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Stories from the Archives...

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.

Myths in Records Management

As business becomes increasingly digital and amasses ever-increasing numbers of records, the tasks before our records managers seem daunting.  Our team of experts can make these seemingly overwhelming tasks much more manageable!

Speaking of Records Management, Training Opportunities for State & Local Government are available.
Who said that?  

"I would rather cross the political aisle than cross the people.  There are no Republican schools or Democrat highways, no liberal salmon or conservative parks."

Find the answer here!

This same person also said,

"Figure out what you are really for and go fight for it.  You can't make your mark by just saying no to the people you disagree with." 
Enjoy Washington history every time you use your computer!
T hese images, from the collections of the Washington State Archives, capture historical moments from across the state.  Click on the image, or visit the Washington State Digital Archives homepage here to download the screen saver and start enjoying pictures of Washington's past today!
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Banner Image: Hunters Photographs--"April, 1925", Crossroads on the Columbia Photograph Collection, Washington State Archives.

April 2015
Looking back 40 years: The fall of Saigon and Washington's Vietnam refugees
Ralph Munro in California, 1975

Contributed by Ben Helle, Olympia Branch     

Following the fall of Saigon to North Vietnam's communist forces in April 1975, Vietnamese refugees brought to the US were housed in a tent city at Camp Pendleton in California. In strong contrast to then-Governor Jerry Brown of California, Governor Dan Evans of Washington invited these refugees to settle in our state. As a young staffer for Governor Evans, Ralph Munro was sent to Camp Pendleton with a personal letter from the governor extending a warm welcome and encouraging them to come to Washington. 

Hundreds of refugees responded and were provided temporary shelter at Camp Murray near Tacoma. Governor Evans was the first governor in the country to make this offer and other states soon followed. Munro, who later served as Washington's Secretary of State, is still proud of his work in 1975, remarking it was one of the most important things he's ever done. The photographs of his trip to Camp Pendleton are part of the collections at the Washington State Archives.

Click here to view a sampling of the photos from that collection and here to read Ralph Munro's memo to Governor Evans. And here for an interview with Ralph Munro on NPR-KUOW.      
Photo Challenge!  
Presented by Mary Hammer, Digital Projects Archivist

The photograph collection at the Washington State Archives is varied and amazing...and needs some help with identification at times.  Submitted for your approval: These adorable pages from the House of Representatives in 1937 are unidentified. Do you recognize any of these dedicated public servants? Click here to see a larger version of the photograph, and here to submit any information you might have to help us more accurately account for this moment in time! We'll post any results we get in the May edition.    
"Footloose" in rural Washington
Contributed by Patrick Williams, Grants and Contracts Coordinator,  
Washington State Archives
  Believe it or not, there are even six degrees of separation between Kevin Bacon and the Town of Wilson Creek.  Back in the 1920s, the town council passed an ordinance prohibiting children under the age of 16 from dancing within the corporate limits unless they were accom panied by their pare nts. Luckily for all those sad teens, the ordinanc e was repealed and the youth of Wilson Creek are free to dance the night away. Take a look at the whole ordinance here.  
Steamer Albion loaded with passengers.
The County Wreckmaster records mystery--can you help?   

Contributed by Tracy Rebstock, Southwest Regional Archivist

If you take a look at this excerpt from the Twelfth Biennial Report of the Secretary of State, you will notice the mention of the County Wreckmaster. This elected county office was created in the first session of the Washington Territorial Legislature and repealed in 1915.  According to Section 2802 of the Code of Washington 1881, the wreckmaster for each county was to give his bond to the judge of probate, to secure the property of a wrecked ship until someone would claim the property. If no one claimed it after a year, he was to oversee the public auction of the items with the county sheriff, magistrate, or constable. He was then to post a detailed description of the shipwrecked property. The term of office was three years. 

A search of the Thurston County Commissioners' record mentions the appointment of Philip Vincent as Wreckmaster of Thurston County in December 1893. Where is the record of this office? Did they need to keep a log? If so, where are they? These are just some of the questions we would like to ask you.  Have you seen any of these records?  Did anyone in your family serve as wreckmaster? If so, please contact us and share what you know!

Get to Know Archives Staff! 
People come to the Archives in many ways. This month's Employee Spotlight -
Nicole Kindle

Nicole is a Digital Projects Technician with the Washington State Archives.  She started in August 2014, and is a great addition to the team. Sadly for us but happily for Nicole, she was recently accepted into the Public History program at Portland State and will be heading that way at the end of August. While we are happy for her, her professionalism, bubbly personality and smile will be greatly missed!

Her supervisor, Angela Yoder, sent her a series of questions, and she was kind enough to answer them. In addition to the usual suspects of questions, read here to find out what Nicole believes would make her  weep uncontrollably!
We hope you've enjoyed this edition of
"Out of the Archives!"

Steve Excell, Washington State Archivist | |
Telephone: (360) 586-1492
1129 Washington St. SE
Olympia, WA 98504-0238