph was taken in the garden outside the West Wing, known today as the Rose Garden.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum/NARA
That affection and awe only increased during Churchill’s final years. President John F. Kennedy considered Churchill a hero and invited him to return to the White House a few months after the young president’s inauguration in 1961. By that point such a journey was impossible and the offer was politely declined. Yet, two years later at a White House ceremony, Kennedy awarded Churchill honorary American citizenship, the first time a native of another country was so recognized by an Act of Congress. In his remarks, Kennedy, himself a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, praised the honoree’s ways with words: “In the dark days and darker nights when England stood alone . . . he mobilized the English language and sent it into battle.” 19
Even though Churchill could not make the journey to Washington, he composed a statement that his son, Randolph, read. In the eight-volume collection of Churchill’s “complete speeches”—8,917 pages in total—this address is the final one, and it combines both personal and historical reflections. “In this century of storm and tragedy,” he wrote, “I contemplate with high satisfaction the constant factor of the interwoven and upward progress of our peoples. Our comradeship and our brotherhood in war were unexampled. We stood together, and because of that fact the free world now stands.” 20
Churchill died on January 24, 1965, and Eisenhower traveled to London for the state funeral. In his tribute, he called his friend a “soldier, statesman, and citizen that two great countries were proud to claim as their own. Among all the things so written or spoken, there will ring out through all the centuries one incontestable refrain: Here was a champion of freedom.” 21 Freedom’s champion felt right at home in America, and the phrase he coined in 1944 to describe the enduring alliance between the United Kingdom and United States—“a special relationship”—also characterized his own personal association with the White House.
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden are greeted by President Dwight Eisenhower, First Lady Mamie Eisenhower, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, and Vice-President Richard Nixon beneath the North Portico on June 25, 1954.
Thomas J. O'Halloran, Library of Congress
Robert Schmuhl is the Walter H. Annenberg-Edmund P. Joyce Professor of American Studies and Journalism at the University of Notre Dame. He recently served as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Rothermere American Institute at the University of Oxford, where he worked on his forthcoming book, Mr. Churchill in the White House.
Untitled (Robert M. Halperin's 50th Birthday Celebration), June 1978 - Photograph, Color
Untitled (Robert M. Halperin's 50th Birthday Celebration), June 1978. This color photograph shows an image from Robert M. Halperin’s 50th birthday celebration at Burgess Park in Menlo Park, California. Halperin stands outdoors in a grassy area under the shade of a large tree wearing a white button-down shirt, red and black striped tie, and brown pants. He appears in profile at center near a telephone booth with a glass in his right hand and his other hand in his pocket. The back of two aircraft seats and a mobile aircraft staircase decorated with red and white streamers appear at left. A boy is visible watching the scene from the background at right. Raychemer Leon Hansen notes that the tel
29 January 1941 - History
By Vince Kueter
Seattle Times news researcher
Nov. 28: Charles Terry opens area's first store.
March 31: David "Doc" Maynard arrives. He is credited with naming Seattle after his friend Chief Sealth, leader of the Duwamish and Suquamish tribes.
April 3: Denny party moves across Elliott Bay.
Dec. 22: King County incorporated.
March 26: Henry Yesler opens his sawmill, the first on the Puget Sound.
May 23: Maynard files plats with streets based on compass points, not parallel to the shoreline as Denny and Carson Boren had done. This results in a permanent mismatch at Yesler Way, where two halves of town meet.
Jan. 22: Point Elliott Treaty, which cedes much of the Native American land in Western Washington to the U.S. government, is signed.
Jan. 26: The Battle of Seattle is fought. Seattle residents fire muskets at attacking Indians, upset over attempts to relocate them. The sloop Decatur fires its cannon, routing the Indians. Two settlers are killed.
Feb. 18: Chief Leschi of the Nisquallies is hanged after being found guilty of leading an ambush in which two federal volunteers were killed in 1855.
1860, Military Road from Fort Vancouver to Seattle is completed, the first road connecting Seattle to other Western Washington cities.
Nov. 4: Washington Territorial University later the University of Washington is established in downtown Seattle.
