more sunglasses per capita than any other major city in the nation.
The P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization) Record
Seattle is the only major
city in the US named for a then-living person, Chief Seattle in 1853.
Dick and Jane children's book series was created by Seattle's
Elizabeth Julesburg under the pseudonym Elizabeth Montgomery.
Seattle has the
largest percentage of library card holders in the nation (80%) and spends
double the national average on books every year.
In 2013 the world's
record for the longest book domino chain was set at the downtown Seattle
Public Library - 2,131 books!
King County Library
System was the busiest library system in the US in 2010 with circulation
of 22.4 million items.
executive director of the Washington Center for the Book at the Seattle
Public Library, started the city-reads-a-book movement, "If All Seattle
Read the Same Book," in 1996 that sparked similar programs around the
world including Chicago's "One Book, One Chicago."
Seattle and Minneapolis tied with the
highest bookish quotient in a 2008 study by Central Connecticut State
University - it measures not whether people could read but whether
or not they do read.
The world's largest book
Bhutan, 7 foot by 5 foot and 133 pounds, is a visual odyssey
across the last Himalayan Kingdom and is on permanent display at the
University of Washington's Suzzallo Library.
Established in 1909, the Scandinavian
Studies program at the University of Washington is the largest such
program in the world outside of Scandinavia.
In 2011 the Sierra Club honored the
University of Washington for being the most environmentally minded
college in the nation - every building completed since 2006 has earned
From 1958 to
1981, Julius Pierpont (J. P.) Patches who lived in the city dump, wore a
black rumpled hat and a yellow patchwork coat, portrayed by Chris Wedes
(b. 1928), hosted the longest-running children's TV show in American
The motor for
the revolving restaurant in the Space Needle has the highest gear ratio in
the world - 360,000 to 1.
The Space Needle
is fastened to its foundation with 72 bolts, each of which is 9m (30 feet)
long - must be a record!
first espresso cart was below the Monorail terminal at
Westlake Center in 1980.
In 2006 Fremont
chocolatier Theo Chocolate made and sold the first organic chocolate in
a ubiquitous sight at sporting events around the globe, was born by UW
cheerleader Rob Weller at a University of Washington vs. Stanford
University football game on October 31, 1981 in Seattle at U Dub's Husky
Stadium - the Huskies won 42-31 (Go Dawgs!).
In 1917 the
Seattle Metropolitans won three games of a four game series over the
Montreal Canadiens to become the first U. S. team to win hockey's coveted
The 2001 Seattle
Mariners won 116 games tying the 1906 Chicago Cubs for the most games won
in major league baseball history.
The term "flying
saucer" first came into being when, on June 24, 1947, Seattle pilot
Kenneth Arnold described the nine brilliant, boomerang-shaped bogies he
saw above Mount Rainier.
On the afternoon
of July 4, 1947, Frank Ryman, an off-duty U.S. Coast Guard Yeoman, snaps
the first photograph of an alleged flying saucer from the yard of his home
in Lake City, north of Seattle.
Golf Course, in Seattle's Beacon Hill neighborhood, opened in 1915
as the country's first public golf course.
first gas station opened June 14, 1907 at East Marginal Way South and
The Happy Face
(Smiley) first appeared in Seattle in 1967 as part of an ad campaign for
Whittaker is renowned as the first America to reach the summit of Mount
Everest (29,028 feet) on May 1, 1963.
legendary ski maker then on Vashon Island, invented the world's first
fiberglass skis in 1965.
first 3-point prop-riding hydroplane, named Slo-mo-shun IV, was built in Seattle
in 1949 and set the world speed record of 160 mph that year.
On August 7,
1955, Alvin M. "Tex" Johnston, flying at more than 400 miles per hour just
400 feet above the water, stuns the crowd at the Seafair Gold Cup
hydroplane race on Lake Washington by twice barrel (or aileron) rolling
the prototype Dash-80, the precursor to the Boeing 707.
Tacoman Dale Chihuly, world renown glass sculptor, was the first person to
be proclaimed a "Living National Treasure" by president George Bush in
more glassblowing studios than any other city in the US and second only to
the island of Murano near Venice, Italy.
In 1926 Bertha
Landes was elected mayor of Seattle and became the first female mayor of a
major American city.
Bertha is the namesake for Seattle's and
the world's largest tunnel boring machine.
In 1987 Seattle was the
first major American city to put police on bicycles.
More people in
Seattle commute to work via bicycle than any other city in the US - could
be due to 30 miles of bike-pedestrian trails, 90 miles of signed bike
routes and 16 miles of bike lanes on city streets.
Seattle has the
nations largest movie going population per capita.
International Film Festival, held annually mid-May to mid-June, is the
largest film festival in the nation.
Seattle Based National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY
- "Nifty") is the largest and most influential film festival and support
organization for filmmakers age 22 and under in the US.
The world's largest indoor video screen is in Sky
Church, the 70' high central hall of
MoPOP - Museum of Pop Culture
(formerly EMP), on
the Seattle Center grounds.
Coliseum Theatre (now a Banana Republic) was opened by vaudeville magnate
Alexander Pantages in 1915 and was the first movie palace (then silent
films) built in the US.
