Dam featured in exhibit

‘Grand Coulee to Grunge’ focuses on Washington’s accomplishments

Construction of Grand Coulee Dam is one of the featured stories in a new state exhibit.

Photo by Roger Harnack
Construction of Grand Coulee Dam is one of the featured stories in a new state exhibit.

— The “Grand Coulee to Grunge” exhibit, featuring eight stories that changed the world including construction of Grand Coulee Dam, opens Sept. 4 at the State Capitol.

The Office of Secretary of State exhibit celebrates Washington’s great triumphs, from the dam to the Boeing Co. to Starbucks.

“Grand Coulee to Grunge: Eight stories that changed the world” is an image-driven exhibit that recounts feats in business, science, technology and music with influence around the globe.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman said the free, privately funded exhibit is designed to foster a better understanding of Washington, from its unique position along the Pacific Rim to the innovators and risk takers who carried the Washington name to the world stage.

“The innovative spirit of Washington is second to none,” Wyman said. “We’re fortunate to live in a place respected around the world for its innovation, vision and investment in the future.

“This exhibit captures our global achievements in a way that is very interesting to see.”

After a year in Olympia, the exhibit will travel to heritage organizations statewide.

An opening reception is planned from 4-6 p.m. in the Capitol Rotunda and the Office of the Secretary of State.

The exhibit features:

• Building the Future, which looks at Weyerhaeuser’s rise into a timber empire.

• Creating the “Eighth Wonder,” which is about the building of the Grand Coulee Dam and how it revolutionized Washington agriculture by bringing irrigation to a parched Eastern Washington, provided cheap hydroelectric power and aided in the production of aluminum for Boeing aircraft used in World War II.

• Ended the War, which reviews the Hanford Nuclear Reservation’s quiet yet vital role in providing plutonium for the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, helping end World War II.

• Introduced Air Travel, which spotlights Boeing’s central role in aerospace and its contributions to world air travel, and its role in the creation of the Saturn V rocket that launched several Apollo missions to the moon.

• Feeding the Globe, which tells how Washington’s agriculture industry grew to become a worldwide leader in the export of apples, wheat, potatoes, wine and other first-class products.

• Exporting the Culture, which looks at innovative companies such as Microsoft, Starbucks, Costco and Amazon.com that have become known globally.

• Rocked the Planet, which takes viewers back to various times when Washington musicians reached stardom and legendary status, from crooner Bing Crosby to famed guitarist Jimi Hendrix to Nirvana, which exploded onto the rock music scene in the early 1990s and helped make grunge a household word.

• Wired the World, which looks at how Bill Gates and Paul Allen formed Microsoft and transformed it into a computer software colossus that helped connect the world and created thousands of “Microsoft millionaires” in Washington alone.


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