Dec. 10: The Gazette, Seattle's first newspaper, is published. It evolves into the Post-Intelligencer.
May 16: The Mercer girls arrive in Seattle. Asa Shinn Mercer, the UW's first teacher, traveled to New England to find wives for the men of Washington. He had intended to bring back hundreds of women but returned with far fewer.
June 7: Chief Sealth dies.
Seattle Public Library opens.
Dec. 2: Seattle incorporates.
Seattle's population is 1,107.
July 11: Henry Atkins is elected Seattle's first mayor.
March 25: The coal route from Seattle to Newcastle is completed, the first railroad in Western Washington.
Oct. 24: Seattle's first brick building erected.
July 14: Northern Pacific chooses Tacoma over Seattle as terminus of transcontinental railroad.
March 3: Steamship service to San Francisco begins.
|1876 First UW grad, Clara McCarty|
Aug. 7: Seattle YMCA founded.
Seattle Malting and Brewing, later Rainier Brewery, is established.
Aug. 2: Mother Joseph opens Providence Hospital, the first in Seattle, at Fifth Avenue and Madison Street.
Nov. 24: Squire's Opera House on First Avenue South between Main and Washington streets is the city's first theater.
Seattle's population is 3,533.
December: The first trans-Pacific steamship departs from Seattle, the first step in the city's ambition to become the gateway to the Pacific Rim.
Sept. 23: The first horse-powered streetcar line is established.
Feb. 6: Mob forces 350 Chinese to the docks for "deportation.'' Soldiers and sheriff's deputies intervene and five men are wounded.
Dec. 24: The City of Seattle is the first regularly scheduled ferry on Puget Sound.
The Bon Marché opens.
March 31: The first electric-trolley line begins.
June 6: The Great Seattle Fire leaves more than 25 blocks of downtown Seattle in smoldering ruins. But there were no confirmed deaths.
Sept. 21: 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.
|1890 George Bartell's first drug store.|
The Frederick & Nelson store opens. It becomes the city's premier department store for 101 years, until closing in 1992.
George Bartell buys his first drugstore.
Jan. 7: The first transcontinental train arrives in Seattle.
Sept. 4: First classes begin at the present site of the UW.
Aug. 10: Col. Alden Blethen buys The Seattle Daily Times.
July 17: The steamship Portland docks in Seattle loaded with gold, igniting the Klondike Gold Rush. Business generated by supplying prospectors brings great gains in wealth and population to the city.
Oct. 21: Seattle College opens, predecessor to Seattle University.
Dec. 28: City buys Guy Phinney's Woodland Park estate and its menagerie (now the zoo).
Seattle's population is 80,671.
Feb. 9: Fort Lawton is established on Magnolia Bluff.
|1901 Wallin & Nordstrom shoe store.|
Sept. 25: Interurban rail service begins.
Dec. 29: The Seattle Symphony performs for the first time.
Feb. 11: 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.
The King Street Station opens to serve the Great Northern and Northern Pacific railroads.
John McLean builds world's first gasoline service station at Holgate Street and Western Avenue.
Ballard, West Seattle, Columbia City and Rainier Beach annexed.
Aug. 17: Pike Place Market opens.
Aug. 28: James Casey, 19, and Claude Ryan start American Messenger, which becomes United Parcel Service.
June 1: The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition opens on the site now occupied by the UW.
Seattle's population is 237,194.
Laurelhurst and Georgetown annexed.
Nov. 8: 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.
Feb. 7, Mayor Hiram Gill is recalled. Gill sought to preside over a city tolerant of gambling and prostitution.
Sept. 5: Port of Seattle established.
May 20: Union Station opens to serve the Union Pacific railroad.
July 17: 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. No deaths are reported, but injuries and property damages are extensive.
|1913 First automobile ferry, the Leschi, crosses Lake Washington.|
The Cornish School, specializing in the arts, is founded.
June 1: 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.
March 26: The Seattle Metropolitans hockey team wins the Stanley Cup.
