History Podcasts

What was the Bone Bill in Washington State?

What was the Bone Bill in Washington State?

What was the "Bone Bill" of the 1920's and 30's about? Did it have something to do with power production?

I'd also like to know about the Bill's history and significance.


Yes, this bill sure did have something to do with power production.

Homer T. Bone, once a Socialist, a Republican, and a member of several minor parties, was a Tacoma lawyer and a longtime advocate of public power; that is, power companies owned by the government rather than private investors. As a young member of the Washington House of Representatives in the early 1920s, Bone introduced a power bill-the Bone Bill-which came to bear his name. The plan would allow city-owned power companies to provide power outside the city limits. It aroused heated opposition from private companies and was turned down several times both by legislatures and by voters. Bone continued the fight even as his political career extended to a seat in the U.S. Senate. Finally in the midst of New Deal legislation, Washington voters approved the Bone Bill as a referendum in 1930. Its passage meant that public power companies could compete with private companies. Taking effect just when several great public projects, like the Grand Coulee Dam, were getting started, it enabled public power companies to prepare to use the vast amount of power that would soon be available.

Bone remained a liberal supporter of the New Deal until he was appointed a federal judge.


  1. [Homer T. Bone] finally won his state House seat in 1922 as a Farmer-Labor candidate, though his district was strongly conservative. He immediately submitted the "Bone Bill," which would give municipal electrical utilities -- such as Seattle's and Tacoma's -- the power to sell their service beyond the city limits. The two-month session, one of the stormier in legislative history, escalated the simmering public vs. private power battle and catapulted Bone into the political spotlight. "The power lobbyists were as thick as bees around a hive," Bone recalled. The Bone Bill did not pass until 1933. HistoryLink.org Emphasis added

  2. … legislative battle lines were formed around the idea that a municipal utility could sell power to utilities located outside its city limits. The idea was proposed in 1923 by a first-term state legislator from Tacoma named Homer T. Bone, who supported the concept of publicly owned power systems. The bill started one of the most bitter fights the legislature had ever witnessed.

The private utility interests flooded the legislature with printed propaganda and lobbyists and made sure the bill was defeated. Then, to counter the Bone Bill, the House Speaker proposed a law that would levy punitive taxes against any municipal light system that sold power outside its city limits. The state Legislature passed a bill to place such a referendum before state voters in the general election of 1924. Snopud

  1. Homer T. Bone was an interesting character in Washington State political history. In 1924 Bone had been one of only three Farmer-Labor Party members of the State House. His bill had proposed that municipal utilities could sell their power beyond their borders. It sparked an emotional private/public sector debate. Hill had made his support of the bill an important part of his campaign. The Republicans used his support as proof he was a dangerous, radical socialist. Ungovernor


The Atomic City: Why Oak Ridge Was Chosen for the Manhattan Project

On August 6 and August 9, 1945, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. The attacks helped bring an end to World War II and changed the face of geopolitics and modern warfare forever. Soon after the first bomb dropped, the local newspaper in Oak Ridge, TN ran the banner headline, “Oak Ridge Attacks Japan”.

The Oak Ridge Journal was absolutely right their small city in East Tennessee had played a pivotal role in the development of the world’s first nuclear weapons. Unbeknownst to the rest of the country, and to most of the people living in Oak Ridge, the so-called “Secret City” was at the epicenter of the Manhattan Project, the American-led effort to build an atomic bomb.

Since the fateful events of August 1945, many people have wondered why Oak Ridge was chosen for the Manhattan Project. Here at Explore Oak Ridge, we decided to do a little research to bring you the answer to this question.

A Decision for General Groves

According to City Behind A Fence, a history of Oak Ridge during WWII, the decision to build a nuclear development site in East Tennessee was made personally by General Leslie Groves on September 19, 1942. Groves had only been appointed the commander of the Manhattan Project two days prior.

A number of locations for the nuclear site were considered over the summer, including Shasta Dam in California, two spots outside of Chicago, and several areas in Washington state, as well as a few other locations in East Tennessee. However, all of these potential sites were deemed either too small or too vulnerable to enemy attack.

Why Oak Ridge Was Chosen for the Manhattan Project

In contrast to the other possible locations, Groves found that the site scouted in East Tennessee had virtually ideal conditions for the military’s plans. Here are some of the major reasons why Oak Ridge was chosen for the Manhattan Project:

Remote Location
Groves wanted to ensure that the Manhattan Project kept a low profile, and Oak Ridge’s rural location definitely fit the bill. The fact that Tennessee is a landlocked state located away from the coast reduced the chance that the Germans or Japanese would be able to bomb the nuclear site.

