Olympia Timeline

Olympia Timeline

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  • c. 1900 BCE

    First evidence of settlement at Olympia.

  • 776 BCE

    First athletic games in honour of Zeus are held at Olympia with one event, the stadion foot race.

  • 724 BCE

    The diaulos foot-race (two lengths of the stadium) is added to the schedule of the Olympic Games.

  • 720 BCE

    The dolichos foot-race is added to the schedule of the Olympic Games and is won by Akanthos of Sparta.

  • 720 BCE

    Orsippos is the first athlete to discard his loincloth at the Olympic Games, establishing the convention for athletes to compete naked.

  • 708 BCE

    Wrestling and the pentathlon are added to the schedule of the Olympic Games.

  • 688 BCE

    Boxing is added to the schedule of the Olympic Games.

  • 680 BCE

    Chariot races are added to the schedule of the Olympic Games which are extended to two days for the first time.

  • 680 BCE

    The tethrippon (four-horse chariot race) is added to the schedule of the Olympic Games.

  • 650 BCE - 600 BCE

    Heraion, temple dedicated to Hera built at Olympia.

  • 648 BCE

    The Pankration (a mix of wrestling and boxing) is added to the schedule of the Olympic Games.

  • 632 BCE

    Events for boys are added to the schedule of the Olympic Games which are extended to three days for the first time.

  • 532 BCE

    Milon of Kroton wins the first of five consecutive wrestling competitions at the Olympic Games.

  • 521 BCE

    Phanas of Pellene wins the stadion, diaulos and race in armour in the same Olympic Games.

  • 520 BCE

    The hoplitodromos (a foot-race in hoplite armour is added to the schedule of the Olympic Games.

  • 488 BCE

    Kroton of Magna Graecia wins the first of three consecutive stadion races in the Olympic Games.

  • 488 BCE

    Runner Astylos of Kroton wins the first of his six victories over three Olympic Games.

  • c. 460 BCE - 457 BCE

    Temple of Zeus is built at Olympia with a statue of Apollo dominating the west pediment and containing the cult statue of Zeus by Phidias.

  • c. 460 BCE

    The west pediment of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia is decorated with a Centauromachy of centaurs fighting Lapiths at the wedding of Peirithoos.

  • c. 457 BCE

    Metopes on the Temple of Zeus at Olympia depict the twelve labours of Hercules.

  • c. 430 BCE

    The cult statue of Zeus by Phidias is dedicated in the Temple of Zeus, Olympia. It is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

  • 424 BCE - 420 BCE

    The Nike of Paionios is erected at Olympia to commemorate the Messenian and Naupaktian victory over Sparta at the battle of Sphakteria.

  • 420 BCE

    Sparta is excluded from the Olympic Games for breaking the ekecheiria or sacred truce.

  • 416 BCE

    Alcibiades wins three chariot races at the Olympic Games.

  • 408 BCE

    The synoris (two-horse chariot race) was added to the schedule of the Olympic Games.

  • 396 BCE

    Competitions for heralds and trumpeters were added to the schedule of the Olympic Games.

  • 392 BCE

    The horse owner Kyniska becomes the first woman to win a victor's crown at the Olympic Games.

  • 356 BCE

    Philip II of Macedon wins the horse race at the Olympic Games.

  • 352 BCE

    Philip II of Macedon wins the chariot race at the Olympic Games and retains the crown in 348 BCE.

  • c. 338 BCE

    Philippeion built at Olympia by Philip II of Macedonia.

  • 328 BCE

    Herodoros of Megara wins the first of ten consecutive trumpet competitions at the Olympic Games.

  • 164 BCE

    Leonidas of Rhodes wins the first of his 12 Olympic crowns in runnning events in four successive Olymic Games.

  • 72 BCE

    Gaius becomes the first Roman victor at the Olympic Games.

  • 17 CE

    Roman emperor Tiberius is victorious at the Olympic Games.

  • c. 67 CE

    Emperor Nero competes at the panhellenic Games of Olympia and Delphi.

  • 81 CE

    Hermogenes of Xanthos wins the first of his 8 Olympic running crowns over three consecutive Olympic Games.

  • 150 CE

    Nymphaion fountain of Herodes Atticus built at Olympia.

  • 261 CE

    The list of victors running back to 776 BCE ends for the Olympic Games.

  • 393 CE

    Roman Emperor Theodosius definitively ends all pagan Games in Greece.

  • 426 CE

    Emperor Theodosios II orders the destruction of Olympia.

  • 522 CE - 551 CE

    Earthquakes destroy many of the buildings at Olympia.

Capitol Lake History

The Vision of the Lake came about in 1911 under a plan that was created for the State Capitol Campus. In 1855, Edmund Sylvester donated 12 acres on Budd Inlet for the Washington State Capitol. Wilder and White’s plan for the Capitol, which included a freshwater reflecting lake, was chosen by the State in 1911. The Olmsted Brothers were asked by the State to submit a landscape plan. The 1912 Olmsted plan included a saltwater reflecting lake, but the plan was not adopted. In 1938, the State authorized the actions to create the Lake.

See our Photo Gallery or our Slide Shows for a pictoral view of the changes through the years.

June 20, 1931

Olympia Dukakis (Greek: Ολυμπία Δουκάκη June 20, 1931 – May 1, 2021) was an American actress, director, producer, teacher and activist. She performed in more than 130 stage productions, more than 60 films and in 50 television series. Best known as a screen actress, she started her career in theater. Not long after her arrival in New York City, she won an Obie Award for Best Actress in 1963 for her off-Broadway performance in Bertolt Brecht's Man Equals Man.

