Seattle was not immune to these forces. In the wee hours of May 30, 1915, a scow packed with dynamite near Harbor Island lit up the skies. The blast marked the beginning of an era of anti-German sentiment; the Espionage Act; and, of course, the U.S.’s eventual involvement in both world wars.
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Crosscut’s resident historian Knute Berger blew open this history in a recent episode of the Mossback’s Northwest video series, but there is much more to the story.
In this episode of Mossback, Berger joins co-host Stephen Hegg to discuss the murky details of this gigantic explosion in Seattle, the geopolitical context surrounding it, similar efforts by German saboteurs across the U.S. at that time, and the way these pre-war histories are remembered—and forgotten.