This is one of a series looking back at Seattle Weekly's first year.
The big news in the Weekly's sixth-ever issue (May 5, 1976) was the unexpected disintegration of Washington Sen. Henry "Scoop" Jackson's long-planned campaign to be nominated as the Democratic Party's candidate for president. Jackson was the last candidate for the office to depend on the time-honored coalition of political insiders and the solid labor bloc of the AFL-CIO. But neither the unions nor the party bosses had the old clout, and a rank outsider from a (WHAT?) peanut farm slid past him in Philadelphia. Scoop was able to shift gears fast enough to snag his long-held Senate seat, but his era of legendary power in Washington was over.
The business page chronicled the rapid rise of Rainier Bank as a challenger to local behemoth Seafirst. There's almost something nostalgic in editor Bill Cushing's report of this welterweight match. With both Rainier and Seafirst long merged out of existence and Washington Mutual—"the friend of the family"—now our biggest financial machine, it's a lesson that betting on big guys works just fine until the day it doesn't.
Our theater reviewer was in Ashland, Ore., that week, not much enjoying the opening of the 41st season of the Oregon Shakespearean Festival. The real cultural news was relegated to a back page, where film editor Richard T. Jameson described the ambitions of two guys new to town who were setting up something they called the First International Seattle Film Festival. Among the films showing that first year: Fassbinder's Fox and His Friends, Lina Wertmüller's All Screwed Up, and Ken Russell's Mahler. And this May 25, number 31 starts its run. How time flies.
Another small item that has proved more enduring than anyone at the time might have thought: In his Last Word column, editor-publisher David Brewster pointed to the rapid Reaganization of the state Republican party. Hard to believe that Reaganization was only the first step in the transformation of the party of Dan Evans, Chris Bayley, John Miller, and Slade Gorton into one of the most dependably extreme-right-wing bodies in the country.