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Quilts of Valor Exhibit

July 1-31, 2013

Office of the Secretary of State

Quilts of Valor Beautiful handmade quilts created by volunteer quilters from around Washington State will be on display in the Office of the Secretary of State July 1-31, 2013.  The quilts are part of the national Quilts of Valor program.

QOV’s are stitched with love, prayers and healing thoughts.  Combat troops who have been wounded or touched by war are awarded this tangible token of appreciation that unequivocally says, “Thank you for your service, sacrifice and valor.”   The 13 quilts on display represent only a fraction of the quilts created and awarded by Washington volunteers since 2003.

Quilts are awarded at many different levels. But no matter how a Quilt of Valor is given, the impact it delivers is unequivocal.   As one recipient said “My quilt isn’t another military medal to be placed in a box and sit on my shelf. I was moved to tears.” – SSgt RC, US Army, Iraq ‘05


John Spellman
Politics Never Broke His Heart

Released February 2013

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.

Read more about Governor Spellman at The Legacy Project

Order a copy of the book at our State Seal Store

View images from the book launch


Across the Aisles
Sid Snyder's Remarkable Life in Groceries & Government

Released January 2013

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.

Read more about Senator Snyder at The Legacy Project

Order a copy of the book at our State Seal Store

View images from the book launch


A Woman First
The Impact of Jennifer Dunn

Released January 2013

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.

Read more about Congresswoman Dunn at The Legacy Project

Order a copy of the book at our State Seal Store

View images from the book launch


"WE'RE STILL HERE" The Survival of Washington Indians Exhibit
April 24, 2012 - June, 2013

Online Exhibit »

April 24, 2012 - June, 2013

WE'RE STILL HERE - The Survival of Washington Indians Exhibit In recognition of the first footprints across Washington, the Washington State Heritage Center presents a rare, privately-funded exhibit: "We're still here." The Survival of Washington Indians. The exhibit, on view April 24, 2012 - June, 2013 in the Office of the Secretary of State, captures a long and sometimes difficult past of the original Washingtonians.

Washington’s story begins thousands of years ago, before the historic journey of Christopher Columbus, the arrival of American settlers and statehood. "We're still here." acknowledges the early and continuing story of Native Americans in four major themes: the relationship with earth and the struggle over land; assimilation practices and the conflict over Native identity; the century-long battle for treaty fishing rights; and the cultural revival of Indian customs and language in our world today.

The exhibit, supported and vetted by many Washington Indians, displays colorful artifacts to tell compelling and personal stories. Artifacts include rare baskets, tools, feather hats, ceremonial colorful clothing and drums.

View images from the exhibit opening

For more information, e-mail info@heritagecenter.wa.gov.


Where the Salmon Run, The Life and Legacy of Billy Frank Jr.
June 2012

Where the Salmon Run, The Life and Legacy of Billy Frank Jr. The seventh book published by the Legacy Project, a program of the Washington State Heritage Center and the Office of the Secretary of State, was launched with a large crowd or more than 200 friends and admirers of Billy Frank Jr. on June 9.

The Evergreen State College Longhouse was filled with native and non-native people who have worked with Billy for more than 40 years to save the salmon and preserve the treaty fishing rights of Washington Indians.

Billy Frank Jr. is a fisherman, and when he dies he hopes that's how history remembers him. He is not a casual angler who passes sunny afternoons in search of tall tales and kings. Fishing is part of Billy's DNA. In a society fascinated by advancing technology, the Nisqually Indian will take you back to nature. He'll show you the great rivers where the salmon run, and he'll tell you the story of his mysterious fish.

Decades ago, in a far different America, salmon wars erupted on Northwest rivers. Unknown tribal members held up Indian treaties and took a stand for fishing rights. One was a Nisqually Indian named Billy Frank. "I wasn't the Billy Frank that I am now," the Nisqually tribal leader told reporters in 1984. "I was a bitter person." Says friend Tom Keefe, "When I look at Billy Frank, and I guess I know more about him than most people, I can say there is a guy who decided that he could change the world by changing himself."

