Photo by Adam Jaime, on Unsplash.

I’ve blogged something every day in 2019, save for June 16 and I’m still not sure what happened there. This seemed like a good place to go out on and wrap up the series.

From HistoryLink and Phil Dougherty:

On December 31, 1932, medicinal liquor becomes available in Seattle after a 15-year hiatus. A state law that effectively prohibited medicinal liquor had been repealed by Washington voters in November 1932, and though the National Prohibition Act is still in effect at year’s end, it makes an exception for medicinal liquor if state law allows it. …

This is the kind of nerdery that I live for. The first time a lot of people in Seattle were able to witness a movie with sound was 92 years ago today. It wouldn’t be the first time a movie with sound would play in Seattle, but it would be the first commercially viable one, but it’s also bad because of its use of blackface.

According to HistoryLink:

On December 30, 1927, The Jazz Singer, the first commercially successful full-length feature film with sound, debuts at the Blue Mouse Theater at 1421 5th Avenue in Seattle. …

Photo from Yelp.

The Emerald Queen Casino has been such an important part of the Tacoma area for over 20 years now. It’s probably one of the most recognizable casinos in the Northwest, and some of their billboards along I-5, I swear, can be seen from space.

And it opened in its new location in Fife fifteen years ago today. From HistoryLink and Miguel Douglas:

On December 29, 2004, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians’ new Emerald Queen Casino opens in Fife in northern Pierce County, following reduction in road access to the original paddlewheel riverboat casino located on the Blair Waterway in Tacoma…

By Visitor7 — Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

A very necessary Happy Birthday is due to one of Seattle’s most long-running theaters. It opened 112 years ago today and it remains an excellent place to see a show.

From Eric L. Flom of HistoryLink:

On December 28, 1907, an overflow crowd of nearly 3,000 jams into Seattle’s new Moore Theatre at 2nd Avenue and Virginia Street for opening night. The fashionable group includes such honored guests as Washington State Governor Albert Mead (1861–1913), Seattle Mayor William Hickman Moore (1861–1946), their wives, and much of Seattle’s social elite. The venue, named after its developer, James A. …

In March of 2009, Hearst turned the Seattle Post-Intelligencer into an online-only newspaper, which was a damn tragedy. But the PI has been a Hearst property for almost 100 years now, as an editorial announced the acquisition 98 years ago today.

From HistoryLink:

On December 27, 1921, the fact that William Randolph Hearst (1863–1951) has taken over the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is revealed when his first editorial appears in the newspaper.

The Intelligencer was founded in Seattle in 1867. In 1879, Thomas W. Prosch (1850–1915) became its publisher. Prosch was the son of Charles W. Prosch, a pioneer newspaper publisher who…

Prohibition, what a time to be alive!

From HistoryLink and Greg Lange:

On December 26, 1923, during Prohibition, a search warrant is issued to King County Sheriff Department to search 3214 Magnolia Boulevard in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood. The Sheriff’s Department finds 50 gallons of moonshine (whiskey), 1,000 gallons of mash used to produce moonshine, and a still used to manufacture the beverage.

Prohibition, outlawing the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages, took effect in Washington state in 1916. The year 1919 marked ratification of the “bone dry” Prohibition amendment to the U.S. Constitution, making the manufacture, transportation, and sale of…

Photo from YouTube/Google Images.

It’s a Christmas miracle!

From Dorothea Nordstrand and HistoryLink, this story is remarkable:

Christmas of 1851 found a great change at New York Alki, the place of the very beginning of our city of Seattle. Only six short weeks had passed since the Arthur Denny party had made their historic landing from the small schooner, Exact, in a drenching, pouring-down rain. Dorothea Nordstrand (1916–2011) contributed this story of Seattle’s first Christmas. The story is based on her wide reading in Seattle’s early history.

Nineteen-year-old David Denny, Arthur’s young brother, and John Low had walked from the Willamette Valley in Oregon…

Seattle Met magazine called it “one of the most heinous crimes in Seattle history.” It is quite ghastly and horrifying.

In the great article about the case, James Ross Gardner writes:

For more than 30 years, anniversaries have come and gone, essentially unobserved, at least publicly, and the reasons why are bewildering, but not nearly as bewildering as the events that led David Lewis Rice to the Goldmarks’ Madrona home at 7pm, Christmas Eve, 1985.

What we know about what happened inside the house during the next several minutes comes from limited forensics and Rice himself. What’s certain is that…

They do look pretty angry! From Stijn te Strake on Unsplash.

The outbreak of mad cow disease was both a very big deal in 2003, and the subject of way too many late night talk show jokes. But the US outbreak began in a town I hadn’t heard of, Mabton, in Yakima County.

According to Kit Oldham at HistoryLink:

On December 23, 2003, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman announces that a Holstein cow from a dairy herd in Mabton, a small farming town in southeast Yakima County, has tested positive for mad cow disease. It is the first time the invariably fatal degenerative brain disease, which can spread to humans who eat…

Photo by Alex Zamora, on Unsplash.

Depression-era Washington state had a big menace on their hands that needed to be addressed: jazz music. Really.

As Peter Blecha wrote in HistoryLink:

On December 22, 1933, amid growing fears over the perceived threat posed by that relatively new fad, jazz music, Washington State Representative William A. Allen submits his proposal (House Bill 194) to establish a commission that will study the presumably dangerous and deleterious effects that the largely African American art form might be having on the general public. …

Chris Burlingame

Seattleite, (mostly) retired arts/culture blogger. Come for the Seinfeld references, stay for the Producers references.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store