George Putnam Riley (1833-1905)

Image Ownership: Public domain George Putnam Riley, a native of Boston, Massachusetts, was an important figure in the Pacific Northwest during the nineteenth century. Riley’s grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War under General Israel Putnam, and his middle name probably refers to his grandfather’s commander. His father, William … Read MoreGeorge Putnam Riley (1833-1905)

The Construction of the Alaska Highway, 1942: The Role of Race in the Far North

In the following article independent historians Christine and Dennis McClure describe the role race played in the construction of the Alaska-Canada (ALCAN) Highway during World War II. The highway, constructed in eight months, stretched 1,600 miles from Dawson Creek, British Columbia to Delta Junction, Alaska. … Read MoreThe Construction of the Alaska Highway, 1942: The Role of Race in the Far North

Cree Summer Francks (1969– )

“Image Ownership: Public Domain” Cree Summer Francks is an American-Canadian voice actress, actress, and singer. Summer was born in Los Angles, California, on July 7, 1969, and grew up on the Red Pheasant (Indian) Reserve in Saskatchewan, Canada. Summer is the daughter of Don Francks, … Read MoreCree Summer Francks (1969– )

Frederick McDonald Massiah (1886–1975)

“Image Ownership: Public Domain” Frederick McDonald Massiah was one of the first African Americans to receive a civil engineering degree from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was also one of the first successful African American contracting engineers in the country. Massiah was born in … Read MoreFrederick McDonald Massiah (1886–1975)

Thelma Beatrice Johnson Streat (1912-1959)

African American artist and dancer Thelma Johnson Streat was born in Yakima, Washington on August 29, 1912, the second of Gertrude Beatrice Carson and James A. Johnson’s five children.  Streat’s artistic ability was evident at a young age.  She graduated from Washington High School in … Read MoreThelma Beatrice Johnson Streat (1912-1959)

Jazz in Occupied China: Black Jazzmen at the Japanese Prison Camp in Weihsien, China during World War II

Desmond Power, a third generation British subject born in Tientsin (now Tianjin), China in 1923, was incarcerated along with 1,500 other foreign nationals in 1943 in Weihsien, a Japanese Prisoner of War camp in North China during World War II.  In the article below, Power … Read MoreJazz in Occupied China: Black Jazzmen at the Japanese Prison Camp in Weihsien, China during World War II

Charles Mitchell, Slavery, and Washington Territory in 1860

Few people connect Washington Territory with slavery.  However one incident in 1860 was a reminder that the peculiar institution reached the pre-Civil War Pacific Northwest.  In the account below, historian Lorraine McConaghy describes the saga of Charles Mitchell whose attempted escape from slavery in a … Read MoreCharles Mitchell, Slavery, and Washington Territory in 1860