Frank rose from skirmishes on the riverbank and survived personal trials to become a visionary leader known across the world. Court battles over fishing rights continue. Frank's message is to protect the salmon, still struggling to survive the highways of the sea.

Read more about Billy on the Legacy Project page.

Order a copy of the book at our State Seal Store.

View images from the book launch event.


Slade Gorton: A Half Century in Politics – November 2011

Slade Gorton: A Half Century in Politics – November 2011 The fifth printed book published by the Legacy Project, a a program of the Washington State Heritage Center and the Office of the Secretary of State, was launched with a crowd of friends and admirers of former US Senator and State Attorney General Slade Gorton on November 17, 2011. The event, held at the Gorton Center for International Policy in Seattle, featured Secretary of State Sam Reed and former Governor and US Senator Dan Evans. Author John C. Hughes' comprehensive biography based on hundreds of interviews is hailed by Dan Evans as "a fast-paced, readable biography of one of the political giants of Washington state. Slade Gorton for more than 40 years, served our state with brilliance and left an exemplary legacy of honesty and integrity. This book is a must read for anyone interested in public service or who cares about our political system."

It would be a snap to fill an appendix with all the things they've called Gorton since 1958 when he was elected to the first of five terms in the state Legislature. Besides "Slippery Slade," there's: Slade the Blade. Skeletor. Cyanide Slade. The new General Custer. The Darth Vader of Northwest Politics. Living proof that not all cold fish comes in a can. Just about the coldest, craftiest guy you would ever want to send 3,000 miles away to represent you in Congress. An evil genius giving off unmistakable signals of his inner corruptibleness. As independent as a hog on ice. A kind of David Bowie of American politics, an agile chameleon who goes out of fashion only long enough to re-emerge with a new face. Brilliant but enigmatic. Fiercely partisan. The prickly, patrician scion to the Gorton's of Gloucester fish fortune. Pluperfect WASP.

Those are all quotes. Gorton's good friend from their days in the U.S. Senate, the effervescent Rudy Boschwitz of Minnesota, doesn't recognize that man. To him, Gorton is a "mensch," kind, decent, admirable; one of the highest honors Yiddish can bestow. Jamie Gorelick, a Clinton Democrat who served with Gorton on the 9/11 Commission, found in him both a gallant big brother and "a wise bipartisan consensus-builder." Former staffers like Kellie Carlson are intensely loyal, proud of having worked for him. From the summer intern to the chief of staff, he was courteous and thoughtful. Never "Senator," always "Slade." The son of a feisty, college-educated mother, Gorton began opening doors for female lawyers during his three terms as Washington's attorney general. Women who worked on his U.S. Senate staff have formed the Gorton Legacy Group to advance the careers of women in law and politics. It would be inaccurate, however, to call him a feminist. He's gender and color blind. What matters is whether you're smart and willing to work hard.

Order the book here.

Young Man In A Hurry: The Life of Isaac Stevens & The 150th Anniversary of the Civil War Exhibit
April 5, 2011 – February 2012

Young Man In A Hurry: The Life of Isaac Stevens & The 150th Anniversary of the Civil War Exhibit Explore the life and times of Washington's first territorial governor through a new privately funded exhibit at the Office of Secretary of State. From his birth on a Massachusetts farm to his dramatic death in the Civil War, see the rare maps, images, detailed illustrations and artifacts that tell the powerful story of Isaac Ingalls Stevens.

The exhibit showcases the holdings of Washington's many historical organizations. Author of the compelling book Isaac I. Stevens: Young Man in a Hurry, Dr. Kent Richards, will offer insight into the complex figure. Join us on April 5, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. on the second floor of the Legislative Building in the Office of Secretary of State for the exhibit opening.

