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5 Fun Facts About August 16 In Washington History

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1. In 1918, the deadliest forest fire in Washington state history started on August 16. Known as the "Great Fire of 1918," it burned over 238,000 acres and killed 38 people. The fire was caused by dry conditions and strong winds, and it ultimately led to the creation of the Washington Department of Natural Resources to better manage the state's forests.

2. On August 16, 1965, the Beatles played their first concert in Seattle at the Seattle Center Coliseum. The sold-out concert drew over 14,000 fans, and it was the only time the Beatles ever played in Washington state.

3. In 1980, Mount St. Helens became active again after being dormant for over a century. A series of small earthquakes and eruptions began on August 16, leading up to the catastrophic eruption that would occur nine months later on May 18, 1981.

4. On August 16, 2004, the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle hosted the Democratic National Convention, where John Kerry was nominated as the Democratic candidate for president.

5. In 2018, Washington Governor Jay Inslee declared August 16 as "Kathi Goertzen Day" in honor of the longtime Seattle TV anchor who died from brain tumors in 2012. Goertzen was a beloved figure in the community, and the day was meant to honor her dedication to journalism and her courage in the face of adversity.
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