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5 Fun Facts About July 19 In Washington History

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1. In 1952, the Seattle Space Needle, one of the city's most iconic landmarks, was officially opened to the public on July 19th. The 605-foot-tall structure was built for the 1962 World's Fair and offers panoramic views of the city and surrounding mountains.

2. July 19th, 1969 marked the beginning of a four-day music festival called the Sky River Rock Festival and Lighter Than Air Fair, held near Sultan, Washington. The festival featured acts like Led Zeppelin and Santana and was one of the largest hippie gatherings on the West Coast at the time.

3. In 1979, the Bellingham Herald newspaper published a story on July 19th detailing a local man's encounter with what he believed to be a UFO. The story garnered national attention and has since become a well-known UFO sighting in Pacific Northwest lore.

4. On July 19th, 1996, the Eastgate Park and Ride in Bellevue, Washington became the site of a tragedy known as the "Eastgate Massacre." A man named Sergei Babarin walked into a local bus station and opened fire, killing two people and injuring several others, before taking his own life.

5. In 2014, the Washington State Transportation Commission voted on July 19th to change the name of State Route 99, also known as the Alaskan Way Viaduct, to the "Viaduct of the People." The change was meant to honor the various communities impacted by the highway and its upcoming demolition.
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