Prior to her film career, Dukakis began a decades-long stage life working in 1961 in productions at the Williamstown Summer Theater, in the northwestern corner of Massachusetts. Once out of that corner of New England and hitting the pavement of the Great White Way, it didn't take long for her to be recognized for her talent and skill. In 1963, Dukakis' early life Off-Broadway was rewarded with an Obie Award for Distinguished Performance, as Widow Leocadia Begbick in Man Equals Man (a.k.a., A Man's A Man). But her stage work began across the summer of 1961, in productions at the Williamstown Summer Theatre, she continued to perform there every few years, with her last appearance on that stage occurring in 2003, where she played multiple roles in The Chekov Cycle. By 1963, she had begun her career on screen. Transitioning to a professional life centered in New York City, she performed many times in productions in Central Park at the renowned Delacorte Theater. Returning to Western Massachusetts in 2013 for her last stage performance, she played Mother Courage in Mother Courage and Her Children at Shakespeare & Company, in Lenox, Massachusetts.

In 1962, Dukakis married fellow Manhattan stage actor Louis Zorich. Planning for a family, they moved out of the city in 1970 to settle in Montclair, New Jersey. It was there they raised their three children: Christina, Peter and Stefan. They had four grandchildren.

With her husband, Louis Zorich, and with other acting couples, she co-founded the Whole Theater Company. The company's first play was Our Town, in 1973. With Dukakis serving as artistic director, the theater rolled out five productions per season for almost two decades. Across that span, productions included the works of Euripides, Eugene O'Neill, Samuel Beckett, Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee, and Lanford Wilson. Among the actors performing with Dukakis and her husband were José Ferrer, Colleen Dewhurst, Blythe Danner, and Samuel L. Jackson.

Dukakis' prolific stage directing credits include many of the classics: Orpheus Descending, The House of Bernarda Alba, Uncle Vanya, and A Touch of the Poet, as well as the more contemporary One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Kennedy's Children. She also adapted such plays as "Mother Courage" and The Trojan Women for her Montclair, New Jersey situated theater company. Her Broadway theatre credits include Who's Who in Hell and Social Security. She appeared in Martin Sherman's one-woman play, Rose, entirely a monologue about a woman who survived the Warsaw Ghetto, in London and then on Broadway. For the role, she won the 2000 Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Solo Performance. Twenty-two years after earning her first Obie, she won her second in 1985, a Ensemble Performance Award, for playing Soot Hudlocke in The Marriage of Bette and Boo.

In 2018, Dukakis starred in Eleftheromania, which follows an Auschwitz survivor as she recites a true story about a group from the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. The following year, Dukakis reprised the role of Anna Madrigal, which she had first played in 1993, in a Netflix update of Armistead Maupin's Tales of The City.

She took on powerful roles on the small screen as well. In 1998, she starred as Charlotte Kiszko in the British TV drama A Life for a Life: The True Story of Stefan Kiszko (ITV), based on the actual story of a man wrongfully imprisoned for seventeen years for the murder of a child, Lesley Molseed, after police suppressed evidence of his innocence. In another genre entirely, she provided the voice of Grandpa's love interest for The Simpsons episode "The Old Man and the Key" (2002).

She later moved to film acting and won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe, among other accolades, for her performance in Moonstruck (1987). She received another Golden Globe nomination for Sinatra (1992) and Emmy Award nominations for Lucky Day (1991), More Tales of the City (1998) and Joan of Arc (1999). Dukakis's autobiography, Ask Me Again Tomorrow: A Life in Progress, was published in 2003. In 2018, a feature-length documentary about her life, titled Olympia, was released theatrically in the United States.

In 2008, Dukakis directed the world premiere production of Todd Logan's "Botanic Garden" at Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. That same year she starred in the revival of Tennessee Williams' The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore, opposite Kevin Anderson at the Hartford Stage, and co-adapted and starred in the world-premiere of Another Side of the Island, based on William Shakespeare's The Tempest, at Alpine Theatre Project in Whitefish, Montana.

In 2011, Dukakis guest-starred on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She played the role of Debby Marsh, an attorney. In 2013, she starred in and executive-produced the 2013 film Montana Amazon, co-starring Haley Joel Osment. That same year, on May 24, she was honored with the 2,498th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 2018, Olympia, an American documentary film about her life and career, had its festival premiere at DOC NYC. The film, directed by Harry Mavromichalis, features Whoopi Goldberg, Laura Linney, Ed Asner, Lainie Kazan, Armistead Maupin, Austin Pendleton, Diane Ladd and Dukakis' cousin, Governor Michael Dukakis. It was released theatrically in the United States in July 2020.

After a period of ill health, Dukakis died under hospice care at her home in Manhattan on May 1, 2021, at the age of 89.

Olympic National Park: The History, the Present & the Future

This unbelievably diverse wonderland is only a short drive from Seattle, and upon the first approach, visitors immediately sense that they have crossed a threshold from a busy human landscape – into an equally burgeoning wild one. Olympic boasts three distinct ecosystems: pristine mountains, lush rainforests, and the longest undeveloped coastline in the lower US.

Formed by the collision of the Pacific and North American plates millions of years ago, these rugged landscapes were home to numerous native tribes including the Quinault, Makah, Skokomish, and the Hoh – some of which still call the park home. Visitors can explore more about the rich history of the park and discover more about the earliest natives at Neah Bay’s anthropological museum – operated by today’s Makah Indians.

