Veteran journalist will lead state's Legacy Project

Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed announced Friday that John C. Hughes, a veteran Pacific Northwest newspaper executive and a member of the state Sunshine Committee and trustee of the Washington State Historical Society, is leaving The Daily World in Aberdeen to become head of the state’s new Legacy Project.

Hughes has accepted the appointment as the manager and chief historian of the oral history program within the new Heritage Center that is planned for the Capitol Campus in Olympia. Hughes will lead a team that conducts and publishes oral histories and writes biographies of some of the influential newsmakers who helped forge Washington’s vibrant history, including governors and ordinary citizens in extraordinary times.

The Legacy Project aims to be a key part of telling the story of Washington in a fresh and engaging way that appeals to a broad readership. The project also will serve as a repository to preserve and make available community oral histories that tell the story of the rich and colorful history of Washington’s cities, towns and counties.

Hughes is a trustee of the Washington State Historical Society and chairman of its awards committee. He conducted dozens of oral histories while serving as editor and principal author of “On the Harbor, From Black Friday to Nirvana,” which went through three printings. He also wrote a play about the founding of Aberdeen. He has worked with the Coalition for Open Government and was president of Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington last year. He is 25-year member of the state Bench-Bar-Press Committee, past president of the Associated Press Managing Editors of Washington, and is active in numerous local civic organizations.

The Heritage Center, scheduled for construction in 2012, will feature the treasures of the State Archives, State Library and the Historical Society.

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