SEATTLE FIRSTS
 
  1. Seattle sells more sunglasses per capita than any other major city in the nation.
    The P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization) Record Mar-Apr 1997

  2. Seattle is the only major city in the US named for a then-living person, Chief Seattle in 1853.

  3. The first Dick and Jane children's book series was created by Seattle's Elizabeth Julesburg under the pseudonym Elizabeth Montgomery.

  4. Seattle has the largest percentage of library card holders in the nation (80%) and spends double the national average on books every year.

  5. In 2013 the world's record for the longest book domino chain was set at the downtown Seattle Public Library - 2,131 books!

  6. King County Library System was the busiest library system in the US in 2010 with circulation of 22.4 million items.

  7. Nancy Pearl, 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."

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Established in 1909, the Scandinavian Studies program at the University of Washington is the largest such program in the world outside of Scandinavia. 

  11. 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 LEED Gold.

  12. 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 history.

  13. The motor for the revolving restaurant in the Space Needle has the highest gear ratio in the world - 360,000 to 1.

  14. The Space Needle is fastened to its foundation with 72 bolts, each of which is 9m (30 feet) long - must be a record!

  15. The world's first espresso cart was below the Monorail terminal at Westlake Center in 1980.

  16. In 2006 Fremont chocolatier Theo Chocolate made and sold the first organic chocolate in the US.

  17. The Wave, 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!).

  18. 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 Stanley Cup.

  19. The 2001 Seattle Mariners won 116 games tying the 1906 Chicago Cubs for the most games won in major league baseball history.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. Jefferson Park Golf  Course, in Seattle's Beacon Hill neighborhood, opened in 1915 as the country's first public golf course.

  23. The world's first gas station opened June 14, 1907 at East Marginal Way South and Holgate Street.

  24. The Happy Face (Smiley) first appeared in Seattle in 1967 as part of an ad campaign for WaMu bank.

  25. Seattleite Jim Whittaker is renowned as the first America to reach the summit of Mount Everest (29,028 feet) on May 1, 1963.

  26. K2, the legendary ski maker then on Vashon Island, invented the world's first fiberglass skis in 1965.

  27. The world's 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.

  28. 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.

  29. Seattleite and Tacoman Dale Chihuly, world renown glass sculptor, was the first person to be proclaimed a "Living National Treasure" by president George Bush in 1992.

  30. Seattle boasts more glassblowing studios than any other city in the US and second only to the island of Murano near Venice, Italy.

  31. In 1926 Bertha Landes was elected mayor of Seattle and became the first female mayor of a major American city.

  32. Bertha is the namesake for Seattle's and the world's largest tunnel boring machine.

  33. In 1987 Seattle was the first major American city to put police on bicycles.

  34. 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.

  35. Seattle has the nations largest movie going population per capita.

  36. The Seattle International Film Festival, held annually mid-May to mid-June, is the largest film festival in the nation.

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. Seattle's 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.

  40. 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 income.

  41. In 1979, Seattle U was the first school in the nation to offer a Master's Degree in software engineering.

  42. 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.

  43. Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center receives more funding from the federal government than any other cancer research facility in the nation.

  44. 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 Exposition (AYP).  

  45. The largest wireless (Wi-Fi) network  in the world is at Microsoft's corporate headquarters campus.

  46. Seattle's Pacific Northwest Ballet has the highest per capita dance attendance in the US with 11,000 subscribers.

  47. The first 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.

  48. In 2014 Seattle was the first major city in the US to pass a $15 minimum wage into law.

  49. 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).

  50. Gas Works Park, built in 1906, became the first industrial site / park conversion in the country in 1962.

  51. Northgate 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. 

  52. In 1983, Barney Clark, a dentist from nearby Des Moines, was the first person in the US to receive a permanently implanted artificial heart.

  53. The Farmer's Market at Pike Place Market, since 1907, is the longest continuously operating farmer's market in the US.

  54. The nation's 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.

  55. Pioneer Square has the country's largest collection of Victorian and Romanesque architecture.

  56. The Mercer Island Floating Bridge (now I-90), built in 1950, was the first floating bridge in the world.

  57. The Evergreen 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

  58. The Mount Baker tunnel (I-90) is the longest soft earth tunnel in the world.

  59. 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.

  60. 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 - 57.5 feet.

  61. Harbor Island, completed in 1909, was then the largest man made island in the US.

  62. 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 60 stories and then in 1985 Columbia Tower at 76 stories.

  63. Smith Tower currently has the largest bank of manually operated elevators in the United States. 

  64. The Seattle 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 captivity.

  65. The Washington State Ferry System is the largest Ferry System in the US and the state's number one tourist attraction.

  66. The Coleman Dock / Washington State Ferry Terminal - Pier 52 is the busiest ferry landing in the US.

  67. Seattle's Elliott Bay is home to the world's largest tugboat races held annually in May.

  68. Seattle's houseboat population is the largest east of the Orient.

  69. 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.

  70. Nearby Snoqualmie Falls plunges 268 feet, 100 feet further than Niagara Falls.

  71. Seattle has been acclaimed "the most honest city in America" by Reader's Digest - Oct 1996.

  72. Seattle has been named the fittest city in the US in the February 2005 issue of Men's Fitness magazine.

  73. Boasting 59 languages, Seattle's Columbia City 98118 zip code, is the most diverse zip code in the US.

  74. The Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum, located in historic Pioneer Square, is the largest police museum in the western U.S.

  75. The F.O.E. (Fraternal Order of Eagles) was founded in Seattle in February 1898.

  76. 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.

  77. The press box at Safeco Field is the largest press box in the US.

  78. Safeco Field has the largest HD video screen in Major League Baseball: 56.7' x 201.5' - 11,425 sq. ft.

  79. Starting with the 2015 season the Seattle Mariners are the first MLB team to play under LED lights.

  80. 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).

  81. 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. 

  82. 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!


Eyes Left!
Terry@see-seattle.com
(425) 226-7641
Eyes Right!