May 8: Lake Washington Ship Canal, including the Hiram Chittenden Locks, is completed, connecting Shilshole Bay, Lake Union and Lake Washington.
May 9: Boeing Airplane established.
A flu epidemic kills 1,600 in Seattle.
Eddie Bauer goes into business.
Feb. 6: First general strike in the nation's history begins in Seattle when 60,000 workers stay home. The strike ends Feb. 11.
Seattle's population is 315,312.
May: The nation's first sanitary landfill is established on Queen Anne Hill.
Dec. 27: The Hearst company takes over the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Dec. 6: The Olympic Hotel opens.
Don Ibsen, a senior at Roosevelt High School, screws a pair of tennis shoes onto a cedar board and becomes one of the co-inventors of water-skiing.
Fisher's Blend Station corporation is formed, and KOMO-AM radio station goes on the air.
May 9: Bertha Landes is elected mayor, first woman mayor in any major U.S. city.
Jan. 28: Boeing secures the Chicago-San Francisco air-mail contract and forms United Air Lines.
Thomas Edison flips a switch in West Orange, N.J., and turns on Seattle's new electric street-lighting system.
Burton and Florence Bean James start the Seattle Repertory Playhouse.
July 26: Boeing Field opens.
Dec. 30: The Interurban to Tacoma ends service.
Seattle's population is 365,583.
Dec. 10: The Denny Regrade is completed. Begun in 1898, this was a massive project to level Denny Hill and surrounding area, one of several similar works around the city.
Feb. 27: The Aurora Bridge is dedicated, the first major highway bridge built in Seattle.
June 23: Seattle Art Museum opens in Volunteer Park.
The Washington Park Arboretum is established.
May 9: A West Coast waterfront strike, in which several people are killed, begins. It lasts until July 31. The International Longshoreman's Association wins recognition in Seattle.
Aug. 19: Newsroom members of the American Newspaper Guild strike the Post-Intelligencer.
July 29: Ivar Haglund opens a fish-and-chips stand at Pier 54. This expands into Ivar's Acres of Clams and an empire of seafood eateries.
Lloyd and Mary Anderson form a buying co-op in Seattle so members can find obscure climbing equipment. This becomes REI (Recreational Equipment Incorporated).
Dec. 2: Yesler Terrace becomes the first racially integrated public housing in United States.
Seattle's population is 368,302.
June 5: The Lake Washington Floating Bridge opens, connecting Seattle with Mercer Island and the Eastside.
|1942 Japanese Americans ordered out of Seattle.|
Aug. 14: 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.
Dec. 22: Group Health Cooperative formed.
Dorothy Stimson Bullitt buys KEVR-FM, the first piece of the KING broadcasting empire.
|1949 7.1-magnitude earthquake hits Seattle.|
April 13: A 7.1-magnitude earthquake kills seven in Seattle. The quake only lasted 20 seconds, but repairs went on for years.
July 9: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport opens.
Seattle's population is 467,591.
April 21: Northgate Mall opens, one of the earliest suburban shopping malls in the United States.
August: First Seafair celebration held.
June 1: Responding to public pressure for accountability, the state takes over ferry operations from Black Ball.
|1953 Alaskan Way Viaduct completed.|
April 4: Alaskan Way Viaduct completed.
July 16: The Newspaper Guild strikes The Seattle Times, shutting down the paper for 94 days.
Jan. 28: Dick's Drive-In opens in Wallingford.
July 15: A Boeing 707, the first successful passenger jet, takes its first flight.
Sept. 9: Metro established. Restricted to sewers and water cleanup at first, Metro is expanded to include mass transit in 1972. In 1992, Metro merges with King County.
Seattle's population is 557,087.
|1960 Huskies win Rose Bowl.|
Jan. 1: The UW football team wins its first Rose Bowl.
Bill Kirschner (later to form K2 on Vashon Island) invents the fiberglass snow ski.
March 17: Wing Luke is elected to City Council, the first Chinese American elected to a major public office in the United States.
|1962 World's Fair.|
June 20: Dave Beck, a Seattle trucker driver who rose to become head of the powerful Teamsters union, begins a two-year prison term for tax evasion. He later is pardoned.