However, it wasn’t until 1889, that the first recorded trek across the Olympic Range was sponsored by the Seattle Press, and the 80-mile distance between Port Angeles to Aberdeen took the group six months to complete. Twenty years later in 1909, President Theodore Roosevelt set aside over half-a-million acres of the verdant rainforest areas surrounding Mount Olympus as a National Monument. Remarkably, it took almost 30 more years to have these pristine areas declared a national park in 1938 by President Franklin Roosevelt.

There’s more to the story about the role these two presidents played in ensuring the park’s preservation, and many ranger-guided tours and programs that share the bizarre history of Olympic National’s thirty-year battle with politico’s and the Forest Service.

Today, preservationists and naturalists are reveling in the results of the Elwha River Restoration. Removal of the dam began in 2011 and most of Glines Canyon Dam has been eliminated. The Lake Aldwell and Lake Mills reservoirs have drained, allowing the Elwha River to flow unreservedly to the Strait of Juan de Fuca for the first occasion in 100 years. Salmon once spawned here by the hundreds of thousands, and the species is returning to the park with this amazing restoration.

Olympic’s Accommodations and Activities

Today, it’s much easier to get around and explore the beauties of all three sections of Olympic National Park, with a variety of guided tour buses, planned hikes, lake excursions, and exceptional bird watching outings within the park’s boundaries. Rich in endemic and native plant and animal species throughout the park, this is a nature lover’s paradise.

Northern Olympic’s Amenities

Those seeking relaxation amidst breathtaking, mountain scenery surrounding by lush rainforests will find an ideal respite in the central/northern regions of the park near the Seven Lakes Basin. Proximal to the soothing Sol Duc Hot Springs and the Falls, guests enjoy a spa-like atmosphere indoors and out when choosing Olympic National Park lodging at Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort.

Old growth forest, snowy peaks, and subalpine lakes grace the Sol Duc and Hoh Rainforest landscapes. The Hoh Rainforest receives nearly 150—inches of annual rainfall and is teeming with unusual wildflowers, lilies, and many of its glorious sites are on the Olympic Peninsula Waterfall Trail.

Southern Region – Amenities and Lodging

The grandest place to stay in the southern area of the park is Lake Quinault Lodge, one of the great historic lodges still remaining and in operation in Olympic. Rustic, yet accommodating, this resort hotel was constructed in 1926 and is surrounded by superior sites. The Quinault Rainforest and the Loop are favorite tours within the park, as are outings on the pristine Lake Quinault, which is still owned by the Quinault Indian Nation. Visitors can enjoy fishing, biking, and hiking at the lake.

Coastal Attractions and Accommodations

The farthest reaches of Washington state’s coastline serves as the crowning jewel of the Olympic Peninsula and boasts miles and miles of sands and pristine beaches. The perfect diversity of flora, fauna, and geographic wonders, staying at the one of the most popular lodges in the area, the Kalaloch Lodge, offers guests proximity to the top beaches on the coast: Kalaloch Beach and its remarkable sunsets, the rose-colored sands of Ruby Beach, and the fantastic whale-watching beaches at La Push just outside of La Fork.

Olympic National Park Lodging Outside the Park

Finding superior lodging outside the park is simple, and there are many choices ranging from modern to more historic. One of the more interesting options is the Lochaerie Resort, which was built in the mid-20s a boarding house but serves as cabins today. It overlooks lovely Lake Quinault. The lovely Log Cabin Resort is charming and sits on the shoreline of Lake Crescent nestled amid old-growth firs and cedars. The newest lodge is the Dew Drop, which recreates the “Twilight” experience for fans of the Stephanie Meyer books and movies.


Dorian Yates, six-time Mr. Olympia winner, was born in England in 1962. He was one of the founders of "high-intensity training" and won many major bodybuilding contests before retiring due to injuries. He now owns several gyms as well as companies that produce bodybuilding equipment and supplements.

  • Mr. Olympia XXVI (1990, Chicago, Illinois, USA): Lee Haney
  • Mr. Olympia XXVII (1991, Orlando, Florida, USA): Lee Haney
  • Mr. Olympia XXVIII (1992, Helsinki, Finland): Dorian Yates
  • Mr. Olympia XXIX (1993, Atlanta, Georgia, USA): Dorian Yates
  • Mr. Olympia XXX (1994, Atlanta, Georgia, USA): Dorian Yates
  • Mr. Olympia XXXI (1995, Atlanta, Georgia, USA): Dorian Yates
  • Mr. Olympia XXXII (1996, Chicago, Illinois, USA): Dorian Yates
  • Mr. Olympia XXXIII (1997, Los Angeles, California, USA): Dorian Yates
  • Mr. Olympia XXXIV (1998, New York City, New York, USA): Ronnie Coleman
  • Mr. Olympia XXXV (1999, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA): Ronnie Coleman


1947: Boyhood friends, Bill Jones and Rich Gillingham, start a war surplus in an old garage on the corner of Harrison and Yew in Centralia, Washington. They call it Two Yard Birds Surplus with two “Sad Sack” characters as store mascots.

1947: In November Bill and Rich move their enterprise north of the Chehalis city limits, on Highway 99. Open 9 am to 8 pm, every day, Bill and Rich, and their wives, Katy and Hazel, work 18 hours a day. Soon Two Yard Birds Surplus was being touted as the “Largest Surplus Store on the West Coast”. With unusual advertising, eclectic merchandise and an offbeat sense of humor the store draws customers from all over the state.

1947: Dick Baker is hired. Additional Quonset huts expand the Two Yard Birds Surplus.