Perfect Population Size
East Tennessee had just the right amount of people for the Manhattan Project’s purposes. On one hand, the military was looking for an area that was not too densely populated because it was concerned about the potential dangers of building its industrial plants. The proposed nuclear site in East Tennessee would only displace about 1,000 families. On the other hand, the Manhattan Project needed enough people to work at the new plants. Fortunately, the nearby city of Knoxville, which boasted a population of 111,000 residents, was ripe for labor recruitment. The South, as a whole, was filled with people looking for non-agrarian employment.

Land, Water, and Electricity
In September of 1942, the Manhattan Project planned on building four different types of production plants (pile, electromagnetic, gaseous diffusion, and centrifuge) at one site. Ultimately, the centrifuge process was abandoned and the large atomic pile needed to produce plutonium was located elsewhere. However, the original plan to construct all four plants in the same vicinity contributed to East Tennessee’s appeal.

The electromagnetic, gaseous diffusion, and centrifuge plants all required significant amounts of electricity, which could be found at the Tennessee Valley Authority hydroelectric plants at Norris Dam. East Tennessee also offered good quality water and ample land for the project. As an added bonus, the land was cheap: only $50 – 60 per acre, on average.

The Secret City is Born

Under orders from General Groves, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers purchased 59,000 acres of land along the Clinch River. Originally known as Site X or Clinton Engineer Works, the nuclear site was eventually renamed Oak Ridge. With its promise of jobs, the new city drew in tens of thousands of families, becoming the fifth-largest city in Tennessee.

Throughout the war, Oak Ridge was protected by guarded gates, and workers at the plants were sworn to secrecy. Few people in town were aware that the military was pursuing an atomic bomb onsite they only knew information relevant to their specific job duties. It was not until the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 that the true purpose of the Secret City became clear to the masses.


Prescott Bush - Class of 1916

If you thought "Dubya" was a wild man in his college years, you should have met his grand-daddy.

Prescott, the future Senator from Connecticut, was apparently a real "cut-up" who, along with some other Bonesmen, is believed to have dug up and absconded with the skull of the legendary Native American warrior Geronimo during World War I.

Legend has it that Geronimo's head is still inside Skull and Bones HQ, known as "The Tomb," at 64 High Street in New Haven.


Stay connected

RT @FSIatState: #FSI’s @HistoryAtState held an open session of the Advisory Committee for Historical Diplomatic Documentation (#HAC). Guests discussed the Reagan administration’s Strategic Arms Reduction Talks, as documented in our Office of the Historian’s #FRUS release: bit.ly/3newJBP

RT @Dodis: #GenevaSummit is getting started: Welcome address delivered by the President of the Swiss Confederation Kurt Furgler upon the arrival of @POTUS Ronald #Reagan in @Geneve_int on November 16, 1985: dodis.ch/59834 #histCH #Gorbachev #Putin #Biden @SwissMFA @HistoryAtState

PUBLIC PRESENTATION June 14, 2021 at 10:30am EST At the #HAC meeting, James Graham Wilson will discuss the Reagan Administration’s #START negotiations, as documented in #FRUS To register for this free online event, please send an email to [email protected]


About Jay

Jay Inslee is a fifth-generation Washingtonian who has lived and worked in urban and rural communities on both sides of the state. He grew up in the Seattle area where his father, Frank, was a high school teacher and coach. His mother, Adele, worked as a sales clerk at Sears & Roebuck. Jay worked his way through college and graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in economics before earning his law degree at Willamette University. He and his wife, Trudi, then moved to Selah, a small town near Yakima where they raised their three sons. Jay worked as an attorney and prosecutor.

Jay and Trudi are now proud grandparents to four active little Inslees. Besides writing and illustrating books for his grandchildren and sketching scenes from around Washington, Jay is an avid cyclist and charter member of Hoopaholics, a youth basketball academy.

Jay first became involved in public service in 1985 when he and Trudi helped lead the effort to build a new public high school in Selah. Motivated to fight against proposed funding cuts for rural schools, Jay went on to represent the 14th Legislative District in the state House of Representatives. He continued serving communities in the Yakima Valley when he was elected to Congress in 1992. The Inslees later moved back to the Puget Sound area where Jay was elected to Congress in 1998, serving until 2012 when he was elected governor. He was re-elected in 2016, and for a historic third term in 2020.

During his time in Congress, Jay became known as a forward-thinking leader, especially on issues of clean energy and the environment. He co-wrote a book, "Apollo's Fire: Igniting America's Clean-Energy Economy," about a national program to fight climate change through clean energy innovation and job-creation.

As governor, Jay's top priority is growing Washington's innovative industries such as clean energy, information technology and life sciences, and strengthening existing industries such as aerospace, agriculture, maritime and the military. Since 2013, Washington has experienced a 30-year low in unemployment rates and record exports.

