March 1, 2020
We have some terrific History related events coming up in the first two weeks of March. From boating and banking to trees and treaties, there’s a little something for everyone to learn and enjoy!
· March 4, 5:30 PM. Washington State History Museum (Tacoma): McMenamins Elks Temple History Pub – The Boys in the Boat: A Daughter Remembers.
The 1936 Summer Olympics are infamous for having taken place in Berlin, Germany, three years after Adolph Hitler came to power. Hitler vigorously attempted to use the Olympics to showcase and promote the Nazi state, with noted German film maker Leni Riefenstahl producing a two part movie titled Olympia, released in 1938, highlighting the event. Most noted for her 1935 pro-Hitler propaganda film Triumph of the Will, which promoted the dictator on a personal level, some critics at the time of Olympia’s release suggested that Riefenstahl had given a similar heroic portrayal to African American athlete Jesse Owens in the film. This is said to have not gone over well with the Nazi regime; Owens’ stellar performance infuriated Hitler, as it contradicted the notion of “Aryan Supremacy” which was central to Nazi ideology. Widely praised around the globe at the time of its release, Olympia was not shown in the US until 1940. And while Germany did win the largest number of medals in the 1936 Summer Olympics, with a total of 89 received, 33 being gold, the US came in second, with 56 medals won, 24 of which were gold. Among those taking home gold was the US rowing team, made up of nine young men from the State of Washington. Daniel James Brown’s critically acclaimed non-fiction novel The Boys in the Boat celebrates the 1936 U.S. men’s Olympic eight-oar rowing team. Nine working class boys from the Pacific Northwest stormed the rowing world, transformed the sport, and galvanized the attention of millions of Americans. Hear an explanation of the book’s genesis and stories from the daughter of Joe Rantz, one of those working class boys who made history. This event is free, and all ages are welcome to attend. Doors open at 5:30 PM. McMenamins Elks Temple is located at 565 Broadway, Tacoma.
· March 5, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Tacoma Historical Society (Tacoma): Exhibit Opening and Book Launch – Bank on Tacoma: 1873-1993.
Join the Tacoma Historical Society Museum for the opening of their latest exhibit, Bank on Tacoma: 1873-1993, celebrating Tacoma’s rich banking history and unique financial challenges.
During the exhibit opening, the Society will also be celebrating the release of a new book by Deborah K. Freedman. Based on in-depth original research, Bank on Tacoma: 1873-1993 chronicles more than a century of banking history in Tacoma, Washington, which parallels the city’s growth and development. Free, all are welcome! This event is taking place at the Tacoma Historical Society Museum, 919 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma.
· March 7, 6:00 PM. Washington Center Main Stage (Olympia): Dance to Make a Difference 12th Annual Charity Gala.
Studio West Dance Theatre and Guild presents the 12th annual Dance to Make a Difference charity gala. This year, all net proceeds will be donated to Homeless Backpacks and Homes First. Both non-profit organizations provide support for homeless and low-income families in the South Sound community. The reception begins at 6:00 PM and includes a light dinner, wine, and live music. A silent auction will be held during the reception and intermission. At 8:00 PM, you are invited to the main-stage to enjoy a fantastic dance performance by Studio West Dance Theatre, Ballet Northwest, EDGE, Evergreen City Ballet, Johansen Olympia Dance Center, Momentum, Olympic Ballroom Dance, Powers Ballroom, Southwest Washington Dance
Ensemble, and Vibes Kru. The gala will feature a brand new choreographic work by Joshua Grant, soloist with Pacific Northwest Ballet. For more information, visit http://www.washingtoncenter.org/venue/washington-center-main-stage/ The Washington Center Main Stage is located at 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia.
· March 8, 2:00 PM. Washington Center Main Stage (Olympia): Silent Movie – The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Based on French author Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel of the same name, this epic 1923 silent film is recognized for its stunning sets depicting Paris in the 1400’s, and for Lon Chaney’s remarkable performance and make up as the tormented Quasimodo. World-class theater organist Dennis James brings the film to life on the theater’s historic 1924 treasure, The Mighty Andy Crow Wurlitzer Organ. For more information, visit http://www.washingtoncenter.org/venue/washington-center-main-stage/ The Washington Center Main Stage is located at 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia.
· March 9, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Tacoma Historical Society (Tacoma): Bruce Ramsey – Tacoma’s Experience of the Panic of 1893.
To complement their new exhibit on banking history, the author of The Panic of 1893 will recall the depression that devastated Tacoma just as the city was getting started. If you don’t yet have your copy of Bruce Ramsey’s book, the University of Puget Sound Bookstore will be on hand at the event to sell copies! This event is taking place at the Murray Board Room, Wheelock Student Center, University of Puget Sound, located at 1500 N Warner St, Tacoma.
· March 12, 11:30 AM. Schmidt House (Tumwater): History Talks at Schmidt House presents Women Who Dared.
Visit History Talks at Schmidt House for a discussion of early non-native female settlers in the Northwest. Guest speaker, author and former history teacher Dorothy “Dot” Wilson will answer questions such as who these women were, why they come here, and where they come from. Her talk will bring to life the stories of these brave women who dared to risk all to explore and pave the way for our pioneer ancestors. Doors open at 11:30 AM on a first come, first seated basis and the doors close when the house reaches capacity. For more information, call 360-786-8117 or visit https://olytumfoundation.org/what-we-do/schmidt-house/ The Schmidt House is located just off Custer Way in Tumwater at 330 Schmidt Place.
