Bulletin – 12/31/2020

January 1, 2021     
Our Annual Meeting Approaches!
Olympia Historical Society  & Bigelow House Museum will hold its virtual Annual Meeting on Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 1:30 pm. The program will highlight the 90th anniversary of the Thurston County Courthouse, built in 1930. A distinguished panel will discuss the history of the courthouse from a first-hand perspective along with the successful efforts to preserve the building. The annual business meeting will follow the program and will include board elections. Members will be sent an invitation prior to the meeting.  If others wish to attend the program, e-mail olyhistory@gmail.com by January 21 at 5:00 pm to receive the meeting link.
It’s Time to Renew, Join, Rejoin!
The annual membership drive for 2021 for Olympia Historical Society  & Bigelow House Museum is underway! Notices for renewals will be sent to current and past members and interested persons in the community via e-mail only this year. We always welcome new members as well! Your annual dues support the newsletter, the Thurston County History Journal, continued programming, operation of the Bigelow House Museum, our website, and our continuing work toward a local downtown history museum and history archive for public research.  As a small, all volunteer organization, your contributions have always been critical to our success. Please join, rejoin, or renew for 2021 now, via either the membership notice being sent to you, or CLICK HERE!
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bigelow House Museum remains closed. In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Museum, and due to cancellation of fundraising events, we are asking our friends to consider an extra donation this year. Please help support the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow Museum through our $25 for 25 Campaign! We recognize that economic fallout from the pandemic may make this difficult for some. However, please do consider a $25.00 donation, or whatever amount you can give, to help ensure the future of the Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum. Click DONATE to give $25 or any other amount to this campaign, either by credit card or with your PayPal account. Or you can mail us a check; go to our Get Involved page for more information. If you are not yet a member of the Society and Museum, please consider visiting our  Membership Page and joining now! And, while OHS&BHM fully supports area businesses, we realize that many are finding local shopping difficult in these trying times. If you are an Amazon customer, please consider donating to OHS&BHM through Amazon’s SMILE program. Information can be found at SMILE. We also partner with Fred Meyer, and Ralph’s/Bayview Thriftway charitable donation programs. Information is available at the Get Involved link, above.



The Washington State History Museum in Olympia is hosting an exhibit titled Votes for Women – 100 Years and Counting through the 17th of January, see the listing below for more details. And, to mark 100 years since the ratification of the 19th Amendment gave most women the right to vote, The Washington State Historical Society, Women’s Commission and Women’s History Consortium are teaming up to lead statewide programs and to represent Washington in nationwide initiatives. Check out the Votes for Women website for all the great connections to curriculum, activities across our state, downloads and more!
  • January 1 thru 17. Washington State Historical Society Exhibit  – Votes for Women – 100 Years and Counting.

This exhibition will greet visitors a few weeks after the History Museum is able to reopen. NOTE: Dates may change. Please check the WSHM website before visiting.
Washington women led the way! The Washington State Historical Society’s exhibition, Votes for Women: 100 Years and Counting, is an intriguing look at the history of the women’s suffrage movement. Focusing on both the national story and our state’s story, this exhibition explains how Washington women contributed to the eventual ratification of the 19th Amendment. Votes for Women is a vibrant celebration of female achievements in politics and society.
This exhibition invites visitors to learn by turning the galleries into an immersive game focused on women and voting rights. Learn the who, what, where, why and why not of Washington’s suffrage battle. Find out who could legally cast a ballot and who could not during the history of the on-again-off-again vote for women. Journey through an interactive timeline, voting at key spots along the way, to understand the importance of voting to our society and how women’s suffrage has impacted and affected our nation over time. You’ll come out knowing the names of those  who fought for this basic constitutional right, and you’ll appreciate your right to vote as never before!  The curators of this exhibition, Chandler O’Leary and Jessica Spring, are the authors and artists behind the book Dead Feminists: Historic Heroines in Living Color. Votes for Women will be richly illustrated with work created by O’Leary and Spring exclusively for this exhibition as well as historic objects and ephemera from the Washington State Historical Society collections. The Washington State History Museum is located at 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma.

  • January  5, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM. Gig Harbor Literary Society ZOOM event: The Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison.   

For Mike Muñoz, a young Chicano living in Washington State, life has been a whole lot of waiting for something to happen. Not too many years out of high school and still doing menial work—and just fired from his latest gig as a lawn boy on a landscaping crew—he knows that he’s got to be the one to shake things up if he’s ever going to change his life. But how? In this funny, angry, touching, and ultimately deeply inspiring novel, bestselling author Jonathan Evison takes the reader into the heart and mind of a young man on a journey to discover himself, a search to find the secret to achieving the American dream of happiness and prosperity. That’s the birthright for all Americans, isn’t it? If so, then what is Mike Muñoz’s problem? Though he tries time and again to get his foot on the first rung of that ladder to success, he can’t seem to get a break. But then things start to change for Mike, and after a raucous, jarring, and challenging trip, he finds he can finally see the future and his place in it. And it’s looking really good. Lawn Boy is an important, entertaining, and completely winning novel about social class distinctions, about overcoming cultural discrimination, and about standing up for oneself. This event is FREE and open to the public. For questions, please contact Cindy Hackett at cynthia.hale.hackett@gmail.com . ZOOM event information will be posted the weekend prior to the event, visit Here for more information.

