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June's Photo Challenge Answer
Contributed by Mary Hammer, Digital Projects Archivist
Our winners: Ed Echtle correctly stated that Evergreen Plaza is the current building in the demolition photo from last month's newsletter and pointed out that the Olympia Hotel had been on the site. Michael MacSems also correctly noted that the Dolliver Building (old Olympia Post Office) still stands, and that "the slope in the foreground hits at the western train tunnel approach." Good research, fellows!

Click here for some amazing photos of that same location over the years and a little bit more history!
July Photo Challenge
Contributed by Mary Hammer, Digital Projects Archivist
Okay, folks--here's another for you. Who is this politician and why is he pumping gas? No hints on this one, but bonus points if you remember this moment in time and can share your memories!  Stay tuned to next month's edition for the answer.

Click here for a larger version of the image.
Jake Bird, Serial Killer Caught in Washington State
Nation-wide killer, captured and hung in Tacoma

Jake Bird was convicted of killing two women in Tacoma in 1947--Mrs. Bertha Kludt, age 53, and her daughter, Beverly June Kludt, age 17. Not allowed to defend himself until after his sentence was read, Bird claimed that his confession was beaten out of him, and placed what was called the "Jake Bird Hex" on all of the people involved with bringing him to justice.

Sentenced to hang in January of 1948, Bird began confessing to a long string of murders, offering to produce evidence if given a stay of execution. Given a reprieve of 60 days in order for other states to conduct investigations, Bird began a campaign to "clear up" murders he claimed to be directly involved in, accomplice to, or just have enough information on to help solve.

In the end, he was positively linked to 11 murders. In his testimony, he also claimed to be a copycat killer to the Kingsbury Run Murders that took place in Cleveland during the 1930s. But was any of that simply a stall tactic? Some of the murders he claimed to have committed were linked to people he met while spending time in prison. After numerous failed attempts to overturn his sentence, Bird hanged on July 15, 1949.

Throughout the entire process, he always maintained his innocence where the Tacoma murders were concerned.  So what is the real story? Because his killing spree ended in Washington State, the Washington State Archives holds his records including the full transcript of his interview with authorities. Explore some of these primary source documents for yourself and see what you think! Read more about Jake Bird here.

The Washington State Archives are full of fascinating stories told through primary source documents.  Why not come in and see what you can uncover?

Who said that?
"If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing slowly...very slowly."

Find out here!

The same person also said,

"Praying is like a rocking chair--it will give you something to do but it won't get you anywhere."

Pierce County Superior Court Judges
Judge William Henry Hudson Kean (1862-1901) elected Pierce County Superior Judge from January 11, 1897 to 1901
Or is it really Matt Damon?
Collaboration for preservation and access

The Washington State Archives collaborated with the Pierce County Superior Court to digitize their complete collection of Superior Judge photographs from 1889 to present. Originally, the collection was displayed in frames at the courthouse. The Court removed them from their frames and the Archives' Puget Sound Regional Branch digitized them, rehoused them and they are now preserved in climate controlled conditions at the Archives.  The Superior Court was presented with prints made from the digital images which were framed and displayed again at the courthouse. Thanks to this collaborative effort, the originals are preserved, images are still available for public display in Pierce County, and the collection is online searchable here at the Digital Archives.

The State Archives is interested in similar partnerships to digitize their collections.  Contact us if you are interested!
Celebrate Washington's Historic Bridges
Washington State is graced with a number of beautiful, unique bridges. The first week in July marked the 75th anniversary of two of our most (in)famous bridges, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and the Lake Washington Floating Bridge.

The Washington State Archives holds many documents and images from these monumental bridge openings.

In addition, July 1 marks the centennial of the Sunset Highway, the state's first passable route through the Cascade Mountains at Snoqualmie Pass.

Celebrate all that makes Washington special this summer by starting with the ways in which we make our way around it.  Check out some of the great stuff in our collection on our Facebook page!
Employee Spotlight
Meet Debbie Bahn, Electronic Records Archivist, Digital Archives and Collections Manager

Debbie Bahn works at the Eastern Regional Branch in Cheney, Washington. As you can imagine, wearing all those hats makes her a very busy woman, but she was kind enough to answer some questions fired off by Tracy Rebstock.

News from the OSOS blog
The Office of the Secretary of State routinely updates a blog entitled "From Our Corner,"  in order to provide from-the-source information about important state news and public services.  Often, stories of note from the Archives are included on this page. Click here to check out past stories.
Washington Remembers WWII project
This three-part project includes online stories with individual veterans; Faces of Heroes page, where the public can share a photo of their WWII veteran; and an upcoming exhibit in August.

Read these inspirational accounts from one of our deadliest conflicts.

We hope you enjoyed this edition of "Out of the Archives!"

Banner Image: Fourth of July Parade, Seattle, 1888, State Library Photograph Collection, 1851-1990, Washington State Digital Archives. 
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