A sad and momentous week in Everett’s history began with shocking news from the other side of the world. Taken from Herald archives and the Associated Press, here are events before and after U.S. Sen. Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson died on the night of Sept. 1, 1983.
Thursday, Sept. 1, 1983
A Soviet jet fighter destroyed a South Korean airliner carrying 269 people after the Boeing 747 strayed into Soviet airspace. A search was under way for survivors in the waters of the Sea of Japan. Pentagon sources identified the fighter that shot down Korean Airlines Flight 007 as a MIG-23.
At a press conference in Seattle, Sen. Jackson, for decades a leader in foreign policy, bitterly denounced the Soviet Union for attacking the Korean Air Lines 747.
Within hours of his Seattle appearance, Jackson died of a massive heart attack at his Grand Avenue home in Everett. He was 71.
Everett Fire Department paramedic Bob Downey and his partner, Tim Ross, who got the call at 7:47 p.m., worked to save Jackson while in constant contact with Dr. Jan Johnstone, a physician on duty at Everett’s Providence Hospital.
At the hospital, Johnstone and two Everett cardiologists, Drs. Kirk Prindle and Neale Smith, pronounced Jackson dead at 9:25 p.m. The senator never regained consciousness.
It was Prindle, a friend of Jackson’s, who broke the news to Helen Jackson, the senator’s wife of 22 years.
Friday, Sept. 2, 1983
President Ronald Reagan said, “Nancy and I were deeply saddened last night to learn of the death of Henry Jackson. He was a friend, a colleague and a true patriot.”
A Herald editorial said of Jackson: “The senator made invaluable contributions to the cause of strengthening national security — an effort that included building not only a strong military posture, but also building a framework for better relations between East and West. In all of that, Jackson’s clear and constant focus was to promote a climate for peace in the world.”
In Olympia, Gov. John Spellman said he had not yet thought about appointing a replacement for Jackson. Because Spellman was a Republican, names of prominent Republican politicians were being mentioned as potential U.S. senators. Among them were former Gov. Daniel Evans and U.S. Rep. Joel Pritchard.
Everett’s Western Union office delivered 94 messages from around the world to the Jackson home by 5 p.m. Friday, said agent Ralph Quaas. Among the cables was a telegram from Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping. Jackson had recently met with Deng on a trip to China.
Saturday, Sept. 3, 1983
Memorial and funeral services were scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday in Everett. Labor organizations planned memorial events for Jackson in Seattle, Spokane and the Tri-Cities.
Sunday, Sept. 4, 1983
It was announced that a delegation of Jackson’s U.S. Senate colleagues would accompany Vice President George Bush to Everett Wednesday for the senator’s funeral, the most important assembly of U.S. leaders ever to be in the city at one time. The delegation also included U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan, D-N.Y., and Sen. Gary Hart, D-Colo.
Washington’s senior congressman, Tom Foley, who served on Jackson’s staff from 1961 to 1964, would lead the state’s congressional delegation at the funeral.
Jackson’s flag-draped coffin was flanked by about 20 floral arrangements at Solie Funeral Home on Colby Avenue in downtown Everett. More than 2,000 people stood solemnly in line at the funeral home Sunday to file past the casket and pay respects as the senator lay in state. By Tuesday, about 6,000 people would pay their respects to Jackson at the funeral home.
A 77-year-old Auburn man, Harry Waddingham, said he worked in The Everett Herald’s circulation department in 1924 when young Henry Jackson came seeking work as a paper carrier. He said that while other delivery boys spent free time playing softball, Jackson always talked politics. “He was planning to go into law so he could become president of the United States,” Waddingham said.
Monday, Sept. 5, 1983
A Labor Day tribute was paid to Jackson at the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe. A moment of silence at 10 a.m. was planned. Labor Day was a day that Jackson had traditionally visited the Snohomish County Fairgrounds.
“He believed in working people. He believed in the labor movement,” Marvin Williams, president of the Washington State Labor Council, said of Jackson.
Tuesday, Sept. 6, 1983
About 2,000 people attended a public memorial service at 7:30 p.m. at Everett Civic Auditorium at 25th Street and Colby Avenue. Hundreds of those who couldn’t fit into the packed auditorium watched on television monitors at nearby Everett High School.
In Washington, D.C., Jackson was honored at a memorial service at the National Cathedral.
Wednesday, Sept. 7, 1983
More than 200 dignitaries, including Vice President Bush, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger and about 40 members of the U.S. Senate and House flew to Everett’s Paine Field aboard four military transport planes. Among the other notable faces in Everett that day were: U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass; former U.S. Sen. Warren Magnuson, D-Wash.; U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y.; U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater, R-Ariz.; U.S. Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker, R-Tenn.; U.S. Senate Minority Leader Robert Byrd, D-W.Va.; U.S. Sen. Gary Hart, D-Colo.; U.S. Sen. Thomas Eagleton, D-Mo.; U.S. Sen. Mark Hatfield, R-Ore.; U.S. Sen. John Warner, R-Va.; Secretary of the Navy John Lehman; Retired Navy Adm. Hyman Rickover; Washington Gov. John Spellman; former Gov. Albert Rosellini; former Gov. Daniel Evans; and U.S. Rep. Tom Foley, D-Wash.
The noon funeral service for Jackson was held at his family’s Everett church, First Presbyterian Church, 2936 Rockefeller Ave. Close friends of Jackson’s served as pallbearers at his funeral. They were: Brian Corcoran, Dr. Brewster Denny, Donald Donohue, Stanley Golub, Gerald Grinstein, Jay Harvey, Gerald Hoeck, Lloyd Meeds, Denny Miller, Sterling Munro, William Van Ness and Dr. Haakon Ragde.
“Those of us who had the joy of sharing Scoop’s life must now share the sorrow of his loss,” said Sen. Kennedy, one of those who eulogized Jackson during the hourlong funeral service. Jackson’s daughter, Anna Marie, 20, called him a “proud father.” His son, Peter, 17, said, “Above all, I knew him as a compassionate father, dedicated to his family.”
Secret Service agents guarded every entrance to the church, and watched the area from rooftops of the Snohomish County Courthouse and the Wall Street Building.
After the church service, Jackson was buried at Evergreen Cemetery, 4504 Broadway in Everett. More than 100 family friends looked on as a military honor guard carried Jackson’s flag-draped casket to its resting place. The sound of a 21-gun salute echoed over the Snohomish River valley. The senator was buried on a grassy terrace overlooking the valley and the Cascades.
Much of the Washington, D.C., delegation gathered after the service at the Jackson home on Grand Avenue.
Thursday, Sept. 8, 1983
Washington Gov. Spellman appointed former Gov. Evans to fill Jackson’s U.S. Senate seat. In The Herald, pages of coverage devoted to Jackson’s funeral ended with a quote by former U.S. Sen. Warren G. Magnuson, Jackson’s longtime colleague:
“When the headstone is written, I hope they’ll say he was a humane, compassionate man. … I hope they’ll say ‘Here lies Henry Jackson, a decent man, a loyal public servant — but above all, above all, a man of the people.’”