Events From The 1950s

Increasing the flow of waterborne commerce
The Chamber formed a maritime division, focused on enlarging the Port Commission and revitalizing the Port of Seattle. This was largely a response to economic losses that occurred when the Army closed its Port of Embarkation and rate parity was granted to ports in California, the Atlantic, and Gulf coasts that diminished Seattle's geographic advantage in shipping to Asia.

A Better Seattle
Reflecting on the Chamber's 75th anniversary in 1957, Chamber President Joseph Gandy commented "but most interesting of all is the parallel of activities 50 and 75 years ago and those of today...all dedicated to one thing--a better Seattle in which to work, live and play."

Gandy went on to note that the Chamber's present projects, such as improving the business climate, industrial expansion, shipping and traffic problems, state development and world trade, are illustrations of how the Chamber tries to plan ahead and anticipate issues of the future.

Gandy also reflected on how the Chamber has always been an organization of business leaders, "it was supported by the business people 75 years ago, and that basic situation has never changed."

I-90 Freeway
In 1957, Governor Albert Rosellini presented the Chamber board with plans for I-90 and received its support. I-90 was finally completed in 1993.

World-wide recognition for our city
The Chamber's World Trade Division took the lead in bringing the Colombo Plan Conference to Seattle in 1958. It was the first time the conference had been held in the United States. More than 250 delegates from South and Southeast Asia attended, and Seattle Business reported that they discussed topics of such interest that President Eisenhower and Secretary of State Dulles flew out to address the conference.

Turning on the lights in Seattle
The Women's Committee, one of the newest Chamber divisions, successfully campaigned to restore lighting facilities at the west end of the Lake Washington Bridge. Lights had been turned off at beginning of World War II and their restoration had apparently been overlooked in the hectic post-war period.

Sources: Seattle Business Special Edition: Seattle Chamber Celebrates 100 Years; Seattle Business

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