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 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Legacy project

Repository: Washington State Archives. State Archives Branch.

Collection Description (CRHP): The Washington state legislature has mandated that former governors and other members of the executive branch, Members of Congress, members of the judiciary, and citizens of all walks of life who have made an extraordinary contribution to the political life of the state be interviewed. This ongoing project has interviewed 11 people to date, including civil rights activists Lillian Walker, whose remarkable legacy of activism stretches well before the days of Martin Luther King Jr., and Charles Z. Smith, an African American who was the first member of an ethnic minority to serve on the Washington Supreme Court.

Collection Description (Extant): Throughout the 20th and 21 centuries, political leaders and 'ordinary' people have fought for civil rights, equality, and independence in Washington. In 1917, Bellingham's Frances Axtell became the first American woman to wield power on a federal commission. In the 1960s, Nisqually fisherman Billy Frank refused to give up the salmon when game wardens physically pulled him off of the Nisqually River.

Established in 2008, the Legacy Project publishes oral histories and biographies of statewide officeholders, congressional leaders, judges and remarkable people whose extraordinary actions have inspired change.

Access Copy Note: Transcripts are available online.

Collection URL:

Digital Status: Born-digital

Extent: 11 transcripts (available in book format); 11 digital sound recordings; photographs

Language: English

Interviewees: Lillian Walker, Charles Z. Smith

Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights


African American judges
African Americans--Civil rights--Washington (State)
Civil rights movements--Washington (State)
Civil rights workers--Washington (State)
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Race discrimination--Washington (State)
Washington (State)--Politics and government
Women civil rights workers
World War, 1939-1945--Participation, African American


Sound recordings


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   September 26, 2018
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