History, politics, people of Oly WA

Month: October 2011

Occupy Olympia, Little Hollywood and 1933 at Priest Point

Little Hollywood in the late 1930s (from here) overlaid with Occupy Olympia (from here). Click on image for larger version:

Since Occupy Olympia moved down to Heritage Park, I’ve been reminded about how fitting the location is for them. Before Capitol Lake, that particular place was home to Little Hollywood, Olympia’s depression era shacktown. It was probably the most visible evidence of the Great Depression in town.

Slog also reminded me of the 1933 Hunger March, an important event in Olympia history. It should be remembered at least for the violence brought down upon the marchers by locals:

In March of 1933 several demonstrators from Seattle organized a march in which they demanded food relief for the unemployed. Once the marchers reached East bay Drive they were met by the police and vigilantes calling themselves the American vigilantes. Both the vigilantes and the police surrounded the marchers pushing them back to Priest Point Park. Once the marchers were in the park their attackers used broom handles to beat the marchers into ending their march. The attacker’s actions made sure the second march never reached the Capitol Building. All though the second march failed to generate legal changes the march altered the way history is told.

Little Hollywood and the Hunger Marches of 1933 are two important aspects of Olympia’s past that is commonly misrepresented. The Thurston County website claims that the Hunger March of 1933 was a protest of 5,000 out-of-work men who threatened to take over the Capitol building and according to the Daily Olympian “terrorize the town.” Sheriff Havens and his Deputies meet the unruly group with a cadre of deputized citizens.

There is no mention of the corralling of the marchers nor is there any evidence that the protestors aimed to be violent. This is the accepted history of Thurston County, not the accepted history of many historians. The importance of Olympia’s past is not being represented and we must not let those who suffered be forgotten. As a lifelong resident my call to action is clear. I must not only tell Olympia’s past but I must urge others in supporting a historical revolution.

Hello to Olympia Views, bye to Jim Anderson and a few other Olympia blogs of note

One of the best local blogs to come along in awhile is Olympia Views.  I’m not sure if the blogger is trying to hide their identity, but I if not I haven’t been able to find out who is writing it.

My favorite post so far is this one on the possible impact of a Republican governor on Olympia:

This is a story that — at least in Thurston County — should not wait until the election season heats up next fall. Part of McKenna’s platform is governmental reform. The candidate is fairly vague on what that means, but at the very least one can anticipate that an entire generation of managers who have gotten comfortable working for a succession of Democratic governors may worry about finding themselves out of a job.

You also have to love a blogger that puts so much thought picking up my thread on a new library in Olympia.

On the other hand, its sad to see local blogging great Jim Anderson of decrobilia bow out. In addition to decrobilia, Jim also wrote the great 5/17 blog, probably the best education blog I’ve ever read.

There are a few other newish blogs worth mentioning: OlyEats and Purehunger (a local food blogs that are actually updated every so often) and Bibliosnack (a local librarian vlogs and blogs book reviews).

Why living in a college town is awesome (because we get Olympia Winter Nights)

I’m not saying this is most awesome thing in the world, but its pretty darn awesome and this is the sort of thing we get because we live in a town with a pretty darn good college.

Olympia Winter Nights, a concert series put on last year at Evergreen that I really hope will be coming back:

Olympia Winter Nights is a live concert series created and produced by the 2010/2011 media interns of The Evergreen State College. …Olympia Winter Nights will be an intimate listening and viewing experience for those attending the in-studio performances. Additionally, the concerts will be viewable by the entire world via a live stream on the internet!

Inspiration for this concert series comes from the long running PBS broadcast “Austin City Limits”, the 1990’s MTV broadcasts of “MTV unplugged” and the recent in-studio broadcasts of KEXP radio “Live on KEXP”. The artists to perform in this concert series will be drawn largely from the rich community of local talent. In true Evergreen State College tradition, Olympia Winter Nights will be complemented with experimental lighting techniques and infused with imaginative, real time MAX/MSP/JITTER light projections. A truly Olympian concert experience!

I especially like the opening, it really reminds me of Olympia and our winter season. Makes me think of home.

Also, in the tradition of things I like, Olympia Winter Nights posted up a free Season 1 compilation album. And, damn, you have to love that theme music.

Its like audio oyster light.

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