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Document Details


Title: Sam Smith
Document type: Oral history
Accessibility: Free Only
Repository: Washington. State Archives. Washington State Oral/Aural History Program
Collection: Washington State Oral History Program
Description: Sam Smith’s political journey began in Louisiana when he was 10 years old. Listening to political conventions and speeches broadcast on radio in the early 1930s, he was quickly captivated by Franklin D. Roosevelt. By the time he was 14, he had made up his mind seek out a place to serve as an elected official. World War II brought Sam to Seattle, where he settled and began his climb to political prominence. In 1958, Sam Smith was successfully elected to the state House of Representatives in Seattle’s Thirty-seventh District, where he served five consecutive terms. After achieving his goal of passing a state open housing law in 1967, Smith left the state legislature and became the first black person elected to the Seattle City Council. Smith served on the city council for 24 years, eight of those as president of the council. Observers of the city council described his presidency as a breath of fresh air into the council, opening up Seattle to a more progressive era.
Extent: 178 pages
URL: http://www.secstate.wa.gov/oralhistory/smith/smithsmall.pdf
Original Language: English
Speaker: Smith, Sam, 1922-
Speaker gender: Male
Speaker date of birth: 21-Jul-1922
Speaker place of birth: Gibsland, LA; Louisiana; United States; North America
Speaker race: Black
Speaker occupation: Legislator; Military personnel
Document date: Undated
Interviewer: Bridgman, Dianne
Organizations discussed: Washington. State Legislature
Locations discussed: North America; United States; Washington
Topics discussed - ASP terms: Legislation; North America; Oral history; Political leadership; Political science; Politicians; United States; Washington; Washington (State)--Officials and employees; Washington (State)--Politics and government; Washington. State Legislature
ASP release: 2005-06
Document code: OHI0029643-32880