Washington State Historical Newspaper Project

Name: ______________________________________________

Decade you'll be covering: ________________________

Your task:
Create the front page of a Washington newspaper from a particular decade in history. You will research and write news articles about two different topics from your decade - one being the Washington State topic that you choose in class, and the other being any topic of your choice, from anywhere in the world, from that same decade. This project will be done on poster board or tag board. The goal is to make this newspaper look as realistic as possible.

You will have three full class periods in the library for research. You have three weeks to complete the project.

Other pieces of the project are due before the final due date:

  • Bibliography and Guided Research Notes
  • Rough drafts of introductory paragraphs for each article
  • For in-class workdays, bring necessary materials:

Project Requirements:

  1. Article on Washington State topic ____________________________
    • Must be at least 5 paragraphs, 5-8 sentences per paragraph
    • As you write about the topic be sure to answer the key questions: who was involved? what happened? where did it happen? why did it happen? and when did it happen?
    • Type, proofread carefully, and don't plagiarize
  2. Article on topic of your choice _______________________________
    • This can be a topic from anywhere - Washington, elsewhere in the U.S., another country - as long as it's in your decade of history
    • Possible ideas: entertainment, sports, business, fashion, editorial, world news, science, etc.
    • Must be at least 3 paragraphs, 5-8 sentences each
    • All of the same expectations from the other article apply here
  3. Map - One of the articles must have a map that shows where exactly the event or events took place. This map needs to be hand-drawn or traced - no cutting and pasting. Include a typed caption that explains the map.
  4. Pictures - Each article needs to have at least one picture that shows an important person, place, or thing related to the topic. These can be neatly hand-drawn or cut and pasted. Be sure to include typed captions for all pictures.
  5. Extra features - You want to have as little blank space as possible on your front page, just like a real newspaper, so think of filling small spaces with classified ads, political cartoons, help wanted notices, an index for your paper, weather report, etc.
  6. Resources - You will fill out a Bibliography Worksheet as you conduct your research. Read that sheet carefully so that you understand the number of resources that are required.
  7. Overall Appearance:
    • Large heading with the name (make up your own) and date of your newspaper
    • Headline for each article
    • Articles need to be in column form, the same as real newspapers
    • Leave some space around the outer edge of your newspaper
    • Color is optional, pencil marks should be erased or done over in pen
    • Typed and well organized

Ideas for Washington State Topics


  • Statehood and Constitution 1889
  • Seattle Fire 1889
  • Northern Pacific Railroad and Henry Villard 1883


  • Klondike Gold Rush 1897-1899
  • Great Northern Transcontinental Railroad completed to Seattle, James J. Hill


  • Growth of lumber industry - Weyerhaeuser
  • Birth of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and Wobblies (unions)
  • Washington's suffrage movement


  • Boeing is founded
  • Washington State and World War I 1917-1918
  • Prohibition is adopted in Washington (1914) and in the United States (1920)
  • Seattle General Strike 1919


  • Bertha Knight Landes - Seattle's first female mayor


  • Construction of Grand Coulee Dam (begins 1933)
  • The New Deal in Washington State
  • The Great Depression in Washington State (Hoovervilles)


  • Washington's contribution to the World War II war effort
  • Japanese Internment
  • Hanford Atomic Project


  • Life in Washington State (you decide the focus)


  • World's Fair 1962
  • Anti-Vietnam War Protests in Washington State


  • US v. Washington, Boldt Decision (1974) and Native American disputes over fishing rights
  • Eruption of Mt. St. Helens (May 18, 1980)


  • Spotted owl controversy
  • Growth of Microsoft


  • WTO protests
  • Makah whaling controversy
  • Impact of Paul Allen on Seattle
  • Gary Locke's career as governor of Washington

Municipal Archives, City Clerk

Anne Frantilla, City Archivist
Address: 600 Fourth Avenue, Third Floor, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94728, Seattle, WA, 98124-4728
Phone: (206) 684-8353

The Office of the City Clerk maintains the City's official records, provides support for the City Council, and manages the City's historical records through the Seattle Municipal Archives. The Clerk's Office provides information services to the public and to City staff.