THS meeting April 12 features Harry P. Cain biographer

The life of Harry P. Cain, a former Tacoma mayor who achieved national prominence, will be recounted when Tacoma Historical Society holds its 20th annual meeting April 12 at the Bates Technical College downtown campus, 1101 S. Yakima Ave. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Cain (1906-1979) was elected mayor of Tacoma in 1940, and again in 1942 for a four-year term. He took a leave of absence in May 1943 to enter the United States Army and served in the European theater 1943-1945. He resumed his duties as mayor of Tacoma until 1946, when he was elected to the United States Senate. Later, Cain served on the Subversive Activities Control Board and became a noted advocate of civil liberties. In November 2009, Tacoma City Council designated the pedestrian area of the 1300 block of Broadway Plaza as “Harry P. Cain Promenade,” recognizing his importance in the city’s history and on the national scene.

C. Mark Smith will speak on “Unpredictable Activist: the life and politics of Harry P. Cain.” Long acquainted with Cain, Smith began research on his biography of Cain in July 2008, and it is now essentially completed. In the meantime, he has written two articles about Cain. The first appeared in “Arches,” University of Puget Sound’s alumni magazine, in the spring of 2009, and the other will be published in “Columbia,” the journal of the Washington State Historical Society, this summer. Smith is a graduate of Clover Park High School and a history graduate of the University of Puget Sound. He had a long career in economic development and is a Richland resident.

In November 2009, Tacoma City Council designated the pedestrian area of the 1300 block of Broadway Plaza as “Harry P. Cain Promenade,” recognizing his importance in the city’s history and on the national scene.

Tacoma Historical Society’s annual Murray Morgan Award, for researching and writing local history, and its Alan C. Liddle Award for fostering historic preservation will also be presented at the April 12 meeting. Tacoma Historical Society’s Resource Center and gift shop at 3712 S. Cedar St., Tacoma, is open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. For more information, call (253) 472-3738 or visit http://www.tacomahistory.org .

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For earlier Tacoma Daily Index coverage of the Harry P. Cain Promenade nomination, click on the following links:

City Council to vote on Cain Promenade, Gilbert Park nominations — http://tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=88&cat=23&id=1667429&more=0

Broadway promenade to bear name of former mayor, senator Cain — http://tacomadailyindex.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=88&cat=23&id=1652979&more=0