This Week Then: The Deadly Spanish Flu Pandemic Came To Seattle 100 Years Ago

Plus: Noteworthy events in the history of military aviation took place in Washington during this week in history

By Alan Stein

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September 20, 2018

This story was originally published at HistoryLink.orgSubscribe to their weekly newsletter.

Deadly Flu

And as Boeing engineers watched the prototype B-29 take to the air, military brass were gathered near Oak Harbor for the opening of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. During World War II, NAS Whidbey was used to train fighter and patrol-bomber crews, and it remains the navy’s principal air facility north of San Francisco and west of Chicago.

NEWS THEN, HISTORY NOW

Fishing Boat’s Yield

On September 20, 1888, the Northwest’s commercial halibut fishery began when the schooner Oscar and Hattie arrived at Tacoma with 50,000 pounds of the tasty fish. Thirty-five years later fish stocks had declined so drastically that the Pacific Halibut Convention was signed, and today the fishery is one of the world’s healthiest.

Fresh from the Field

Harvest season is here for farmers, and it’s a good time to show off their crops. On September 24, 1894, the first Washington State Agricultural Fair opened in Yakima. And on September 24, 1937, the Lincoln County Fairresumed in Davenport after a decades-long hiatus.

Oiled and Wheeled

On September 23, 1904, the Automobile Club of Seattle, predecessor of AAA Washington, was founded with 46 members and officers. This week also marks the anniversary of the Washington State Department of Transportation, which was created by the Washington State Legislature and officially came into being on September 21, 1977.

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