Oct. 12, 1962: A Columbus Day windstorm, the most savage in West Coast history, damages 53,000 homes. Seven people are killed in Washington., 35 in Oregon.
Aug. 28: The Evergreen Point Floating Bridge opens.
April 29: An earthquake, which registered between 6.5 and 7 on the Richter scale, kills eight people from either falling debris or heart attacks.
Dec. 31: Boeing is awarded the contract to build the super-sonic transport, the SST.
Jan. 31: Interstate 5 is completed from Tacoma to Everett.
Oct. 13: Seattle's new professional basketball team, the Supersonics, plays its first game.
Feb. 13: 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.
Jan. 26: 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.
Feb. 9: The Boeing 747 takes its first test flight.
March 28: The 50-story Seafirst Building is completed. It is the first Seattle building taller than Smith Tower.
April 11: Seattle's new professional baseball team, the Pilots, begins its first and only season at Sick's Stadium. The team moves to Milwaukee the next year.
Oct. 8: Police Chief Frank Ramon resigns amid a gambling and corruption scandal.
Seattle's population is 530,831.
Feb. 17: Protesters pelt the Federal Courthouse with paint and rocks after the "Chicago Seven" are cited for contempt of court in their trial stemming from demonstrations at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. The accused leaders of the protest, dubbed the "Seattle Seven," are indicted for conspiracy, but the case ends in a mistrial.
March 7: Medic One begins. The mobile paramedic units pioneer on-site cardiac care.
March 8: 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.
May 5: More than 3,000 anti-war protesters block southbound Interstate 5 traffic before exiting at Roanoke.
May Pioneer Square designated city's first historic district.
Dec. 3: 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.
April: Starbucks opens its first cafe.
July 27: A grand jury issues 28 indictments in a police bribery scandal. Eventually, there were 54 indictments but only two convictions.
Sept. 3: The Labor Day weekend is kicked off with Festival '71, which becomes known as Bumbershoot, the annual music-and-arts festival at Seattle Center.
Nov. 2: Voters save Pike Place Market, thwarting an eight-year effort to replace it with offices, hotels and parking garages.
Nov. 24: 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.
Oct. 11: Chicano activists occupy the Beacon Hill School, which becomes the site of El Centro de la Raza, a clearinghouse of services for the local Hispanic community.
April 4: Micro-Soft (the hyphen was removed in 1976), the software giant, is founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. In 1978, it moves from Albuquerque to Bellevue, bringing jobs and wealth to the Seattle area.
|1976 Kingdome opens.|
March 31: Seattle Weekly begins publication.
April 6: Seattle's new professional baseball team, the Mariners, plays its first game.
May 20: Seattle Aquarium opens.
June 11: Freighter Chavez hits the West Seattle Bridge and puts the span out of commission for seven years.
Sept. 29: Seattle becomes the first big city in the United States to implement a busing program without being required to do so by the courts.
|1979 Sonics win NBA Championship.|
Seattle's population is 493,846.
July 15: 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.
Aug. 11: The first pint of Redhook Ale is sold in Seattle, kicking off the microbrew craze.
Feb. 18: 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.
May 23, 1983: Joint Operating Agreement begins between the Post-Intelligencer and The Times. Under the agreement brokered through the Justice Department, The Times manages printing, advertising, circulation and most other commercial operations for both papers, while the news operations of the two papers remain editorially independent. It is amended in 1999 to allow The Times to publish a morning edition.
Sept. 15: The first Costco discount warehouse opens on Fourth Avenue South.
March 2: 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.
April 8: The Metro bus tunnel is completed under downtown Seattle.
June 23: Washington State Trade and Convention Center completed.
Jan. 24: Serial killer Ted Bundy executed in Florida. Before his death, the Tacoma-raised killer confesses to 20 murders committed between 1973 and 1978, 11 of them in Washington.
Seattle's population is 516,259.
July 20: Seattle hosts the Goodwill Games, an alternative to the Summer Olympics, which media mogul Ted Turner thought had fallen hostage to politics.
