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  1. Calendar Overlay Anacortes History (6)

Anacortes History

  1. James Albert Gray killed at Pearl Harbor (1941)

    December 7, 2019, All Day @ Pearl Harbor National Memorial

    On December 7, 1941, Americans were shaken by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, an attack so devastating that it sent us directly into World War II. President Franklin Roosevelt described it as "A date that will live in infamy," a description that has endured. Anacortes resident James Albert Gray was aboard the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor, and became the first of many from Anacortes to die in the worldwide conflict. A member of Anacortes High School’s class of 1941, Gray had dropped out to join the Navy in 1940. Local photographer and historian Wallie Funk ruminated on Gray's choice, "...his decision was that he would join the Navy and see the world, and now he is part of the eternal monument that they have at Pearl Harbor."

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  2. Virgil Johnson popcorn and candy stand removed (1963)

    December 12, 2019, All Day @ Virgil Johnson Popcorn and Candy Stand

    For 37 years, Virgil Johnson's popcorn and candy stand served eager residents of Anacortes with sweets and treats. Originally standing strategically outside the Empire Theater, the stand was up for demolition when the theater closed down. Due to popular outcry from the people though, the stand actually managed to exist longer than the theater did. It continued to operate near the old theater for over a decade until it was taken down in 1963.

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  3. Rotary of Anacortes chartered (1922)

    December 22, 2019, All Day @ Anacortes Rotary Club

    Although officers were elected and a club established with 17 members in November, the Rotary Club of Anacortes was officially chartered by the parent organization on this date in 1922. A chartering dinner the following February drew more than 250 Rotarians and guests from the Northwest and British Columbia. Since then, the group has generously donated untold hours and funds to community causes.

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  4. Carnegie Library debuts to the public (1910)

    December 26, 2019, All Day @ Anacortes Museum

    The Carnegie Library (now home to the Anacortes Museum) made its public debut on this date in 1910, when the community was invited for an open house. “The library board is more than pleased with the results of the informal opening of the public library on Monday,” reported the Anacortes American on Dec. 29. “Notwithstanding the fact that the day was a disagreeable one from a weather standpoint, and that it was a legal holiday, many visitors were in evidence during the hours that the building was open to the public. Mrs. George B. Smith, secretary-treasurer of the board, reports that there are nearly 800 volumes on hand at present, and only a few of the books ordered have arrived so far.” Construction of the building was funded by a $10,000 grant from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation.

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  5. Neil Carey and Betty Lowman are married (1943)

    December 26, 2019, All Day

    One of Anacortes' iconic couples, Neil Carey and Betty Lowman married on this day in 1941. Neil, a U.S. Navy man who hailed from Vermontville, Michigan was serving on the U.S.S. Colorado and managed to get just enough time off to jump down to Seattle and marry Betty. At this point Betty had already been on her famous one woman rowing trip from the San Juans to Alaska aboard her canoe "Bijaboji" (a loving combination of all her brother's names). He was serving the country while she was touring the country with tales of her adventures. The two would live out the rest of their lives together, later co-writing a book together on Betty's adventures in Alaska.

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  6. The Night Before State Prohibition (1915)

    December 31, 2019, All Day

    Although a predicted crowd of 700 thirsty 'Bellinghamsters' never materialized (only seven got off the boat), the Anacortes American reported that Anacortes saloonkeepers were kept busy on the last day before statewide liquor prohibition took effect: “Practically every saloon in the city sold off all its stock before closing time and all report a rushing business in filling supplies of wet goods for the dry year during the last week. Though no figures are available, Anacortes people spent several thousand dollars in putting away a bottle or two, ‘for medicinal purposes.’ The saloon receipts of the past two weeks broke all records.” – Anacortes American (1916)

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