1948: Opening just in time for the Christmas rush, a building is added to house the biggest Toyshop for miles around.

1958: The store, now known as Yard Birds, is 110,00 square feet, with 16 departments and 5 business leasing space within the store.

1959: Bill and Rich purchase an old cannery in Olympia to start a sister store. This store is called Seamart. Later it takes on the Yard Birds name.

1969: Construction begins on a giant, 60 ft sculpture of a Yard Bird, the store’s new mascot, to welcome to the new Yard Birds store.

1971: The colossal new Yard Birds store, with 305,00 square feet and 350 employee, opens just up the road. The new store boasts a boggling array of merchandise: automotive, sporting goods, hardware, housewares, furniture, shoes and clothing for the whole family, a restaurant with Birds’ Nest cocktail lounge and a car wash. Some of the leased spaces include: A country and western store, Linda Wagner’s School of Dance, Twin City Radio and TV, a bank, a grocery store, a drug store, an arcade, optometrists and Army and Navy recruiting offices.

1971: A 60 ft sculpture of a Yard Bird, which can be seen from I-5, is erected at the entrance to the new Yard Birds store. Made of steel, with wire framework covered in 800 pounds of fiberglass, visitors can drive their cars through its legs on their way out of the store.

1971: In January 6 inches of water flood Yard Birds.

1976: In March of this year, Rich Gillingham crashes his plane at Copalis Beach. The damaged plane is accidentally dropped when being airlifted by a helicopter – eliminating any chance of repair. Ever mindful of new and exciting promotions for the store, Bill and Rich display the wreckage at Yard Birds.

1976: Rich Gillingham sells his interest in both Yard Birds stores to Bill Jones. Rich gets the title to the old Yard Birds building, which comes to be called Sunbirds. Gillingham partially retires, building a house in Fords Prairie and playing the drums at the local dance hall.

1976: In June the Pay-N-Save Corporation buys the Chehalis Yard Birds store for $8.5 million dollars. Bill Jones retires to 110-acre farm off Martin Way.

1976: Wayne Honeycut’s car catches fire under the giant 60 ft sculpture of a Yard Bird. With in minutes the statue is burnt to a crisp.

1979: Yard Birds Shelton is opened.

1979: Ever the entrepreneur, Bill Jones starts Jones Quarry. He goes on to develop other businesses throughout Thurston and Lewis County.

1987: The Employee Stock Ownership Plan swings a $12 million dollar deal to purchase Yard Birds from the Pay-N-Save Corporation. In 1987 employee stock is worth $17.50 per share by 1995 it is at 16 cents per share.

1990: In January, heavy rains and a broken dike flood Yard Birds Chehalis with more than 18 inches of water. The store closes for eight days. The flood causes an estimated $1.1 million dollars in damage.

1992: Rich Gillingham passes away.

1993: Yard Birds Olympia closes.

1995: Chairman of the Board, George Lee confirms the closure of Yard Birds Chehalis. Employees loose thousands of dollars in personal investments. Many lessees decide to stay on at Yard Birds location, hoping that things will turn around.

1995: Yard Birds Shelton closes.

1996: A dam breaks and floods the Lewis County area, including Yard Birds Chehalis, so badly that FEMA is flown in to help.

1998: Darris McDaniel and Ray Caldwell purchases Yard Birds Chehalis.

Why did the Olympians compete stark nude or semi-nude?

To answer this question, we must first understand the philosophy of the ancient Greeks back then. Ancient Greece was a bustling state that periodically engaged in city-to-city conflicts. They were absolutely obsessed with staying in the best physical shape. This was not just for warring conflicts back then. It was seen as important to one’s social class and religious standing. The later was reflected in the sculptures and paintings of the gods. They portrayed the Olympian gods as supernatural men and women with remarkably good looks and mental acuity. They had gods who were attributed with the highest human trait possible.

Secondly, there was nothing shameful competing nude or exposing one’s self in the stadia. It was a huge pride for them. They saw it as a form of rite of passage that also repelled evil spirits away. Back then, public nudity was also primarily reserved for the upper class.

History of Women’s Suffrage in Olympia

Excerpted in part from Women’s Votes, Women’s Voices: The Campaign for Equal Rights in Washington by Shanna Stevenson, published by the Washington State Historical Society 2009. Copyright Washington State Historical Society—Used by permission, all rights reserved.

As the territorial and state capital of Washington, Olympia was central to women’s suffrage history of Washington.

During the Territorial era, the legislature could define who could vote. In 1854, just six years after the Declaration of Sentiments was signed at the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848, Seattle legislator Arthur A. Denny proposed women’s suffrage in the first meeting of the Washington Territorial Legislature in Olympia. Denny proposed to amend a pending bill relating to voting “to allow all white females over the age of 18 years to vote,” but it failed in the house of representatives by a vote of 8–9. [1]

The 1867 territorial voting law clearly stated that “all white American citizens twenty-one years of age” had the right to vote. [2] This territorial law empowering “all white American citizens” to vote became the rallying point for Washington suffragists who also cited the 1868 Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution as defining citizens as “all persons born or naturalized in the United States.” In 1869 suffragist Mary Olney Brown tested the 1867 law in White River, but was turned away from the polls.