See photos of the exhibit launch


Road to Spokane: Bing Crosby's Family History - March 5, 2011

Road to Spokane:  Bing Crosby's Family History - March 5, 2011 The event Road to Spokane: Bing Crosby's Family History, highlighted both the history and genealogy of Bing Crosby's family as well as offered public workshops on how to research your own family history was held on March 5, 2011 in Spokane, Washington. Click here to view photos from this event.

The Genealogy Workshop traced Bing Crosby's Washington roots and was free to all who were interested in the fascinating story of Washington's native son, Bing Crosby and his rise to international fame, as well as to those who want to learn about researching family history.

Gonzaga University, home to the Bing Crosby Archives, Museum and family home, along with staff from the Washington State Library, Washington State Archives and Digital Archives, Crosby family members, local heritage organizations and volunteer genealogists combined resources to unravel the Crosby family history and offered workshops that teach the fundamentals of researching your own family history.

This was a Program of the Washington State Heritage Center and the Office of the Secretary of State. For questions on this event or if you are interested in future genealogy workshops please contact Laura Mott, laura.mott@sos.wa.gov or call (360) 902-4171.

"Lillian Walker: Washington Civil Rights Pioneer" - October 2010

Lillian Walker: Washington Civil Rights Pioneer The third book published by the Legacy Project, a program of the Washington State Heritage Center and the Office of the Secretary of State, was launched with a crowd of more than 100 friends and admirers of 97-year old Lillian Walker on October 5.

The Kitsap County Commissioners Chambers was filled with Kitsap citizens of all ages who have worked with Mrs. Walker on many civil and human rights projects over the years as well as those who are benefiting from her 70 years of civic action.

Mrs. Walker and her late husband, James, arrived in the Navy Yard city of Bremerton in 1941 together with thousands of other African-American wartime workers who thought they had left racism behind in the South and industrialized cities of Midwest and East. But many Kitsap County businesses, including cafes, taverns, drug stores and barber shops, displayed signs saying, "We Cater to White Trade Only." In a landmark case, the Walkers took a soda fountain owner to court and won. Mrs. Walker, her husband and many friends of all races embarked on a crusade spanning many decades to eliminate racism in their community. Lillian Walker has accomplished her goals without rancor, but rather with an attitude that others simply needed to be 'educated'.

Lillian Walker helped found the Bremerton branch of the NAACP in 1943 and went on to serve as state NAACP secretary. She was conducting sit-ins and filing civil rights lawsuits when Martin Luther King was in junior high school. She is a charter member of the YWCA of Kitsap County, former chairman of the Kitsap County Regional Library Board, a 69-year member of Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church, and a founder and former president of Church Women United in Bremerton.

Lillian Walker has contributed in countless ways to the effective functioning of our government and promoted better understanding of our Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the rule of law; her courageous persistence to insist on equal rights has brought about change in her community.

Order the book here.

To see images of the event, click here.

"An Election for the Ages" Book Launch - July 2010

An Election for the Ages As they voted for governor in 2004, Washington citizens were unaware they were launching one of the most stunning and controversial races in state history. 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.

Order this book here.

"Booth Who?" Biography Book Launch – June 2010

Book Gardner Biography Book Cover From his first campaign, an upset victory for the State Senate in 1970, to his last, a 2008 landslide that saw Washington become the second state in the nation to allow assisted suicide, Booth Gardner has been a relentlessly analyzed collection of contradictions. No public figure in Washington State history has been written about so intensely for so long. Booth Gardner is truly a Washington citizen who has moved our state forward. He continues to challenge us with initiatives that force us to look at the tough problems of today.

"Booth Who?" presents an engaging biography of Washington's charismatic 19th governor.

The publication of this book, a production of the Legacy Project, Washington State Heritage Center and Office of the Secretary of State, is funded by a gift to the Washington State Heritage Center Trust. All proceeds from the sale of the book will help the Trust support additional Legacy Project publications.

