This Week Then: Looking Back on the First Flight of a Boeing 747

Plus: Forty years ago this week, a massive storm blasted the Hood Canal Bridge with 80-to-120-mile-an-hour winds
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  • Puget Sound's Boeing company

The Hood Canal Bridge was controversial from the start. Floating bridges work best on calm lake waters, but the fjord that is Hood Canal is subject to tides, high winds, and choppy waters. Highway Director William A. Bugge gave assurances that the design was sound, although once the bridge opened it required constant maintenance due to jostling from high waves and storms. Two years before it sank, the bridge was renamed in Bugge's honor.

In 2003 work began on replacing the 40-year-old pontoons supporting the eastern half of the bridge. A shoreline site in Port Angeles was selected for a graving dock where replacement sections would be built, but during its construction workers uncovered a shell midden. Further discoveries revealed the largely intact Klallam village of Tse-whit-zen under layers of industrial rubble and fill. The graving dock construction site was abandoned at a loss of some $60 million and relocated in Tacoma, a city that once needed some remedial bridgework of its own.


Racial Woe

This week marks two dark moments in Seattle history, both of which took place on February 7. The first came in 1865, when officials for the newly formed town passed its fifth ordinance, calling for the expulsion of Indians. The law became moot when the town government was dissolved two years later, and the ban on Indian residents was not re-enacted. But on February 7, 1886, an attempt was made to remove the city's Chinese residents, this time by mob rule.

In the Flow

On February 12, 1914, a ceremony in Port Angeles celebrated the arrival of electricity from the Elwha River hydroelectric project. But progress came with a price: the loss of massive, multiple runs of salmon and steelhead. In 2011, after other energy sources powered the peninsula, demolition began on the dam, and within a few years hundreds of thousands of salmon were once again able to run free between mountains and sea.

Yes and No

On February 13, 1968, King County voters approved Proposition 6, a Forward Thrust Parks and Recreation bond that provided much needed funding for King County parks. Voters also approved bonds for a new stadium and an aquarium, but opted against funding a regional rapid-transit system, much to the dismay of present-day commuters.

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