Undaunted, Brown launched her own suffrage campaign the following year, writing several newspaper editorials urging women to vote. [3] By 1870 she had moved to Olympia, and her sister Charlotte Emily Olney French was living in Grand Mound, in southern Thurston County. With other women in the area, the sisters planned a picnic dinner near Grand Mound at the schoolhouse at Goodell’s Point, where the June 6, 1870, election was to be held. French, like her sister, was well-versed in the arguments for women’s suffrage and spoke at the gathering. After the picnic, the women—seven in all—handed in their ballots. The husband of one of the women was an election inspector for that precinct this may have had something to do with their ballots being accepted. Women of nearby Black River (present-day Littlerock) had stationed a man on a “fleet horse” at the Grand Mound precinct to report whether the women there had been allowed to vote. The man arrived at the polling place waving his hat and yelling, “They’re voting! They’re voting!” Eight Black River women immediately cast their ballots.

While the southern Thurston County women were successful in having their votes counted, a small Olympia delegation was not. When Brown and two women presented ballots at the Olympia courthouse, they were rejected despite Brown’s legal arguments and threats of prosecution against the election officials. [4] Although those fifteen votes did not constitute a permanent stride toward suffrage in Washington, they provided a significant stepping-stone in the overall history of the movement.

In autumn 1871 women’s rights leaders Susan B. Anthony and Abigail Scott Duniway toured the Northwest, accelerating the women’s suffrage movement in Washington Territory. The women endured a difficult stage trip from Monticello on the Cowlitz River (near present-day Longview) to Olympia, the territorial capital, where Anthony spoke on October 17 to an audience of about one hundred, including some legislators.

Two days later Anthony and Duniway addressed the legislature in session. The day before her legislative speech, Anthony dined at the home of fellow suffragists, Daniel and Ann Elizabeth Bigelow in Olympia, now the Bigelow House Museum at 918 Glass Avenue NE.

On October 19, Anthony spoke before the legislature. The Olympia Transcript said of her speech: “Miss Anthony is a woman of more than ordinary ability, and the able manner in which she handled her subject before the Legislature, was ample warning to the members of that body who oppose woman suffrage to be silent.” [5] Duniway also spoke to the legislature. The house of representatives turned down a proposal to print Anthony’s legislative address, but the Washington Standard published a summary of it. [6]

After a swing around Puget Sound, Anthony returned to Olympia to participate in Washington’s first women’s suffrage convention, which began on November 8, 1871. A committee including Sarah Yesler, Daniel Bigelow, and Anthony drafted the constitution for the Washington Territory Woman Suffrage Association (WTWSA), the principle outcome of the convention. [7] The WTWSA spurred the creation of local suffrage organizations in Olympia and Thurston County.

Throughout the 1870s the WTWSA continued its work and the territorial legislature considered various suffrage measures. In 1873 Territorial Legislator Edward Eldridge introduced a women’s suffrage bill, which lost 12–18 in the house of representatives. In 1875 Olympia legislator Elwood Evans, then speaker of the house, introduced another suffrage bill, which was again defeated—this time 11–15. An effort to repeal a definitive law of 1871 that precluded women’s suffrage until Congress took action also failed. [8]

In 1881 the issue of women’s suffrage was again before the legislature, brought to the forefront with a petition signed by fifty women. [9] Although the bill carried the house 13–11, it lost in council 5–7. [10] (Once Washington achieved statehood in 1889, the council became the state senate.) Saloon owners, and other anti-prohibitionists thwarted the council effort for suffrage legislation.

Building on gains for women during the previous decade, the suffrage movement gathered momentum in Washington after 1881. In 1883, the Territorial Legislature passed women’s suffrage. [11] Only Wyoming and Utah territories had enacted woman’s suffrage after the Civil War before Washington. Washington’s victory was different from those two territories because women in Wyoming and Utah had not solicited the right to vote, while Washington’s women petitioned and campaigned for the ballot. [12]

After the success of the suffrage bill, celebrations erupted around the state, but Olympia was the site of special jubilance. Duniway described the festivities in her newspaper the New Northwest:

It is 4 o’clock p.m. on Monday, November 19, 1883. As we write, church bells are ringing and a grand salute of minute guns sends out its joyful reverberations through the air proclaiming that Governor William A. Newell has formally announced that he will sign the Woman Suffrage bill and thereby make the women of Washington Territory free beyond peradventure…. All the people of Olympia…are rallying around the standard-bearers of liberty and justice, lifting their hearts and voices in unison with theirs to swell the glad anthem of rejoicing that ascend to heaven through the mingling hallelujahs of the guns and bells. [13]

In her account of the victory, Duniway recognized the many women of Olympia who supported the cause of suffrage, including sisters Emily Olney French and Mary Olney Brown, and Clara Sylvester, Ella Stork, and Janet Moore. It is no coincidence that many of these same women had been charter members of the first women’s club on the West Coast, the Woman’s Club of Olympia, which began meeting in 1883 at Clara Sylvester’s home. By one account, the club’s purpose was to promote suffrage principles. [14]

Women’s right to vote aroused strong opponents. Made legal householders by the legislature in 1881 and voters under the 1883 suffrage law, women became qualified jurors. This spurred legal challenges which came before the Territorial Supreme Court.

In 1887, the Territorial Supreme Court focused on the legality of women’s suffrage. The court decided that the title of the 1883 law did not describe the content of the legislative act, making it invalid along with the provisions of a1886 amendment. The justices ruled that because the 1883 act was invalid, women were not qualified electors and thus not legal jurors.

After the judicial decision overturning women’s right to vote, suffragists descended on the legislature once again, and on January 18, 1888, legislators reenacted a women’s suffrage law with the appropriate title. However, this version of the law excluded women from jury service.

