Keeping History Alive on Mercer Island  

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Mercer Island Historical Society

Founded 1954

Keeping History Alive on Mercer Island

A Washington State Non-profit Charitable organization with 501(c)(3) status.

Memorial Day

In the spring of 1915, a Canadian artillery unit brigade surgeon, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae saw bright red poppies blooming on the war-scarred fields where so many soldiers had lost their lives. The poppies inspired him to write the powerful poem “In Flanders Fields.” With fewer than 100 words, McCrae honored the lives lost in World War I and spurred a timeless movement of using the poppy as a symbol of remembrance.

Moina Michael, a professor at the University of Georgia, first came across “In Flanders Field.” in the Ladies Home Journal. She decided to make red fabric poppies and sell them to raise money for returning veterans. She also lobbied to make the red poppy a national memorial symbol, so others could do the same. In 1920, she convinced Georgia’s chapter of the American Legion to recognize the poppy as a symbol. Soon after, the National American Legion followed suit and the little red flower officially became the U.S. national emblem of remembrance on September 27, 1920.

More than 41 million American citizens have served in the military over the course of the nation's history. Approximately 16.5 million Americans are veterans. Beginning with the Revolutionary War, 1.2 million members of the military have lost their lives in conflict and more than 645,000 have lost their lives since World War I. On Memorial Day we remember and honor the ultimate sacrifice of the fallen. hosts a complete online honor roll of Washington citizens - more than 9,000 - who gave their lives in the service of their communities and country. The honor roll, which is regularly updated, includes men and women who died in the Philippine Insurrection, World War I, World War II (including merchant mariners), Korea, Vietnam, Granada, the Gulf War, Afghanistan, and Iraq.


Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle, 1909
Saturday, April 22, 2023
1:00PM – 2:30PM
Main Bellevue Library, 1111 110th Avenue NE

Looking Across Cascade Court to the U.S. Government Bldg.

The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (AYP) was Washington’s first world’s fair. It had been 12 years since the 1897 Klondike Gold Rush had brought prosperity and riches to the Pacific Northwest and the state of Washington wanted to celebrate. The AYP was held on the campus of the University of Washington between June 1 and October 16, 1909.

History and science educator Jane Morton will discuss why the AYP brought more than three million visitors and tourists. A related exhibition of AYP memorabilia will be on view for the month of April in the Bellevue Library lobby.

Sponsored by Eastside Heritage Center.

Registration is encouraged but not required.

Click for Larger Image

Thanks to all who attended our March event!


Sponsored in partnership with the Mercer Island Historical Society.