Washington has been a leader in the fight against COVID-19 and in protecting and saving lives.

Under his leadership, Washington is consistently the only state that ranks as the best place to work and the best place to do business. Washington has one of the nation’s highest minimum wages, paid sick leave for all workers, a best-in-the-nation paid family leave program, some of the nation’s most rigorous clean air and water standards, and one of the highest union membership rates in the U.S.

Since Jay became governor in 2013, Washington state has expanded voter rights, provided affordable health care to 800,000 more Washingtonians, passed the Reproductive Parity Act, stood up to the president’s Muslim ban, protected LGBTQI Americans from discrimination, raised the minimum wage, passed historic investments in public schools and infrastructure, and created one of the best clean-energy economies in America.

To prepare young Washingtonians for the economy of tomorrow, Jay launched Career Connect Washington, a transformative initiative to help all our students prepare and train for in-demand jobs, whether they choose college, an apprenticeship, mentorship or other post-secondary path.


If your Washington vehicle tabs or boat decals expire within 6 months:

Fees are different for every situation and are calculated many ways. Everyone starts with the basic fees of $43.25 and things like vehicle weight, location, and taxes determine your final amount.

This visual guide can help you understand how we calculate vehicle fees.

  • $30 – License Tab fee
  • All terrain vehicles (ATV) use class:
    • $30 – on and off–road
    • $18 – off&ndashroad only
    • WA State Ferries, WA State Patrol, and Motor Vehicle Fund
    • ORV funds distributed per RCWs
    • SNO funds go to Snowmobile acct, distributed per RCWs
    • TLR WA State Patrol, Puget Sound Ferry Operations, Transportation 2003 account, Transportation partnership account, and Motor Vehicle Fund
    • 70% for Motor vehicle fund
    • 15% for Transportation improvement account
    • 15% for Rural arterial trust account
    • .50 to DOL Services Account
    • .25 to License Plate Technology Account
    • State Highway Patrol Account
    • Motor Vehicle Fund
    • State Highway Patrol Account
    • County monthly expense fund
    • Motor Vehicle Fund
    • $10 for Motor Vehicle Fund
    • $5 for office renewal processing

    All WAC and RCW links go to leg.wa.gov

    Fee payment options
    Pay with your: For online services For licensing office
    Cash No Yes
    Check
    Make checks payable "Department of Licensing"
    Yes Yes
    Visa &ndash credit/debit Yes * Yes &ndash at most offices **
    MasterCard &ndash credit/debit Yes * Yes &ndash at most offices **
    American Express &ndash credit/debit Yes * Yes &ndash at most offices **
    Discover &ndash credit/debit No Yes &ndash at most offices **

    * Starting January 1, 2020 we will charge a 3% card payment fee for online transactions. You can also pay with your checking account information online for no added fee.

    ** We accept credit and debit cards at some of our offices. Our card payments vendor charges a fee.

    • If using a debit card, the convenience fee adds $2.25.
    • If using a credit card, the convenience fee adds:
      • $2.25 if your transaction total is $75 or less.
      • 3% of your transaction total if over $75.

      Farewell, Cassandra

      We here at HistoryLink are greatly saddened by the death of our dear friend Cassandra Tate, who we have had the pleasure of working with for more than 20 years. We are truly going to miss her joy, her sparkling wit, her passion for researching and writing history, and -- most of all -- the kind and peaceful friendship she shared with us all.

      Cassandra was born in Idaho but grew up in Seattle, where she developed an interest in journalism. After spending a year at UW, she headed out on her own and worked as a reporter for various newspapers in Idaho and Nevada, where she met her husband, Glenn Drosendahl. After receiving a year-long Nieman Fellowship at Harvard, she returned to Seattle with Glenn and their daughter, Linnea, and worked at several local newspapers before returning to UW to get a Ph.D. at age 50. She turned her doctoral dissertation into her first book, Cigarette Wars: Triumph of "The Little White Slaver," published by Oxford University Press in 1999.

      In 1998 Cassandra became one of the first members of our writing team, and she wrote several essays in preparation for our launch. Over the years since, she wrote 217 essays for HistoryLink on such topics as gold rushes, the Bonneville Power Administration, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Washington State University, abortion reform, and thumbnail histories of Seattle's Columbia City, West Seattle, and West Seattle Junction neighborhoods.

