When the University of Washington opened its first classes on the new "Interlake Campus" in 1895 none of the students lived on campus...

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When the University of Washington opened its first classes on the new “Interlake Campus” in 1895 none of the students lived on campus and few in Brooklyn, the name then of the University District. Most came from town by trolley and were let off at University Station, 42nd Street and University Way. To reach campus they walked a mere one block east to the incline pictured here, and for many years this was the most frequented way to enter and leave the campus. For pedestrians, it may still be.

Because the lawn here is exposed for sightseeing into the district and sunbathing in the afternoon, it has seen a lot of leisure through the years. I remember it as “hippie hill” in the late 1960s. Here, however, we see a protest under way on July 15, 1948.

The students are listening to speeches broadcast from a flatbed truck parked on 15th Avenue. The banner near the center of the “then” reads, in part, “Register Your Protest, Hear and Now, the Canwell Committee.”

Albert F. Canwell was the one-term state legislator from Spokane who proudly campaigned on two planks only: no new taxes and no communists.

The speakers this noon were Lyle Mercer, president of Students for Henry Wallace of the Progressive Party, Ted Astley, a veterans counselor at the UW, and Al Ottenheimer of the Seattle Repertory Playhouse, which was just off campus. The hearings that Canwell and his committee held to ferret out communists injured them all. The university fired Astley.

However, the real target in this “red scare” was the UW faculty. After Canwell’s proceedings were over, three lost their professorships.

“Washington Then and Now,” by Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard, can be purchased through www.washingtonthenandnow.com ($45) or through Tartu Publications at P.O. Box 85208, Seattle, WA 98145.