""Booth Who?" is a literary oxymoron, an official biography (supported by former Gardner deputies) that is also painfully honest. State history need not be stultifying. "Booth Who?" shows how to make it compelling" Joel Connelly, Seattle PI.com.

Order this book here.

Now available as an e-book on Amazon.com.

To view images from the book launch event, click here.

"Nancy Evans: First-rate First Lady" Book Launch – May 2010

Nancy Evans Biography Book Cover She raised three boys in the fishbowl of the Governor's Mansion and still kept up with her dynamic husband and his multiple careers as an engineer, Governor, college president and U.S. Senator. Through it all, Nancy Evans stayed true to herself and her own interests.

Nancy Evans, First Rate First Lady is the engaging, must-read life story of one of Washington's most popular first ladies who has very capably and with a marvelous sense of humor and aplomb accomplished all those things and more.

Nancy Bell Evans came to the Capitol with her husband, Governor Dan Evans, in 1965 as the state's youngest ever first lady. Confronted by a dilapidated Governor's Mansion desperately in need of repair, she established the Governor's Mansion Foundation to secure appropriate furnishings and artwork and championed the successful restoration and expansion of the historic home. Her stories of her childhood in Spokane, raising three young boys in the Capitol during Governor Evans' three terms of office, and her many civic and philanthropic activities after leaving Olympia is a fascinating story of an effervescent, wise and very accomplished woman who, through her many contributions, left her stamp on Olympia and the State of Washington.

Order this book here.

First Washington Women in Law - March 22 - December 31, 2010

Temple of Justice, Olympia, Washington

First Washington Women in Law Celebrating this year's Centennial of Women's Suffrage in Washington State, the Washington State Supreme Court, the Supreme Court Gender and Justice Commission, and the Washington State Heritage Center present the First Washington Women in Law exhibit. The exhibit recognizes Washington women who have held significant positions in the law in our State over the past 100 years. From Reba Hurn, first woman to be admitted to the Bar in Washington in 1913 to the first female majority on the State Supreme Court in 2003, this exhibit recognizes the ground-breaking achievements of women as leaders in the law profession over the years.

Moving Forward, Looking Back: Washington's First Women in Government
January 2010 - December 2010

Office of the Secretary of State, Legislative Building, Olympia, Washington

Washington Women: Firsts in Government Exhibit Moving Forward, Looking Back: Washington's First Women in Government showcases women who were first of their gender to be elected to state-wide offices. Not long after Washington women won the right to vote in 1910, women ran for and were elected to the state House of Representatives. Since then women have achieved every statewide elected office in Washington. The exhibit, which will be located in the Office of the Secretary of State, presents images and biographies of these women and their stellar achievements. The exhibit will be on display January through December, 2010. See photos of the exhibit launch.

This exhibit is in celebration of the Centennial of Women's Suffrage in Washington State and with the cooperation of the Women's History Consortium.

The Ruddell Riddle

The Ruddell Riddle

The Ruddell Riddle, an event that highlighted both the history and genealogy of the Ruddell family as well as offering public workshops on how to research your own family history was held January 30, 2010. Click here to view photos and documents shared at the event.

Stephen Duley Ruddell settled in the Olympia area in 1851 and helped make the Ruddell family one of the area's most prominent and well-known families. The Ruddell's have a fascinating and complex history dating back to the early years of our nation. This project demonstrates how research materials from the Washington State Archives and the Washington State Library can tell great stories of the people of our state.

For a gift of $15 or more to the Washington State Heritage Center Trust, you can receive a CD of the handouts from the event and a DVD of the day's program.

Click here to make your gift on-line or mail your check to: Ruddell Riddle, Washington State Heritage Center Trust, PO Box 40222, Olympia, WA 98504-0222.

If you are interested in future genealogy workshops please contact Laura Mott, laura.mott@sos.wa.gov or call (360) 902-4171.