2/18/15 – YMCA Seattle

When SHRA researchers travel, we don’t limit ourselves to finding history just in the archives. The interdisciplinary nature of history allows historians to cast our net wide and glean historical understanding and appreciation from everything around us. While on a recent trip to Seattle, we found a plethora of valuable sources in the archive, but… Read the Rest »

2/16/15 – White Pine Camp

This winter I had the chance to spend time in a historic part of the Adirondack Mountains of New York. Adirondack Park – the largest state-level protected area in the continental United States and the largest National Historic Landmark – covers much of northeastern Upstate New York and played an essential role in the environmental… Read the Rest »

2/11/15 -Better Buy Her an Electric Toaster

“Does Your Wife Yawn when You Kiss Her?” asked a Seattle Times headline from July, 1957.[i] “Better Buy Her an Electric Toaster.” The latest romance, the article promised, was not between men and women, but “between women and electrical gadgets.” This sentiment was not surprising given the strong advertisement and sales campaigns during the previous… Read the Rest »

2/9/15 – Wolf Reintroduction

While not a find in the archives, we’ve just reached the 20th anniversary of a landmark event in environmental history: the reintroduction of wolves to Idaho and Yellowstone. In what a recent Idaho Statesman article called “one of the most controversial wildlife projects of the century,” in 1995 and 1996, 66 wolves were live-trapped in… Read the Rest »

2/2/15 – Earthquakes

I am sure many of our western readers have experienced at least one earthquake in their lives. And today, with geologists’ ability to monitor and interpret seismological waves and almost instantly identify quakes around the world, you have all no doubt observed devastating earthquake scenes on television. The amount of damage and death that can… Read the Rest »

1/28/15 – The Art of Flood Control

When you spend as much time reading through archival documents as we do at SHRA, sometimes there’s nothing as nice as flipping the page to find not a letter or report, but a drawing. Recently, Army Corps of Engineers papers from the early 1970s yielded just such a find. The sketches – each offering a… Read the Rest »

1/26/15 – Fighting Over Water

‘“I believe I hit him first,”’ the farmer reported. ‘“Then he picked up a chair and hit me over the head.’” Two men fighting in the American West in the late 1920s might not seem related to SHRA’s research. But in this case, the farmer was furious that he was not receiving enough irrigation water… Read the Rest »

1/21/15 – Little Leather Library Corporation

This past holiday season, one of SHRA’s researchers received a gift with a historical twist. Tucked under the tree were copies of Abe Lincoln’s Speeches and Addresses and Edgar Allen Poe’s The Gold Bug. However, what made these publications unique was their small stature. Rising a mere three and a quarter inches and stretching four… Read the Rest »

1/19/15 – USS Boise

A couple of weeks ago while carefully perusing archival documents, SHRA researchers stumbled upon a March 16, 1943 Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper article. The article touched upon the heroic efforts of the USS Boise’s crew. While in the archive, knowledge of simple geography made it difficult to reconcile how a 9,700-ton sea faring vessel could be… Read the Rest »

1/14/15 – The Great River of the West

Right before the holidays, SHRA researchers found themselves swimming in sources relating to the development of the Columbia River. Like so many other rivers, the Columbia faced a plethora of competing interests, such as hydroelectric power, fish, navigation, irrigation, and recreation. Documentation on the subject was vast but one source in particular intrigued us. Around… Read the Rest »

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