According to a 2006 Census Bureau
study, Seattle tops the list of America's most educated cities, with more
than half its population 25 years and older holding at least a bachelor's
degree, one of the highest
rates of home internet access and among the highest in median household
In 1979, Seattle
U was the first school in the nation to offer a Master's Degree in
The Seattle based Bill & Melinda
Gates Foundation, with assets over $33.5 billion (as of 2009), is the largest foundation
in history and is dedicated to improving people's lives by sharing
advances in health and learning with the global community.
Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer
Research Center receives more funding from the federal government than any
other cancer research facility in the nation.
In 1909 a prototype of
the world's first wireless telephone was demonstrated by William
Dubiller at Seattle's first World's Fair - the Alaska Yukon Pacific
wireless (Wi-Fi) network in the world is at Microsoft's corporate
Pacific Northwest Ballet has the highest per capita dance attendance in
the US with 11,000 subscribers.
general strike in the nation was in Seattle in 1919 - it lasted five days,
February 6-11, as 60,000 shipyard workers walked off their jobs.
In 2014 Seattle was the
first major city in the US to pass a $15 minimum wage into law.
In 1973 Seattle was the
first major US city to provide free bus service, promoted by downtown
merchants as the "magic carpet," in its central business
district (sadly it ended in 2012).
Gas Works Park,
built in 1906, became the first industrial site / park conversion in the
country in 1962.
Mall, built in 1950 by John Graham Jr., was the first suburban shopping
mall in the US and it was also the first mall to have public restrooms.
In 1983, Barney
Clark, a dentist from nearby Des Moines, was the first person in the US to
receive a permanently implanted artificial heart.
Market at Pike Place Market, since 1907, is the longest continuously
operating farmer's market in the US.
first Skid Road (a.k.a. Skid Row) was built the early 1850s by loggers
down then Mill Street which is now Yesler Way in Pioneer Square.
has the country's largest collection of Victorian and Romanesque
Island Floating Bridge (now I-90), built in 1950, was the first floating
bridge in the world.
Point Floating Bridge (SR-520) was designated on 4-2-16 by Guinness World
Records as the world's longest floating bridge - at 7,708 feet
The Mount Baker
tunnel (I-90) is the longest soft earth tunnel in the world.
In 2015 Seattle's Central
District's Bullitt Center was the first office building in the world to
earn Living Building certification by producing 60% more energy than it
uses, via solar panels.
The SR 99 Tunnel
replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct is being built with a tunnel boring
machine (aka Bertha) having the largest diameter of any boring machine in the world -
completed in 1909, was then
the largest man made island in the US.
In 1914 Smith
Tower at 42 stories became the tallest building west of the Mississippi
River, next the Space Needle in 1962 at the equivalent of 60½ stories and
then in 1985 Columbia Tower at 76 stories.
Smith Tower currently has
the largest bank of manually operated elevators in the United States.
Aquarium is the world's first aquarium with a salmon ladder, to have born
a sea otter in captivity and to have born a giant octopus (65 pounds) in
State Ferry System is the largest Ferry System in the US and the state's
number one tourist attraction.
The Coleman Dock
/ Washington State Ferry Terminal - Pier 52 is the busiest ferry landing
in the US.
Elliott Bay is home to the world's largest tugboat races held annually in
houseboat population is the largest east of the Orient.
The gas turbine
Victoria Clipper IV catamaran that shuttles between Seattle and Victoria,
BC is the fastest passenger vessel in North American waters with speeds
exceeding 50 mph.
Snoqualmie Falls plunges 268 feet, 100 feet further than Niagara Falls.
Seattle has been
acclaimed "the most honest city in America" by Reader's Digest
Seattle has been
named the fittest city in the US in the February 2005 issue of Men's
Boasting 59 languages, Seattle's
Columbia City 98118 zip code, is the most diverse zip code in the US.
The Seattle Metropolitan Police
Museum, located in historic Pioneer Square, is the largest police museum
in the western U.S.
The F.O.E. (Fraternal Order of Eagles)
was founded in Seattle in February 1898.
KOMO TV (ABC in
Seattle) became the first station in the world to broadcast daily local
news in DTV on May 18, 1999 and the first in the US to broadcast daily
local news in HDTV on Feb 16, 2000.
The press box at
Safeco Field is the largest press box in the US.
Safeco Field has the largest HD video
screen in Major League Baseball: 56.7' x 201.5' - 11,425 sq. ft.
Starting with the 2015 season the
Seattle Mariners are the first MLB team to play under LED lights.
The only NBA
basketball game to be called off due to rain was in Seattle on January 5,
1986 due to a leaky roof at the Seattle Center Coliseum (Seattle Sonics
vs. Phoenix Suns in 2nd quarter).
In the first true NCAA
Final Four, Kansas knocked off St. John's in the 1952 basketball
championship game at University of Washington's Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
Seattle Seahawks fans, aka the 12th Man,
establish the Guinness World Record for crowd noise at 137.6 decibels as
the Hawks beat the New Orleans Saints 34-7 in Seattle's Century Link
Field on Monday Night Football on Dec 2, 2013; meanwhile
jumping fans registered a magnitude 1 or 2 earthquake!