  • January  5, 7:00 PM. Fort Nisqually Living History Museum (Tacoma): Fort From Home – Moving Fort Nisqually.   

Fort from Home brings the talents and expertise of Fort Nisqually historians to you live through interactive virtual programming.  Fort Nisqually was originally established by the Hudson’s Bay Company on the traditional lands of the Nisqually people. Today, it is located on the traditional lands of the Puyallup people. Fort Nisqually was reconstructed at Point Defiance Park during the Great Depression. As millions faced unemployment, the project employed 200 young men at $30/month. Housed, fed, and clothed (in WWI surplus uniforms) by the Civilian Conservation Corps, most of the earnings were sent home to family. Join Fort historian Jerry Eckrom to learn the story behind this move. Questions? Contact Event and Volunteer Coordinator Elizabeth Rudrud at elizabeth.rudrud@tacomaparks.com, or call 253.404.3970. Register here.

  • January 9, 10:00 AM. Fort Nisqually Living History Museum (Tacoma): Heritage Skills Workshop – Butchering and Curing Workshop.   

Heritage Skills Workshops preserve traditional skills through instruction, demonstration, and experiential learning. This workshop will demonstrate seam butchery, using only knives and cleavers. Learn about nitrate free whole muscle curing and basic cooking methods. Registration deadline: January 2, 2021. Questions? Contact us a fortnisqually@tacomaparks.com. Register Here.  Fort Nisqually is located at 5519 Five Mile Dr., Tacoma. Video recording of session will be available.

  • January 9, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Tacoma Public Library (Tacoma): Tacoma Reads ZOOM Event: A Conversation with Marcelo Hernandez Castillo Hosted by Mayor Woodards.   

Join Tacoma Public Library and Mayor Woodards for a keynote Tacoma Reads event, a conversation with the author of Children of the Land, an unforgettable memoir from a prize-winning poet Marcelo Hernandez Castillo about growing up undocumented in the United States. Castillo is a poet, essayist, translator, and immigration advocate. His memoir Children of the Land (Harper Collins, 2020) is his most recent publication and explores the ideas of separation from deportation, trauma, and mobility between borders. The novel recounts the sorrows and joys of a family torn apart by draconian policies and chronicles one young man’s attempt to build a future in a nation that denies his existence. Registration for this event will open on Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2020. A discussion with Marcelo Hernandez Castillo and City of Tacoma Mayor Woodards will be followed with a moderated Q&A. The event will be hosted on ZOOM.
Castillo was born in Zacatecas, Mexico and immigrated at the age of five with his family to the California central valley. As an AB540 student, he earned his B.A. from Sacramento State University and was the first undocumented student to graduate from the Helen Zell Writers Program at the University of Michigan. His immigration case was used by the Supreme Court to justify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) under president Obama. Castillo is a founding member of the Undocupoets Campaign which successfully eliminated citizenship requirements from all major first poetry book prizes in this country and was recognized with the Barnes and Noble Writers for Writers award from Poets & Writers Magazine. Through a literary partnership with Amazon Publishing, he has helped to establish The Undocupoet Fellowship which provides funding to help curb the cost of submissions to journals and contests.  Registration is now open for this event.

  • January 14, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM. Tacoma Public Library (Tacoma): ZOOM Event – Tense Transitions of Presidential Power.   

Our nation is in the midst of one of the most unusual transitions of presidential power, as the sitting president refuses to concede, is filing multiple lawsuits claiming widespread voter fraud, and attempting to influence what electors are selected in key states for the Electoral College. Has this ever happened before? Not exactly like this, but there have been some very tense and uncertain transfers of presidential power. Join this ZOOM event in which presidential historian Mike Purdy will unpack some other tense interregnums, the term sometimes used to describe the time from election day to inauguration day. Mr. Purdy will also comment on how our current situation is different and similar to previous transitions from one president to another.
Registration is required for this program, visit HERE for more information and to register.
Mike Purdy is a Seattle-based presidential historian who writes at PresidentialHistory.com  which includes a blog, video, and resources about the presidents. He is the author of the well-received book 101 Presidential Insults: What They Really Thought About Each Other – and What It Means to Us. He is a frequent speaker on issues of presidential history and presidential campaigns, and has been quoted and interviewed by the media including the Associated Press, CNN, The Wall Street JournalUSA Today, C-SPAN, Reuters, Reader’s Digest, BBC, KBTC, Tacoma News Tribune, and other national and international media. He graduated from the University of Puget Sound with both undergraduate and graduate degrees in business administration.

