About the City
The area around Puget Sound has long been home to various indigenous peoples. In the 19th century, American settlers came, and at a deep harbor, they founded a city named for Seattle, a local chief.
The city quickly grew into a commercial and industrial center and a stop for travelers going to Alaska. 1907 saw the founding of the Pike Place Market, which is still open today. In 1962, the city hosted the world’s Century 21 Exposition after building the Space Needle and the monorail that links it to the city center.
Today Seattle has a rich culture thanks to its diverse population, ubiquitous coffee shops, award-winning eateries, access to nature, and influential music scene. It is the largest city in the northwestern United States and one of the fastest-growing major cities in the country.
In the summer, due to its surroundings and northerly position, Seattle enjoys long, sunny days with mild temperatures often in the range of 70-80°F (21-27°C). The city’s famous rain completely stops: in July 2017, no rain was recorded.
Esperanto in Seattle
Esperanto has a long and rich history in Seattle. Back in 1905, when the first Esperanto clubs were founded in New York, Philadelphia, and Boston, a group appeared in Seattle for Esperantists interested in stamp collecting. The following year saw the founding of the more general Seattle Esperanto Society (SES), which in 2018 will celebrate its 112th birthday as one of the largest local Esperanto groups in the US. Its meetings, held 1-2 times per month, are usually attended by at least 10 people. Since 1981, Seattle Esperantists have also co-organized the Northwest Regional Esperanto Conference (NOREK).
Prominent Esperantists who lived in Seattle or the surrounding area include: Richard Henry Geoghegan (1866-1943), co-founder of SES and English translator of Zamenhof’s book introducing Esperanto to the world; David Richardson (1926-2012), onetime president of ELNA (now Esperanto-USA) and author of the textbook Esperanto: Learning and Using the International Language; and Prof. Sidney Culbert (1913-2003), famous for his research on the number of Esperanto speakers in the world.
This is the second time US Esperantists have been invited to Seattle: ELNA had its 9th Landa Kongreso here in 1961.