Family, friends remember Scoop Jackson

EVERETT — To the nation, Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson spent 43 years in Congress fighting against communism and preserving America’s wilderness areas.

To Anna Marie Laurence, the man known as Scoop was a protective dad who interrogated her dates and enjoyed strawberry shortcake with a generous helping of whipped cream at the Evergreen State Fair.

Thursday, on what would have been her father’s 100th birthday, Laurence shared a trove of personal stories about him and their relationship during a centennial celebration at the Edward D. Hansen Conference Center in Comcast Arena.

“I celebrated my first birthday in the Senate dining room,” she said as she began a journey through her life for the crowd of 150 people.

There was a kindergarten class trip to the White House, private dinners with President Jimmy Carter and his family and those teenage boys.

“He screened all my dates, sometimes for 30 minutes,” she said.

When he ran for president in 1972 and again in 1976, it meant an endless schedule of posing for pictures, shaking hands and riding in parades.

“It was enough to make anyone tired except my father, who had endless energy,” she said.

Henry Martin Jackson, who was born May 31, 1912, in the Oakes Avenue home of his parents, never slowed once he entered the world of politics at age 26 with his election as Snohomish County prosecutor.

In 1940, at age 28, he won a seat in the U.S. House. After a dozen years there, he captured a seat in the Senate and was serving his sixth term at the time of his death in 1983.

At three events Thursday, Laurence and her brother, Peter Jackson, along with family friends and a few politicians took the measure of a man who rose to become one of the most influential members of Congress and recognized senators around the globe. Their mother, Helen Jackson, who has been battling Alzheimer’s disease, did not attend the events.

“It is nearly impossible to capture all that he’s done,” U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., said at the centennial. “For 71 years on this planet Scoop touched so many lives. No doubt 100 years from now Scoop Jackson’s legacy will be remembered.”

There was a private event at the Everett Naval Station followed by a public gathering at Everett Community College and then the centennial celebration where a recurring theme was how much Jackson loved his hometown.

“This community made all the difference to him,” said his son, Peter.

“It’s as much a celebration of Scoop’s birthday as it is a celebration of this community.”

At the centennial, Scandinavian accordionist Stan Boreson, an icon himself, told of a friendship that blossomed on the presidential campaign trail in 1972. He said Jackson asked him to be his “opening man,” which, he learned, meant warming up the audience before the candidate took the stage.

“It was quite an experience,” Boreson said.

Nationally known political figures took part Thursday as well.

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who served with Jackson, and journalist George Will, who covered the senator’s career and 1976 presidential campaign, sent separate video messages.

McCain called Jackson a “towering figure in the history of American politics” and a model of what a statesman should be.

Will credited Jackson with helping the country “keep its nerve” in the long fight against the spread of totalitarianism.

For him, the monuments to Jackson “are what you don’t see” such as the Soviet Union and the Iron Curtain.

For students of Henry M. Jackson High School in Mill Creek, attending the centennial filled in a lot of blanks about the school’s namesake.

“Before, all I knew was his name was Scoop. I’ve learned he had a huge impact on the entire United States,” junior Rahma Keene said afterward. “It gives you a connection that wasn’t there before.”

Sam Hickman, also a junior, nodded in agreement. He said he’s been studying the Cold War in his history class and what he heard about Jackson’s stand against the Soviet Union gave him a better context for that period.

“I didn’t know anything about him,” he said. “Now, it gives you a sense of pride to this high school.”

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

People look out onto Mountain Loop Mine from the second floor hallway of Fairmount Elementary on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Mining company ordered to stop work next to school south of Everett

After operating months without the right paperwork, OMA Construction applied for permits last week. The county found it still violates code.

Snohomish County Jail. (Sue Misao / Herald file)
Arlington woman arrested in 2005 case of killed baby in Arizona airport

Annie Sue Anderson, 51, has been held in the Snohomish County Jail since December. She’s facing extradition.

A Cessna 150 crashed north of Paine Field on Friday evening, Feb. 16, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. The pilot survived without serious injury. (Courtesy of Richard Newman.)
‘I’m stuck in the trees’: 911 call recounts plane crash near Paine Field

Asad Ali was coming in for a landing in a Cessna 150 when he crashed into woods south of Mukilteo. Then he called 911 — for 48 minutes.

Everett
Snohomish County likely to feel more like winter, beginning Monday

Get ready for a mix of rain and snow this week, along with cooler temperatures.

The Nimbus Apartments are pictured on Wednesday, March 1, 2023, in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Snohomish County has the highest rent in the state. Could this bill help?

In one year, rent for the average two-bedroom apartment in Snohomish County went up 20%. A bill seeks to cap any increases at 7%.

A Snohomish County no trespassing sign hangs on a fence surrounding the Days Inn on Monday, Feb. 12, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Meth cleanup at Edmonds motel-shelter made matters worse, report says

Contamination has persisted at two motels Snohomish County bought to turn into shelters in 2022. In January, the county cut ties with two cleanup agencies.

A child gets some assistance dancing during Narrow Tarot’s set on the opening night of Fisherman’s Village on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at Lucky Dime in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Drive-By Truckers, Allen Stone headline 2024 Fisherman’s Village lineup

Big names and local legends alike are coming to downtown Everett for the music festival from May 16 to 18.

Sen. Patty Murray attends a meeting at the Everett Fire Department’s Station 1 on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Sen. Murray seeks aid for Snohomish County’s fentanyl, child care crises

The U.S. senator visited Everett to talk with local leaders on Thursday, making stops at the YMCA and a roundtable with the mayor.

Anthony Boggess
Arlington man sentenced for killing roommate who offered shelter

Anthony Boggess, 33, reported hearing the voices of “demons” the night he strangled James Thrower, 65.

Brenda Mann Harrison
Taking care of local news is best done together

The Herald’s journalism development director offers parting thoughts.

Lake Serene in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. (U.S. Forest Service)
How will climate change affect you? New tool gives an educated guess

The Climate Vulnerability Tool outlines climate hazards in Snohomish County — and it may help direct resources.

Ken Florczak, president of the five-member board at Sherwood Village Mobile Home community on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024 in Mill Creek, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
How Mill Creek mobile home residents bought the land under their feet

At Sherwood Village, residents are now homeowners. They pay a bit more each month to keep developers from buying their property.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.