  • January 18, 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Washington State Historical Society  – Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with FREE online performances and activities! 

The Washington State Historical Society is joining community partners to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a range of ONLINE activities via Facebook Live and ZOOM. Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy and explore how history connects us all.  This event will include online theater performances with Tacoma Arts Live, with an opportunity for questions and answers with the performers and director, including Get on the Bus at 11:00 AM and Ruby Bridges at 1:00 PM. There will also be poetry writing activities led by Write253, inspired by Civil Rights era poetry, art making guided by arts educator Valencia Carroll, and downloadable online exhibitions from Washington State History Museum about Dr. King’s visit to Washington and the Tacoma Civil Rights Movement. Details are still in flux, visit MLK Event for up to date information.

  • January 18, 6:00 PM. Lacey Museum – History Talks via ZOOM! Using DNA to Trace Your Ancestry.  

DNA testing for genealogy is becoming more popular and common. Learn about the different types of DNA testing available in this online presentation in which the speaker will describe how she used her DNA results to discover the true identity of her great grandfather. Find out what you may learn when you use genetic genealogy as part of your family history research! To register for this free, online event, visit DNA.

  • January 19, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM. Tacoma Public Library (Tacoma): ZOOM Event – Tacoma Reads: Book Discussion of Dear America – The Story of an Undocumented CitizenYoung Readers Edition by Jose Antonio Vargas.  

Vargas… considers what it means to be American and how it feels when you are considered alien in your own home. – Library Journal
Jose Antonio Vargas was only twelve years old when he was brought to the United States from the Philippines to live with his grandparents. He didn’t know it, but he was sent to the U.S. illegally. In this young readers’ adaptation of his adult memoir Dear America, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas tells his story, in light of the 12 million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States. Join Tacoma Public Library for a virtual book discussion of the Tacoma Reads 2020 selection for young readers, Dear America: The Story of An Undocumented Citizen; Young Readers Edition. Aimed at ages 13 to 24.  Registration is required.

  • January  19, 6:00 PM. University of Puget Sound ZOOM Event – 35th Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.

All are invited to attend the University of Puget Sound’s 35th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration! The program will include messages from various Puget Sound community members and a keynote address featuring multi-genre writer, educator, and interdisciplinary artist, Anastacia-Reneé. No stranger to the Sound, she served as the Seattle Civic Poet from 2017-2019. For more information on Anastacia-Reneé and the scope of her work, please visit: http://www.anastacia-renee.com/. This event is free and open to the public, ZOOM Meeting ID: 939 5937 6766. For more information, visit Here.

  • January 21, 6:00 PM. Tacoma Historical Society ZOOM Event – Earthwise & Second Choice: Salvage Stories. 

Tacoma Historical Society co-sponsors the Virtual Heritage Cafe: Broadening Horizons in Historic Preservation with the City of Tacoma Historic Preservation Office and Historic Tacoma. Join the Society for a ZOOM event featuring Aaron Blanchard of Earthwise Architectural Salvage and Amanda Harryman of Second Use Building Materials, as they share stories from their work in architectural salvage. A ZOOM link will be posted as the date approaches, click Here for more information.

  • January 23, 11:00 AM. Fort Nisqually Living History Museum (Tacoma): Fort From Home for Kids – Cardboard Weaving. 

Fort from Home brings the talents and expertise of Fort Nisqually interpreters to you live through interactive virtual programming.  In this program, Fort Nisqually Apprentice Interpreter Kessa teaches you to make your own cardboard loom and learn to weave mini (very mini) blankets. Register here. Fort from Home for Kids is a kid-friendly program led by Fort Nisqually high school Apprentice Interpreters. Learn about their high school program here. Questions? Contact Event and Volunteer Coordinator Elizabeth Rudrud at elizabeth.rudrud@tacomaparks.com, or call 253.404.3970.

  • January 28, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM. Washington State Historical Society  – Challenging History: Racism and City Development’s Impact on Washington’s Health Today.

Decisions made decades ago can significantly impact the everyday lives of people today. Join Dr. Tomas A. Madrigal, Equity and Social Justice Consultant and Rad Cunningham, Manager of the Climate Change and Health section at Washington State Department of Health for an online event taking a look back at policy decisions around transportation and housing in minority communities and how they continue to impact Washingtonians’ health. They will also look into the future to explore if the health impacts on minority communities can be rectified through more thoughtful infrastructure planning around autonomous vehicles. This FREE! virtual event is taking place via Facebook Live @HistoryMuseum

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