The suffrage victory was short-lived. Another case came before the court in 1888 and the court decided that when the Washington Territorial Organic Act passed Congress, “the word ‘citizen’ was used as a qualification for voting and holding office and, in our judgment, the word then meant and still signifies male citizenship and must be so construed.” [15]

Only male voters selected the members of Washington’s second Constitutional Convention, (the first was an unsuccessful try at statehood in 1878) which began in Olympia on July 4, 1889, and the suffrage cause was weakened correspondingly, although suffragists “flooded” the convention with petitions. [16]

Despite these efforts, the constitutional convention delegates decided that women’s suffrage would be a separate issue on the statewide ballot, along with adoption of the proposed constitution itself and separate tallies on the location of the capital and enactment of prohibition. While the state constitution was ratified on October 1, 1889, by a territory-wide vote, the separate suffrage proposal lost by 19,000 votes, 16,521–35,913. Prohibition also failed, 19,546–31,487.

Washington joined the union on November 11, 1889. The next year, the state legislature authorized women to vote for local school trustees and directors but not for county or state school superintendents.

While the (male) voters of the state did not believe that women should have the franchise except in school elections, women alone voted for the state flower. The issue arose when Washington was invited to participate in the 1893 Chicago Columbian Exposition and part of each state’s exposition display was to be a flower representing the state. Washington did not have an official flower, and the Washington State Fair Committee left the matter to its female members.

Polling places for women voting in the flower election included post offices and even a drugstore in downtown Olympia, which encouraged women to choose their preference of the state flower. Balloting closed August 1, 1892, and the rhododendron won over clover 7,704–5,720 out of 14,419 votes cast. The Washington State Senate confirmed the rhododendron on February 10, 1893. [17] In 1959 the legislature further defined the state flower as Rhododendron macrophyllum, native to western North America, which continues to represent Washington today.

The Fusion Party (Silver Republicans, Democrats, and Populists) gained legislative seats in 1896, providing a positive political climate for women’s suffrage in the legislature which passed a suffrage constitutional amendment in 1897. The amendment ratification lost on November 8, 1898, by a vote of 30,540–20,658, which was a gain of 9,510 pro-suffrage votes over the 1889 tally. From 1906 to 1908 suffrage leaders focused on organization, and from 1908 forward their emphasis was on campaigning.

At the Washington Equal Suffrage Association State Convention in 1908 the executive committee authorized DeVoe to take charge of the effort to introduce women’s suffrage legislation in the 1909 legislature that would amend the Washington constitution. [18]

By 1909, the political climate favored the suffragists’ efforts in the legislature. For its Olympia headquarters WESA rented a large house near the capitol. Suffragists, using persistent but low-key lobbying, are generally credited with the passage of the suffrage-enabling legislation in the house of representatives on January 29, 1909.

The legislative journey through the senate proved much more arduous. The senate eventually voted for the legislation on February 23, 1909, by a margin of 30–9, Acting Governor Marion Hay [19] signed the bill on February 25, 1909, authorizing a statewide vote for ratification of the amendment in November 1910. At that time, statewide elections were held only in even-numbered years.

In addition to general support, Olympia and Thurston County suffragists Lena Meyer, Clara Lord, and Libbie Lord spearheaded the effort to secure a straw ballot at the State Grange Convention in 1910. Members of the state Grange voted in favor of women’s right to vote in their September straw poll—foreshadowing victory in November 1910.

Leaders Emma Smith DeVoe, May Arkwright Hutton, and other Washington suffragists generally conducted a “womanly” campaign. The Washington Women’s Cook Book was one of the campaign’s primary fundraising projects. They also published a newspaper, put up posters and used grass roots organizing.

The vote result on November 8, 1910 was 52,299–29,676 in favor of ratification of the women’s suffrage amendment—a margin of nearly two to one. [20] Washington joined the four western states where women had already won the vote—Wyoming (1890), Colorado (1893), Utah (1896), and Idaho (1896). Governor Hay officially signed the proclamation of adoption on November 28, 1910. Twenty-two years had passed since the Territorial Supreme Court had last taken away Washington women’s right to vote. [21]

The stunningly decisive victory in 1910 is widely credited with reinvigorating the national movement. When Washington joined her western sisters in 1910, it had been fourteen years since a state had enacted irrevocable women’s suffrage.

Women started voting in the same proportion as men. The period between 1911 and 1920 was a period of significant legislative changes regarding women’s issues abetted by coalitions forged during the suffrage movement among women’s clubs and working-class women. Mothers’ pensions, the eight-hour workday for women, and Prohibition were part of the Progressive agenda adopted after women attained the ballot.

In June 1919, after intense pressure from both the National Women’s Party and the National American Woman Suffrage Association, Congress passed the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and sent it to the states for ratification. Washington was the penultimate of thirty-six states needed to ratify the amendment and the last enfranchised state to take action. Leaders Emma Smith DeVoe and Carrie Chapman Catt pressured a reluctant Governor Louis Hart to call a special legislative session. Hart eventually agreed to call the legislators together in March 1920. PPierce County representative Frances Haskell, the fourth woman elected to the Washington legislature, introduced the resolution, stating:

This is a very important hour in the history of our state and nation, for we have met here in special session the 22nd day of March, in the year of our Lord 1920, to ratify the federal suffrage amendment and to prove to the world the greatness of our Evergreen state, which is not determined by the number of acres that it contains nor by the number of its population, but by the character of its men and women who today are extending to all the women of America the privilege of the ballot. [22]

