Seattle skyline


Posted on January 13, 2015

Tracing the history of the illustrious city that saw the birth of grunge, Starbucks, Costco, Amazon, and Microsoft. Here’s our Seattle timeline.

Nov. 13, 1851
The Denny Party lands on Alki Point in what is now Seattle.

Nov. 28, 1851
The first store in the area is opened by Charles Terry.

March 31, 1852
David “Doc” Maynard arrives in the area. He names the city after his friend, Chief Sealth or Chief Seattle, the leader of the Duwamish and Suquamish tribes.

April 1852
The Denny Party relocates their settlement to Elliott Bay.

Dec. 22, 1852
King County is incorporated.

May 23, 1853
Arthur Denny, Carson Boren, and Dr. David S. Maynard file the first plats for the Town of Seattle. They establish the still existent street grid for Pioneer Square and downtown Seattle.

Jan. 26, 1856
The Battle of Seattle occurs between Seattle settlers and native Indians who do not want to be relocated elsewhere.

Asa Shinn Mercer becomes the University of Washington’s first teacher and acting president.

Dec. 10, 1863
Seattle first newspaper, The Gazette, is first published. It eventually becomes the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

June 7, 1866
Chief Sealth dies.

June 6, 1889
The Nordhoff family opens The Bon Marché department store.

July 11, 1870
The city’s first mayor, Henry Atkins, is elected.

The Great Seattle Fire destroys the business district but causes no deaths.

Nordstrom is founded as a shoestore called Wallin & Nordstrom in Seattle.

Aug. 17, 1907
Pike Place Market opens.

Aug. 28, 1907
United Parcel Service (UPS) is founded as American Messenger by James Casey Claude Ryan.

The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition is held.

Nov. 8, 1910
Women are granted the right to vote in Washington State.

Sept. 19, 1913
Frances Farmer is born in Seattle.

July 15, 1916
William E. Boeing founds the Boeing company in Seattle.

The 1918 Spanish Flu takes 1,600 lives in Seattle.

There is a general strike.

Eddie Bauer is founded.

April 21, 1942
Japanese Americans in Seattle are ordered to evacuate the city. During WW II more than 12,000 Japanese Americans from the Seattle area are held in detention centers.

Nov. 27, 1942
Jimi Hendrix is born in Seattle.

April 13, 1949
Seattle is hit by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake. Seven lose their lives and the damage to the city is devastating.

July 9, 1949
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport opens.

Jan. 21, 1953
Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, is born in Seattle.

Oct. 28, 1955
Bill Gates is born in Seattle.

April 21, 1962
The World’s Fair opens. The Space Needle and the Monorail were built for the occasion.

Oct. 13, 1967
The Seattle Supersonics play their first game.

Feb. 9, 1969
The Boeing 747 makes its first test flight.

The first Starbucks opens in Seattle.

May 20, 1977
The Seattle Aquarium opens its doors.

Microsoft Corporation moves headquarters from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Seattle.

May 18, 1980
Mount St. Helens, located 96 miles south of Seattle, erupts. It is the most catastropic volcano eruption in United States history. 57 people lose their lives.

Sept. 15, 1983
The flagship Costco discount warehouse is opened in Seattle.

Early 1990s
Grunge music becomes popular. Bands from Seattle and the Pacific Northwest such as Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden, redefine rock music in the 1990s.

The Goodwill Games are held.

The WTO Meeting is held. Street protests cause chaos.

Feb. 28, 2001
A 6.8 quake, named the Nisqually Earthquake, occurs.

Sept. 4, 2001
Boeing moves its headquarters to Chicago.

July 2012
Seattle becomes the largest city in Washington State to ban plastic shopping bags.

October 2014
The city relaces Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

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