Chamber plays major part in new airport
In January 1941, with Boeing Field overcrowded, the Chamber's Aviation Committee conceived the idea of another major airport and started considering possible sites. The following year, the Chamber supported the Port of Seattle as the local government sponsor of the new airport.
Then in 1946, the Chamber actively campaigned for a $3 million bond for a new administration building and terminal, replacing a Quonset hut that served as the passenger terminal. Known as “The Pantry,” this structure was heated by a single potbellied stove and deemed insufficient to meet anticipated demand following the war.
On July 9, 1949, the new terminal was dedicated and officially became Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Save Boeing—Defend Seattle
Following World War II, the U.S. Air Force wanted to move work on defense contracts from coastal areas to the "greater safety" of Midwest locations. The Chamber swung into action with a "Save Boeing—Defend Seattle" campaign, ensuring that work remained at Boeing plants in Seattle instead of Wichita.
More than 250 attend first Foreign Trade Zone Clinic
After 30 years of work by the Chamber and the Port of Seattle, the charter was signed for Seattle's Foreign Trade Zone.
Shortly after this, the Chamber welcomed more than 250 for the first-ever Foreign Trade Zone Clinic to be held in the United States. The Chamber sponsored the clinic in conjunction with the Port of Seattle, the University of Washington, the Pacific Northwest Trade Association and the Seattle Traffic Association.
Then in January 1950, the Chamber hosted an Overseas Friendship Tour to Japan, the Philippines and Hawaii. Discussing his plans for the trip, Mayor William F. Devin said that he would emphasize the importance of Seattle as a shipping port.
Sources: Seattle Business Special Edition: Seattle Chamber Celebrates 100 Years; Seattle Business; HistoryLink.org