Governor Hart, Speaker Fred Adams, and Emma Smith DeVoe shared the dais in the house of representatives, and by special resolution, DeVoe expressed her thanks to the legislature. In the senate, veteran suffragist Carrie Hill shared the podium with President of the Senate Philip H. Carlyon of Olympia. Both houses cast a unanimous vote to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment—the twelfth state in which no one voted against the amendment. [23] Tennessee was the final state needed to ratify the amendment which codified that “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” The amendment became official on August 26, 1920. [24]

Not all women in the United States could vote after passage of Washington’s suffrage act or the Nineteenth Amendment, since many groups were restricted from becoming U.S. citizens, a qualification for voting. Native American women, who were excluded from voting in even after passage of the suffrage amendments in 1910 and 1920, finally achieved the right to vote in 1924 when Congress passed the Indian Citizenship Act, which extended U.S. citizenship to Native Americans. Asian women faced other citizenship restrictions. By national law, native-born Asian residents were considered citizens by 1898. Immigrant Asians, however, were denied citizenship well into the mid-twentieth century. By 1943 Chinese immigrants could be naturalized and vote immigrants from India received the same rights starting in 1946 and Japanese and other Asians in 1952. [25]

Some voters faced racist barriers. Although black women achieved the right to vote in 1910 in Washington and in 1920 nationally, barriers remained. Most significant was passage in 1965 of the Voting Rights Act, which ended practices that disenfranchised black voters and broadened and guaranteed voting rights specifically to minorities. The Twenty-sixth Amendment lowered the voting age to eighteen in 1971. In later years, the Legislature has enacted other measures to ensure voter equality including the Washington Voting Rights Act in 2018.

After the state enacted women’s suffrage in 1910, Washington women began to run for office in ever-increasing numbers. Elected in 1912 and serving in the 1913 state house of representatives, Frances C. Axtell from Bellingham and Nena J. Croake from Tacoma were the first two women to serve in the Washington State Legislature. Reba Hurn from Spokane was in 1923 the first woman elected to the state senate. Josephine Corliss Preston, elected in 1912 as superintendent of public instruction, was the first woman to serve in a statewide office. Washington has consistently been a leader in electing women to the state legislature. From 1993 to 2004 Washington led the nation in the percentage of female state legislators. In 1999 and 2000 Washington boasted the highest percentage of female legislators in the nation’s history, with women making up 41 percent of its legislators. In 2019, women comprised approximately 41 percent of the state’s legislators, the second highest in the country. [26]

Washington women have served on the Washington Supreme Court and as superintendent of public instruction, secretary of state, attorney general, commissioner of public lands, and insurance commissioner. Washington women have also held elected positions on local school boards, local courts, special purpose districts, city councils, county commissions and councils, and as county executives throughout the state’s history.

Olympia has had three women mayors—Amanda Benek Smith, Holly Gadbaw and Cheryl Selby and 19 women city council members.[27]

[1] Washington Territory, House Journal, 1854, 98.

[2] Laws of Washington Territory, Olympia, Public Printer T. F McElroy, 1867, 5.

[4] “Mrs. Brown’s Argument,” Elizabeth Cady Santon, Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Josleyn Gage, and Ida Husted Harper, ed. History of Woman Suffrage, 6 vols. (Rochester: J. J. Little & Co., 1881-1922) Hereafter cited HWS, 3:784-85.

[5] “Miss Anthony’s Speech,” Olympia Transcript, October 21, 1871.

[6] “Woman Suffrage,” Washington Standard, October 21, 1871.

[7] “Woman Suffrage Convention,” Washington Standard, November 11, 1871, 2 and Simmons, “History of Woman Suffrage in the State of Washington,” 22. Anti-suffragists were James H. Lasater of Walla Walla and Mrs. J. B. Frost, and pro-suffragists were Father (likely A. A.) Denny, Alfred Elder, John Denny, and Abigail Scott Duniway.

[9] Clyde B. Simmons, “History of Woman Suffrage in the State of Washington,” (master’s thesis, University of Washington, 1903) 24.

[10] William H. White (aka “Warhorse Bill”) was a prominent Washington jurist. He served in several capacities, including prosecuting attorney, legislator from King County, U.S. attorney, and Washington State Supreme Court justice. In 1912 he helped his wife, Emma McRedmond White, in her bid for King County clerk. She also organized the Woman’s Democratic Club in King County. “Justice William Henry White,” http://www.redmondwashington.org/biography/white/white-william-henry.htm.

[11] The bill was introduced in the Washington House by Representative Copley, and was supported in speeches by Messrs. Copley, Besserer, Miles, Clark, and Stitzel, while Messrs. Landrum and Kincaid spoke against it. The vote was: Ayes—Besserer, Brooks, Clark, Copley, Foster, Goodell, Hungate, Kuhn, Lloyd, Martin Miles, Shaw, Stitzel and Speaker Ferguson-14. Noes—Barlow, Brining, Landrum, Pin, Kincaid, Shoudy and Young—7. Absent—Blackwell, Turpin, and Warner—3. The bill was favorably reported in the Council, November 15, by Chairman Burk of the Judiciary Committee. No one offered to speak on it. The vote stood: Ayes—Burk, Edmiston, Hale, Harper, Kerr, Power and Smith—7. Noes—Caton, Collins, Houghton, Whitehouse and President Ruax—5. Governor W. A. Newell Approved the bill November 23, 1883.

[12] T. Alfred Larson, “The Woman Suffrage Movement in Washington,” Pacific Northwest Quarterly 67, no. 2 (April1976) 53.

[13] Abigail Scott Duniway, “The Ratification,” New Northwest, November 22, 1883.