Nov. 25: The Interstate 90 floating bridge sinks in a storm.
Dec. 5: Seattle Art Museum moves to a new building downtown. The Volunteer Park building becomes the Seattle Asian Art Museum.
Jan. 20: Six people die, 750,000 homes and businesses lose power and 167 homes are destroyed in the Puget Sound's Inaugural Day storm.
Sept. 28: The U.S. Navy leaves Sand Point, a naval air station since 1920. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration gets 100 acres for its Western headquarters, and the remaining 156 acres become Magnuson Park.
Jan. 5: 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.
Nov. 5: Sound Transit is approved by voters. The agency begins the planning and operation of commuter rail trains and express bus service. A light-rail line from SeaTac to the University District also is planned.
June 17: Voters approve funding for the Seahawks' new stadium.
Sept. 12: Benaroya Hall opens.
Nov. 27: 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.
Nov. 28: Popular Seattle schools Superintendent John Stanford dies from complications of leukemia.
July 15: Safeco Field, new home of the Mariners, opens. King County voters had rejected a stadium-funding proposal in 1995, but when the Mariners threatened to relocate, Gov. Gary Locke called a special session of the state Legislature, which approved money for construction.
|1999 WTO riots in downtown Seattle.|
Seattle's population is 563,374.
Jan. 31: Alaska Flight 261 crashes into the Pacific Ocean, killing 88, many from Seattle.
June 23: Experience Music Project, Paul Allen's homage to rock 'n' roll music, opens.
March 26: The Kingdome is imploded to make way for the new football stadium.
Nov. 19: The Newspaper Guild strikes at The Times and Post-Intelligencer. Each paper publishes during the strike, which ends after 37 days at the P-I and 49 days at The Times.
Feb. 27: Mardi Gras celebrations in Pioneer Square deteriorate into rioting. One person is killed.
Feb. 28: A magnitude-6.8 earthquake rattles the Puget Sound area, causing more than $1 billion in damage.
Sept. 4: Boeing moves its corporate headquarters to Chicago.
Suesan Whitney, Seattle Times senior news clerk, and Jack Broom, Seattle Times staff reporter, contributed to this report.
History of Computers: A Brief Timeline
The computer was born not for entertainment or email but out of a need to solve a serious number-crunching crisis. By 1880, the U.S. population had grown so large that it took more than seven years to tabulate the U.S. Census results. The government sought a faster way to get the job done, giving rise to punch-card based computers that took up entire rooms.
Today, we carry more computing power on our smartphones than was available in these early models. The following brief history of computing is a timeline of how computers evolved from their humble beginnings to the machines of today that surf the Internet, play games and stream multimedia in addition to crunching numbers.
1801: In France, Joseph Marie Jacquard invents a loom that uses punched wooden cards to automatically weave fabric designs. Early computers would use similar punch cards.
1822: English mathematician Charles Babbage conceives of a steam-driven calculating machine that would be able to compute tables of numbers. The project, funded by the English government, is a failure. More than a century later, however, the world's first computer was actually built.
1890: Herman Hollerith designs a punch card system to calculate the 1880 census, accomplishing the task in just three years and saving the government $5 million. He establishes a company that would ultimately become IBM.
1936: Alan Turing presents the notion of a universal machine, later called the Turing machine, capable of computing anything that is computable. The central concept of the modern computer was based on his ideas.
1937: J.V. Atanasoff, a professor of physics and mathematics at Iowa State University, attempts to build the first computer without gears, cams, belts or shafts.
1939: Hewlett-Packard is founded by David Packard and Bill Hewlett in a Palo Alto, California, garage, according to the Computer History Museum.
1941: Atanasoff and his graduate student, Clifford Berry, design a computer that can solve 29 equations simultaneously. This marks the first time a computer is able to store information on its main memory.
1943-1944: Two University of Pennsylvania professors, John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert, build the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (ENIAC). Considered the grandfather of digital computers, it fills a 20-foot by 40-foot room and has 18,000 vacuum tubes.