      Cassandra also wrote many excellent and meticulously researched biographical articles. Some of the many people she wrote about include Wanapum spiritual leader Smohalla, geologist J Harlan Bretz, philanthropist Patsy Collins, environmentalists Joan Crooks and Hazel Wolf, activist Jim Ellis and his brother John Ellis, artists Michael Spafford and Elizabeth Sandvig, musician Ray Charles, actresses Frances Farmer and Peg Phillips, theater directors Glenn Hughes and Burton and Florence James, author Ivan Doig, astronaut Bonnie Dunbar, doctors Lester Sauvage and A. Frans Koome, Watergate co-conspirator John Ehrlichman, Seattle mayors Robert Moran and Gordon Clinton, King County Executive Ron Sims, state senator Bob Grieve, Congresswoman Catherine May, and Governor Dan Evans and his wife, Nancy.

      One of our favorite stories Cassandra wrote was about the Three Kichis, Japanese castaways who ran aground on the northernmost tip of the Olympic Peninsula in 1834. Other favorites include her tour of Ice Age floods, her analysis of busing in the Seattle School district, her history of cigarette prohibition in Washington, her four-part history of the Seattle YMCA, her look back at Seattle's Lusty Lady 'panoram,' and her own personal account of seeing Elvis at Sicks' Stadium when she was 12 year old.

      And finally, one topic that greatly interested Cassandra was the story of Protestant missionaries Narcissa and Marcus Whitman, who were attacked and killed by Cayuse Indians in 1834. After years of deep research, she turned this story into an acclaimed book, "Unsettled Ground: The Whitman Massacre and its Shifting Legacy in the American West." The book was published as Cassandra was nine months into her struggle with fallopian-tube cancer, but she still promoted it through virtual book readings and discussions. We are so grateful that she lived to tell this story, and to enjoy the book's stellar reviews.

      News Then, History Now

      Rails Across the Nation

      On June 17, 1884, the first Northern Pacific train running between Tacoma and Seattle raised Seattle's hopes of a reliable transcontinental rail link, but the line proved to be a bust. The city turned its sights to James J. Hill, and after granting him a waterfront right-of-way and other concessions, the first Great Northern passenger train left Seattle for St. Paul, Minnesota on June 18, 1893.

      Freedom Celebration

      On June 19, 1890, African Americans from Tacoma and Seattle, many of them former slaves, gathered in Kent to celebrate the area's first Juneteenth. June 19, 1865, was the date news of Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation finally reached Texas slaves.

      A Daughter's Admiration

      In 1909 Sonora Smart Dodd sat in a Spokane church listening to a sermon about motherhood. Having been raised with five younger brothers by her widowed father, Dodd felt that fatherhood also deserved a "place in the sun," and she took it upon herself to advocate a special day for dads. After receiving an enthusiastic endorsement from the Spokane Ministerial Alliance and the YMCA, the first Father's Day was celebrated in Spokane on June 19, 1910. The concept spread, and by the 1920s Father's Day was commonly observed throughout the country.

      Poet's Soiree

      On June 17, 1931, Ella Higginson became Washington state's first poet laureate in a ceremony hosted by the Washington State Federation of Women's Clubs. Two decades earlier, Higginson served as campaign manager for Frances Axtell, who was one of the first two women elected to serve in the Washington State Legislature.

      Into the Fray

      On June 20, 1942, a Japanese submarine sank the freighter Fort Camosun near Cape Flattery, but with no loss of life. The next day, the same submarine attacked Fort Stevens at the mouth of the Columbia River, making it the only military installation in the continental United States to be shelled during the war.

      Opening Day

      June 23 marks the opening day of three major civic institutions in Seattle: Volunteer Park's Seattle Art Museum in 1933 the Washington State Convention & Trade Center in 1988 and the Experience Music Project -- now MoPOP -- in 2000.


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      Reading a Skeleton

      A forensic anthropologist can read the evidence in a skeleton like you read a book. The techniques they use to answer questions in criminal cases can be applied to skeletons of any age, modern or ancient. The stages of growth and development in bones and teeth provide information about whether the remains represent a child or adult. The shape of pelvic bones provides the best evidence for the sex of the person. Abnormal changes in the shape, size and density of bones can indicate disease or trauma. Bones marked by perimortem injuries, such as unhealed fractures, bullet holes, or cuts, can reveal cause of death. The trained anthropologist is also able to identify skeletal clues of ancestry. Even certain activities, diet, and ways of life are reflected in bones and teeth.


      6. Washington bought human teeth from African Americans

      Deep within one of Washington&rsquos account books is an entry which details Washington&rsquos purchase of nine teeth from &ldquoNegroes&rdquo for 122 shillings. Whether the teeth provided by the Mount Vernon enslaved persons were simply being sold to dentist Dr. Jean-Pierre Le Mayeur or whether they were intended for George Washington, is unknown at this time. Since Washington paid for the teeth it suggests that they were either for his own use or for someone in his family. It is important to note that while Washington paid these enslaved people for their teeth it does not mean they had a real option to refuse his request.


      Watch the video: Tracking big bills in the WA legislature (December 2021).