[14] Rebecca Mead, How the Vote Was Won, (New York: New York University Press, 2004) 99.

[15] Bloomer v. Todd, 3 Wash. Terr. 599 (1888).

[16] Beverly Paulik Rosenow, ed., The Journal of the Washington State Constitutional Convention (1889 reprint, Seattle: Book Publishing Company, 1962), 642-43. Petitioners: P.G. Hendricks, 394 other men and 414 women William West and others Francis Miner of St. Louis A. M. Sweeney, Jennie Aukney and others of Walla Walla H. J. Beeks and others Mr. Giliam and others Marty T. Jones and others G. C. Barron and others W. V. Anders and others Lucinda King and others L. W. Studgall and others W. P. Stewart and others P. J. Flint and others Zerelda. McCoy and 26 teachers Dr. A. K. Bush and 94 others S.M. Ballard and 151 others George E. Cline and 163 others L. M. Lord and 82 others C. F. Woodcock and 120 others ninety-three voters of Buckley and Zerelda McCoy, a taxpaying woman.

[17] Lucile McDonald, “The Battle over the State Flower,” Seattle Times Magazine, January 31, 1965, 2 Ruth Fry Epperson, “Rhododendron, Our State Flower: Talk Given by Mrs. Ruth Fry Epperson at the May Breakfast, 1944 of the Women’s Century Club, Seattle, Wash,” unpublished manuscript, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle, Washington (MOHAI) Accession No. 1964.3359.

[18] C. H. Baily, “How Washington Women Regained the Ballot,” Pacific Monthly 26 (July 1911): 1-11, 8. See also ”Women Play Game of Politics,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, October 4, 1908.

[19] Governor Samuel Cosgrove was ill and Lieutenant Governor Hay was Acting Governor at this time. Governor Cosgrove died on March 28, 1909.

[20] Only 59.3 percent of those casting ballots in the general election voted on the suffrage issue. The reason for this anomaly is unknown, but the ballot wording may have confused some voters.

[21] “Women Are to Give Special Thanks.” November 13, 1910, DeVoe Scrapbooks, DeVoe Papers.

[22] “Suffrage Amendment Ratified Unanimously,” Washington Standard, March 23, 1920, 1.

[23] Dr. Cora Smith Eaton King et al., “Washington,” HWS, 6:685-86.

[25] Jill Severn, The State We’re In: Washington, Your guide to state, tribal and local government, (Seattle: The League of Women Voters Education Fund, 2004), 36.

Timeline Olympia

Play 5 fun mini-games all around events from ancient rome to today. Each mini-game deals with a row of historic events - the timeline. Build it yourself, reorder it or find the most recent event! Show if you know what was when. Or are you good at guessing? 3 difficulty levels - for beginners and adepts. Break the highscore in as many games as possible. Collect and share your achievements as history buff. Show your friends, fellows and the rest of the world what you're made of!

The game features

  • 5 exciting mini games
  • 3 difficulty levels
  • 2 groovy pieces of music
  • Some thousand events covering all sorts of topics
  • Play, guess and learn a lot of exciting facts
  • Share and compare your high scores in Google Play Games
  • Share your achievements in Google Play Games
  • Play for free - until you reach 500 points
  • Then pick your in-app purchase to get the full version
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The first official Olympic Games happened in 776 BC and then continued to take place once every four years. As well as being the most important sporting event for the Ancient Greeks, the Olympic Games were also a very important religious festival. Olympia was associated with Zeus, the king of the gods, and the Olympic Games were held in his honour.

Every four years, tens of thousands of visitors from all over Greece headed to Olympia to watch or take part in the games. A major attraction was the Temple of Zeus, which housed a 12-metre high statue of Zeus himself. During the festival, sacrifices to Zeus were made, including the burning of 100 oxen on the Altar of Zeus.

Who was allowed to take part?

Before each Olympic Games Festival began, messengers were sent out to make an announcement to all of the main city-states. The messengers made a call for a peace truce in the Greek world. This meant that any ongoing wars or fighting should be called off in order that people could travel to Olympia.

Only men were allowed to compete in the games and only men or unmarried women could watch. Married women were excluded from entry. If they wanted to race, they had their own separate Games festival called the Heraea. It was very common for male Olympic athletes to be completely unclothed when competing!

What sort of events were there?

The five-day programme included a balance of sporting, religious and social events. Sporting events included horse and chariot racing, combat sports (wrestling/boxing), running races and athletics events like discus, javelin and long jump. Religious events included making sacrifices and oaths to Zeus, prayers, singing of hymns, visiting the Temple of Zeus and consulting &lsquooracles&rsquo who were believed to be able could see the future. The social events took the form of banquets, speeches, performances and processions. The final event day of the programme saw celebrations, winners' ceremonies and great feasts.

How did it inspire the modern Olympics?

The Ancient Greek Olympic games continued to go ahead for over a thousand years. In AD 393, the Romans had taken control of Greece and a Roman Emperor called Theodosius I put a stop to the Olympic Games taking place. His soldiers destroyed the Temple of Zeus and soon after Olympia fell into ruin.

Many hundreds of years later, in 1896, the Olympic Games were re-instated in a new, modern form. A French man called Baron Pierre de Coubertin came up with a new 5-ring logo and wrote a creed to explain what the Olympics were all about. With a few changes made over the years, the Olympic Games remains one of the biggest sporting events in the world today.

You can find a full KS2 lesson plan about the Ancient Greek Olympics in our Ancient Greece Resource Pack.

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