1946: Mauchly and Presper leave the University of Pennsylvania and receive funding from the Census Bureau to build the UNIVAC, the first commercial computer for business and government applications.
1947: William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain of Bell Laboratories invent the transistor. They discovered how to make an electric switch with solid materials and no need for a vacuum.
1953: Grace Hopper develops the first computer language, which eventually becomes known as COBOL. Thomas Johnson Watson Jr., son of IBM CEO Thomas Johnson Watson Sr., conceives the IBM 701 EDPM to help the United Nations keep tabs on Korea during the war.
1954: The FORTRAN programming language, an acronym for FORmula TRANslation, is developed by a team of programmers at IBM led by John Backus, according to the University of Michigan.
1958: Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce unveil the integrated circuit, known as the computer chip. Kilby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2000 for his work.
1964: Douglas Engelbart shows a prototype of the modern computer, with a mouse and a graphical user interface (GUI). This marks the evolution of the computer from a specialized machine for scientists and mathematicians to technology that is more accessible to the general public.
1969: A group of developers at Bell Labs produce UNIX, an operating system that addressed compatibility issues. Written in the C programming language, UNIX was portable across multiple platforms and became the operating system of choice among mainframes at large companies and government entities. Due to the slow nature of the system, it never quite gained traction among home PC users.
1970: The newly formed Intel unveils the Intel 1103, the first Dynamic Access Memory (DRAM) chip.
1971: Alan Shugart leads a team of IBM engineers who invent the "floppy disk," allowing data to be shared among computers.
1973: Robert Metcalfe, a member of the research staff for Xerox, develops Ethernet for connecting multiple computers and other hardware.
1974-1977: A number of personal computers hit the market, including Scelbi & Mark-8 Altair, IBM 5100, Radio Shack's TRS-80 &mdash affectionately known as the "Trash 80" &mdash and the Commodore PET.
1975: The January issue of Popular Electronics magazine features the Altair 8080, described as the "world's first minicomputer kit to rival commercial models." Two "computer geeks," Paul Allen and Bill Gates, offer to write software for the Altair, using the new BASIC language. On April 4, after the success of this first endeavor, the two childhood friends form their own software company, Microsoft.
1976: Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak start Apple Computers on April Fool's Day and roll out the Apple I, the first computer with a single-circuit board, according to Stanford University.
1977: Radio Shack's initial production run of the TRS-80 was just 3,000. It sold like crazy. For the first time, non-geeks could write programs and make a computer do what they wished.
1977: Jobs and Wozniak incorporate Apple and show the Apple II at the first West Coast Computer Faire. It offers color graphics and incorporates an audio cassette drive for storage.
1978: Accountants rejoice at the introduction of VisiCalc, the first computerized spreadsheet program.
1979: Word processing becomes a reality as MicroPro International releases WordStar. "The defining change was to add margins and word wrap," said creator Rob Barnaby in email to Mike Petrie in 2000. "Additional changes included getting rid of command mode and adding a print function. I was the technical brains &mdash I figured out how to do it, and did it, and documented it. "
1981: The first IBM personal computer, code-named "Acorn," is introduced. It uses Microsoft's MS-DOS operating system. It has an Intel chip, two floppy disks and an optional color monitor. Sears & Roebuck and Computerland sell the machines, marking the first time a computer is available through outside distributors. It also popularizes the term PC.
1983: Apple's Lisa is the first personal computer with a GUI. It also features a drop-down menu and icons. It flops but eventually evolves into the Macintosh. The Gavilan SC is the first portable computer with the familiar flip form factor and the first to be marketed as a "laptop."
1985: Microsoft announces Windows, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. This was the company's response to Apple's GUI. Commodore unveils the Amiga 1000, which features advanced audio and video capabilities.
1985: The first dot-com domain name is registered on March 15, years before the World Wide Web would mark the formal beginning of Internet history. The Symbolics Computer Company, a small Massachusetts computer manufacturer, registers Symbolics.com. More than two years later, only 100 dot-coms had been registered.
1986: Compaq brings the Deskpro 386 to market. Its 32-bit architecture provides as speed comparable to mainframes.
