Stories

Washington Remembers

From the beaches of Normandy to Buchenwald concentration camp, Washington veterans relive World War II. Learn more and pay tribute to Washington’s heroes who changed the course of our history and made us who we are today.

George Narozonick: Sailor on the Longest Day

Labeled Ugly Ducklings and even a naval monstrosity, Landing Ship, Tanks (LSTs) made shore-to-shore deliveries of men, cargo and vehicles all over the globe in World War II. George Narozonick, a ship fitter from New Jersey who lives in Olympia, sailed the USS LST 501. After decades of silence, Narozonick relives the fateful Normandy landings from aboard a homely ship that helped win the war.

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Regina Tollfeldt: She gave them wings

Regina Tollfeldt of Olympia is one of the last of the some 15,000 women who worked in Boeing’s Seattle factories during World War II. Eight hours a day, seven days a week at the apex of the war, she wriggled through the wing jigs for the gleaming B-17s leaving Plant No. 2 at the rate of a dozen a day. Her job was to drill the holes for the rivets that fastened the bomber’s aluminum skin to its ribs.

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Arnold Samuels: Eyewitness to the Holocaust

Arnold Samuels of Ocean Shores, whose family escaped Nazi Germany in 1937, returned as an American GI and helped liberate the concentration camp at Dachau. At war’s end, he served in the Counter Intelligence Corps with another 22-year-old sergeant, Henry Kissinger, as the Allies set up a de-Nazified government and searched for war criminals.

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Joe Moser: Missing in Buchenwald

Joe Moser realized his dream to fly in the cockpit of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, one of the fastest twin-engine fighters on the planet. In the summer of 1944, Moser bails out of the warbird during a perilous flight over France and begins more than eight months of captivity. He survives hellish conditions at Buchenwald concentration camp and is set free within days of his rumored execution.

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Pressing On: Two Family-Owned Newspapers in the 21st Century

"Pressing On" traces the history of two exceptional family-owned newspapers, The Seattle Times and The Wenatchee World. With full-color printing, Websites and intuitive smartphone and tablet apps, The Times and The World are reinventing themselves to stay relevant in the Internet age.

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Robert Graham: Country Boy in the South Pacific

This oral history with Robert and Lloydine Graham of Olympia is part of a series spotlighting World War II veterans; 2015 will mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the war.

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John Spellman: Politics Never Broke His Heart

John Spellman is remembered by most as the King County Executive who persevered to build the Kingdome, Seattle's controversial domed stadium, and went on to serve a star-crossed term as governor in the middle of what was then the worst recession since the Depression. His achievements as a reformer and innovator in county government and progressive achievements as governor are explored in this biography.

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Sid Snyder: Across the Aisles

Raised during the Great Depression by a widowed mother in Kelso, Sid Snyder relied on hard work to overcome his humble beginnings and eventually become an enterprising grocery store owner, bank founder, successful real-estate investor and one of the most well-respected senate majority leaders the Washington State Legislature has ever seen.

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A Woman First: The Impact of Jennifer Dunn

Misjudged, underestimated and sometimes ignored, Jennifer Dunn broke the gender barrier repeatedly as a single mother of two boys. Once labeled a “Glamour Girl” in Congress, Dunn rose through the ranks to become one of the most powerful women on Capitol Hill. From Megan’s Law to AMBER Alert, Dunn proved to be a woman first.

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The Inimitable Adele Ferguson

When he was Majority Leader of the Washington State Senate in the 1980s, Ted Bottiger told freshman legislators to beware of three things: "Adele Ferguson! Adele Ferguson! Adele Ferguson!" The legendary columnist is still at it today.

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Where the Salmon Run: The Life and Legacy of Billy Frank Jr.

With his father, Nisqually elder Billy Frank Jr. reaches back 10 years before statehood. The long history of Indian people in the Northwest inspired Frank to help unite the state and Indian tribes in the battle for fishing rights. At 81, Frank continues a global crusade to protect indigenous people and salmon.

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Carolyn Dimmick: A Judge for All Seasons

When she graduated from law school, Carolyn Dimmick made a splash as "a pretty blonde waterskier." She endured many more gender stereotypes since, but along the way earned enormous respect as a judge and made history as the first woman on the Washington Supreme Court.

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Bonnie J. Dunbar, PhD: An Adventurous Mind

Her story is tailor-made for any parent hoping to inspire a child. After a humble start to life on a Yakima Valley cattle ranch, Bonnie Dunbar proves it really is what’s inside. Dunbar rose to worldwide fame as one of just 51 women across the globe to fly in space. The five-time space hero broke the gender barrier and never thought twice about people who doubted she could fulfill her dreams.

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Nancy Evans: First-rate First Lady

When she accepted his proposal she never dreamed of the life they would lead. At 31, Nancy Bell Evans plunged into the role of First Lady as the wife of Dan Evans, Washington’s chief executive for 12 years. Evans raised her young family in a decrepit Mansion that she would go on to save, and made a name for herself as an activist and community leader.

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Booth Who? The biography of a charismatic governor

Booth Gardner: In 1983, when he decided to challenge a sitting governor, he was little known outside Pierce County where he grew up. His brain-trust put 'Booth Who?' on a button and it became the catchiest campaign slogan in state history. He remains one of Washington's most popular and inspirational public servants.

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Slade Gorton: A Half Century in Politics

a state legislator, attorney general and U.S. senator, his 50-year career in public service put him on the front lines of a host of controversial issues—from redistricting to fishing rights disputes, the battle over the spotted owl and dam breaching. His service on the 9/11 Commission revealed his tenacity to find the truth. Often characterized as an icy intellectual, Gorton emerges as a complex, thoughtful man.

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Krist Novoselic: Of Grunge and Government

Fifteen years ago, he was a member of the most popular rock band in the world. Today Krist Novoselic is political activist, filmmaker, private pilot, and Volkswagen mechanic (among other things), reveling in Wahkiakum County's country life.

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Charles Z. Smith: Trailblazer

The son of a Cuban auto mechanic and a restaurant cook, Charles Z. Smith rose from humble beginnings in the segregated South to become the first person of color on the Washington Supreme Court. Through a fascinating 55-year career in public service, Smith has earned a reputation as a role model to thousands, a corruption-fighting federal prosecutor, and a thoughtful judge internationally known for tolerance.

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Robert Utter: Justice's Sailor

Robert F. Utter became one of the youngest Supreme Court justices in state history when he was named to the bench at the age of 41. He resigned 23 years later, in 1995, to protest the death penalty, saying he could no longer participate in "a system that is fatally flawed." In the years since, Utter has been engaged in judicial, civic and political activism on multiple fronts around the world.

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Lillian Walker: Washington State Civil Rights Pioneer

When Lillian Walker arrived in Bremerton in 1941 from Illinois she never expected to encounter racism in the Northwest. A charter member of the Bremerton branch of the NAACP, she has been fighting prejudice ever since—and winning. Her devotion has inspired generations and helped change the face of her old shipyard town.

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An Election for the Ages: Rossi vs. Gregoire, 2004

When they voted in the November 2004 gubernatorial election, Washington State citizens were unaware that they were launching a stunning and controversial political episode. After a chaotic primary, an equally divided public, numerous recounts, and five court cases, the winner in Dino Rossi vs. Christine Gregoire was decided by only 133 votes out of 2.8 million cast. This book, written from the perspective of the Office of the Secretary of State, tells the story of an historic election that called into question the integrity and accuracy of the entire voting process, and resulted in a dramatic overhaul of the state's election process.

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