Scoop’s nickname was just one of his ties to paper

  • Fri May 25th, 2012 6:14pm
  • News

Herald staff

He’s the best-known person to ever come from Everett.

And he is best known by his nickname.

Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson served 43 years in Congress, first as a member of the House of Representatives and then as a U.S. senator. In that time, he rose to the highest ranks of power in the country before dying suddenly in 1983. His memory is still cherished in the hometown that he, by all accounts, loved.

This week, several events are planned to honor the 100th anniversary of Jackson’s birth and to remember what he did for Everett and his ties to Snohomish County.

And one of those ties is to The Herald.

Jackson picked up his nickname in a roundabout way from the newspaper. It wasn’t as a reporter — Jackson never worked as a journalist. Instead it came from a comic strip called “Scoop The Cub Reporter,” which used to run in The Everett Herald when Jackson was a boy.

The comic strip featured a young reporter who worked hard to get others to do his work. Jackson’s eldest sister Gertrude thought the character and a young Jackson had a lot in common.

“She always felt like Scoop was trying to get out of his chores,” said Anna Marie Laurence, Jackson’s daughter. “She was like, ‘That’s what we should call you, we should call you Scoop.’”

The name stuck. It followed him throughout his early years and then as he entered into public life.

“Sometimes when some people called they would say, ‘Is Henry there?’” Laurence said. “I thought, ‘Gosh how well do you know my Dad? He goes by Scoop.’”

And while she and her brother Peter Jackson called him, ‘Dad,’ everyone else close to him called him by his nickname, including Jackson’s siblings and his wife, Helen.

“I don’t think I ever remember her calling him Henry,” Laurence said about her mother. “She always called him Scoop.”

And Jackson had another tie to The Everett Herald.

From about age 12 to 18, he worked as newspaper carrier with a route across Everett. In that first job, Jackson showed the wits that would serve him in his political life.

Jackson didn’t want any complaints making their way back to the circulation department. So he made sure all of his customers had his home phone number. And during his years as a paper carrier, The Herald never received any complaints about Jackson, Laurence said.

Those paper routes also helped her dad later in life, Laurence said. Jackson had an incredible memory and he remembered all the customers on his route.

So when he started campaigning first to be prosecutor and then later for Congress, Jackson would remember people and where their parents lived. When campaigning, he’d talk with people and often ask about their parents.

“It was a great way to get into politics,” Laurence said.

Each week, Here at The Herald provides an inside peek at the newspaper. Is there something you would like to know? Email Executive Editor Neal Pattison, npattison@heraldnet.com.

Public events

Four free public events are planned next week to commemorate Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson’s life in Everett and his legacy in Congress.

11 a.m. Monday: A tribute to Jackson is to highlight the Memorial Day program at Evergreen Cemetery, 4504 Broadway in Everett.

7 p.m. Wednesday: UW President Michael Young is scheduled deliver the Henry M. Jackson/William Van Ness Jr. Lecture on Leadership in Kane Hall 220 on the university campus. Call 206-682-8565 to reserve a seat.

1:30 p.m. Thursday: Rededication of the Henry M. Jackson Conference Center at Everett Community College, 2000 Tower St. Event includes unveiling of a sculpture of Jackson to be displayed in the center. Free parking in Lot B on the main campus.

4 p.m. Thursday: Jackson Centennial Celebration in Edward D. Hansen Conference Center at Comcast Arena, 2000 Hewitt Ave. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. Speakers include Jackson’s daughter, Anna Marie Laurence; and son, Peter Jackson; and Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.