· March 14. 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM. PNW Chapter of International Coleman Collectors Club (Lacey): 15th Annual Display of Vintage Coleman Lanterns, Stoves, and More.
So, you thought you’d heard of just about every possible specialized collector organization imaginable? Think again. There’s a group which is fixated solely upon Coleman products. And apparently, they are not even limited to the good ol’ USA. At this event, members of the PNW Chapter of the International Coleman Collectors Club will be displaying their collections of vintage Coleman lanterns, lamps, stoves, coolers and other items made by the company. Most remembered for fun things like camping equipment and other outdoor activity gear, Coleman also produced military items such as canteens, stoves and mess kits, but also more obscure equipment, like inflatable vests used by the Navy. Do you have a non-working Coleman item? Bring it in and Club members can show you how to get it operating again. Some collectors may have a few sales items. The event is family-friendly with numerous giveaways of new Coleman items. Also a raffle for a new Coleman ice chest! Taking place at the Best Western Plus Lacey Inn & Suites, 8326 Quinault Drive NE, Lacey.
· March 14. 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM. WET Science Center and the Capital Land Trust (Olympia): Meet the Trees of Washington.
It’s called the EVERGREEN STATE for a reason.* TREES! Much of Washington is adorned with the big beauties, but what makes up that glorious veil of green? Come and learn about Washington’s forests! Join Capitol Land Trust for a presentation about trees as you sort leaves and identify the native trees of our state. Nature-related activities will be happening all day. This event is free, and is taking place at the WET Science Center (LOTT), 500 Adams St. NE, Olympia.
*Realtor and former newspaperman Charles Tallmadge Conover coined the phrase The Evergreen State, while working as chairman of the publicity committee of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce in the late 1800’s. His motivation had less to do with extolling our state’s stunning natural beauty than it did with the belief that the nickname would bring more settlers (i.e., home buyers) to the state. To accomplish this, Conover and business partner Samuel L. Crawford, along with Sound historian Frederic Grant produced the promotional booklet “Washington, The Evergreen State and Seattle, its Metropolis,” titled by Conover.
· March 14, 7:00 PM. South Puget Sound Community College, Kenneth J. Minnaert Center (Olympia): Peace Festival – A Celebration of Peace Through Music.
Under the motto Peace though Music. Quality through Inclusion, the Olympia Peace Choir has been a voice for global awareness, social consciousness, and environmental stewardship for a decade. With the resounding theme of It Takes a Village, this 100-voice community chorus will gather with choirs from around the Puget Sound in a joyful, inspiring celebration of peace through music. Guest choirs include the SPSCC Chorus and Vashon’s Free Range Folk Choir. As a service to the Olympia community, all Peace Choir performances are free and family-friendly. The Kenneth J. Minnaert Center Main Stage is located at 2011 Mottman Rd. SW, Olympia.
· March 15, 2:00 PM. Historic Fort Steilacoom (Lakewood): The 1854 Medicine Creek Treaty.
The Treaty of Medicine Creek was an agreement between the United States and the Nisqually, Puyallup, Steilacoom, Squawskin (Squaxin Island), S’Homamish, Stehchass, T’Peeksin, Squi-aitl, and Sa-heh-wamish nations which, under the treaty, were “regarded as one nation, on behalf of said tribes and bands, and duly authorized by them.” The treaty granted 2.24 million acres of land to the United States in exchange for the establishment of three reservations, cash payments over a period of twenty years, and recognition of traditional native fishing and hunting rights in the area. The privileges granted to the tribes were disputed until the Boldt Decision in 1974, which recognized native rights to half of the fish caught on traditional lands throughout the South Sound. Prior to Boldt, the tribes had been allowed much less. In addition, the initial rocky location of the Nisqually reservation was unacceptable to that nation, traditionally a riverside fishing people. The tribe went to war over this in 1855, which culminated in Nisqually Chief Leschi being hanged for murder. Leschi was exonerated in 2004, some 150 years later. Despite not being fully honored by non-natives until the 1970’s, the construction of Interstate 5 was redirected in the ’60’s to avoid destruction of the treaty signing location in Thurston County. The site, now in the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, was designated by Congress as the Medicine Creek Treaty National Memorial on December 18, 2015. Washington State Historian Erich Ebel will speak on the 1854 Medicine Creek Treaty at this event, taking place at Quarters 2. Admission to the lecture is free, but donations are always appreciated, and guided tours will be available for the standard fee. Historic Fort Steilacoom is located on the grounds of Western State Hospital at 9601 Steilacoom Blvd. SW, Lakewood, 253-582-583.
Built in the fascinating Carpenter Gothic style in the 1850’s by Daniel Bigelow, an attorney and politician in Olympia, no history buff should miss touring the Bigelow House Museum. One of the oldest residential buildings in the North West, the House was added to the
National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Each guided tour lasts approximately 45 minutes, and after visiting the House, your name will be added to a long list of historically significant individuals including Snoqualmie Chief Patkanim, Suffragist Susan B. Anthony, and Confederate Army General George Edward Pickett, perhaps best know for the ill-fated Pickett’s Charge on the final day of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. The Museum is located at 918 Glass Ave NE in Olympia. For our current tour schedule, please visit https://olympiahistory.org/calendar-of-events/ .