On Sunday I take a look at one of Tacoma’s first public relations efforts to entice people and business from Seattle.
It happened in and around the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition that opened 100 years ago this week on what is now the University of Washington’s main campus. Tacoma boosters used the fair to make a pitch for Tacoma – even though the fair itself was a celebration of Seattle’s dominance in the battle to dominate the Puget Sound economy.
Even though it happened 100 years ago, the competition exists today from the rivalry between the ports of Tacoma and Seattle and the attempts by Seattle to entice Russell Investments to move its headquarters.
The centerpiece was a huge illuminated sign mounted on the lakeshore in such a place that it could be seen from the fairgrounds. That’s the story I try to tell in my next column.
In the meantime, here are some great links about the exposition.
A performance of the song “You’ll Like Tacoma” as performed by the Cecile Farmer of the UW’s Collegium Musicum.
An interactive map that compares the fairgrounds to the current UW campus, compliments of University Libraries.
Another University Libraries map of the grounds. The lifesaving station would be in the lower left-hand corner.
HistoryLink’s suite on the exposition
Tacoma Library’s Northwest Room postcard collection. (search for Alaska Yukon Pacific)
The Museum of History And Industry in Seattle. Search for Alaska Yukon Pacific).