1990: Tim Berners-Lee, a researcher at CERN, the high-energy physics laboratory in Geneva, develops HyperText Markup Language (HTML), giving rise to the World Wide Web.
1993: The Pentium microprocessor advances the use of graphics and music on PCs.
1994: PCs become gaming machines as "Command & Conquer," "Alone in the Dark 2," "Theme Park," "Magic Carpet," "Descent" and "Little Big Adventure" are among the games to hit the market.
1996: Sergey Brin and Larry Page develop the Google search engine at Stanford University.
1997: Microsoft invests $150 million in Apple, which was struggling at the time, ending Apple's court case against Microsoft in which it alleged that Microsoft copied the "look and feel" of its operating system.
1999: The term Wi-Fi becomes part of the computing language and users begin connecting to the Internet without wires.
2001: Apple unveils the Mac OS X operating system, which provides protected memory architecture and pre-emptive multi-tasking, among other benefits. Not to be outdone, Microsoft rolls out Windows XP, which has a significantly redesigned GUI.
2003: The first 64-bit processor, AMD's Athlon 64, becomes available to the consumer market.
2004: Mozilla's Firefox 1.0 challenges Microsoft's Internet Explorer, the dominant Web browser. Facebook, a social networking site, launches.
2005: YouTube, a video sharing service, is founded. Google acquires Android, a Linux-based mobile phone operating system.
2006: Apple introduces the MacBook Pro, its first Intel-based, dual-core mobile computer, as well as an Intel-based iMac. Nintendo's Wii game console hits the market.
2007: The iPhone brings many computer functions to the smartphone.
2009: Microsoft launches Windows 7, which offers the ability to pin applications to the taskbar and advances in touch and handwriting recognition, among other features.
2010: Apple unveils the iPad, changing the way consumers view media and jumpstarting the dormant tablet computer segment.
2011: Google releases the Chromebook, a laptop that runs the Google Chrome OS.
2012: Facebook gains 1 billion users on October 4.
2015: Apple releases the Apple Watch. Microsoft releases Windows 10.
2016: The first reprogrammable quantum computer was created. "Until now, there hasn't been any quantum-computing platform that had the capability to program new algorithms into their system. They're usually each tailored to attack a particular algorithm," said study lead author Shantanu Debnath, a quantum physicist and optical engineer at the University of Maryland, College Park.
2017: The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is developing a new "Molecular Informatics" program that uses molecules as computers. "Chemistry offers a rich set of properties that we may be able to harness for rapid, scalable information storage and processing," Anne Fischer, program manager in DARPA's Defense Sciences Office, said in a statement. "Millions of molecules exist, and each molecule has a unique three-dimensional atomic structure as well as variables such as shape, size, or even color. This richness provides a vast design space for exploring novel and multi-value ways to encode and process data beyond the 0s and 1s of current logic-based, digital architectures." [Computers of the Future May Be Minuscule Molecular Machines]
Additional reporting by Alina Bradford, Live Science contributor.
Resources 4 Educators
We offer teaching materials that connect K-12 students with primary source historical documents to dramatically enrich their learning.
"We are very excited about the outstanding lessons on your site and plan to use it as one of the cornerstones of implementing a long needed overhaul on the method of instruction for Texas history."Daniel M. Reyes, San Antonio ISD
29 January 1941 - History
MIA: History: Soviet History: Great Patriotic War
The Nazi invasion of the USSR in June 1941 heralded the beginning of the most titanic battle in the history of humanity. The war ended in complete defeat for Nazi Germany less than four years later with the fall of Berlin on May 9, 1945. Over 20,000,000 Soviet citizens and soldiers died in the struggle to liberate the Motherland from the fascist aggressors.
Special Collection: The Partisan Resistance
⊙ Before the War
Leon Trotsky on the Rise of German Fascism
A complete collection of Trotsky's writings on Germany covering the years 1930 through 1940.
Dimitrov versus Göbbels Georgi Dimitrov (March 1933 — February 1934)
Letters, writings and transcripts from courtroom hearings from the period of Dimitrov's trial in fascist Germany
Unity of the Working Class against Fascism Georgi Dimitrov (August 13, 1935)
Concluding speech before the Seventh World Congress of the Communist International
Youth Against Fascism Georgi Dimitrov (September 25, 1935)
The People's Front Georgi Dimitrov (December 1935)
Fascism is War Georgi Dimitrov (July 18, 1936)
The Meaning of the Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact (pdf) V. Molotov (August 1939)
Soviet Peace Policy (pdf * ) V. Molotov (August 1939 - August 1940)
The Russo-German Alliance: August 1939 – June 1941, 1949
⊙ 1941: Invasion
The attack by fascist Germany Mobilization of resources Birth of the partisan resistance Creation of the Anti-Hitler Coalition The fall of Smolensk The seige of Leningrad begins The defense of Moscow.
Radio Address (pdf) Vyacheslav Molotov (June 22, 1941)
On June 22, 1941 the German Wehrmacht rolled into the Soviet Union. Later that day, V. M. Molotov, People's Commissar of Foreign Affairs, took to the airwaves to inform the Soviet people of the German invasion.
"Liberation France is Linked Victory Soviet Union" Maurice Thorez (June 25, 1941)
On June 22, 1941 the Wehrmacht rolled into the Soviet Union. Three days later Thorez and long-time party leader André Marty sent the following telegram to Jacques Duclos, who is responsible for the Party within France.
Radio Broadcast J.V. Stalin (July 3, 1941)
Russia on the March: a study of Soviet Foreign Policy J. T. Murphy (June, 1941)
"I had just received the proofs of this book when, with dramatic suddenness, Hitler and his gangsters opened up a new phase of the world war. Without preliminary negotiation or warning their air forces dropped their bombs and their armies crashed across the frontiers of Soviet Russia." — J.T. Murphy
Speech at Celebration Meeting of the Moscow Soviet J.V. Stalin (November 6, 1941)
Speech at the Red Army Parade on the Red Square, Moscow J.V. Stalin (November 7, 1941)
⊙ 1942: The War Escalates
Renewal of the German offensive The Battle of Stalingrad begins The defense of the Caucasus.
⊙ 1943: The Turning Point
"The Road of Life" opened at Leningrad Dissolution of the Communist International Victory at Stalingrad The Battle of Kursk The liberations of Smolensk, Khrakov, Donbass, and Eastern Ukraine and Belorussia.
⊙ 1944: Counterattack
The Red Army's drive into Eastern Europe and Germany Liberation of the Baltic states The seige of Leningrad is lifted Liberation of the Russian Federation.
⊙ 1945: Victory
The Yalta Conference Liberation of Auschwitz (Birkenau), Stutthof, Sachsenhausen, and Ravensbrueck concentration camps, Liberation of Poland, Hungary and Austria The Fall of Berlin.
About this Collection
Voices from the Dust Bowl: The Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection is an online presentation of selections from a multi-format ethnographic field collection documenting the everyday life of residents of Farm Security Administration (FSA) migrant work camps in central California in 1940 and 1941.
The collection as a whole consists of approximately 18 hours of audio recordings (436 titles on 122 recording discs), 28 graphic images (prints and negatives), and 1.5 linear feet of print materials including administrative correspondence, field notes, recording logs, song text transcriptions, dust jackets from the recording discs with handwritten notes, news clippings, publications, and ephemera. This online presentation provides access to a selection of items from this collection including 371 audio titles, 23 graphic images, a sampling of the dust jackets, and all the print material in the collection.
Charles Todd and Robert Sonkin, both of the City College of New York (currently the City College of the City University of New York), took disc recording equipment supplied by the Archive of American Folk Song to Arvin, Bakersfield, El Rio, Firebaugh, Porterville, Shafter, Thornton, Visalia, Westley, and Yuba City, California. In these locales, they documented dance tunes, cowboy songs, traditional ballads, play party and square dance calls, camp council meetings, camp court proceedings, conversations, storytelling sessions, and personal experience narratives of the Dust Bowl refugees who inhabited the camps.