Every third Wednesday of the month, The Seattle Public Library co-presents History Café: evening presentations and panel discussions on Seattle and Pacific Northwest history at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), 860 Terry Ave N., in the museum's Compass Café.

Library events and programs are free and open to the public. Registration is not required.


The Seattles that Might Have Been - 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20. What would Seattle be like with a comprehensive urban rail and subway system? Or a massive park stretching from the shores of South Lake Union to Denny Street? Seattle voters have rejected multiple visions of Seattle. These decisions of how Seattle is—or might have been—shape the way we navigate and inhabit our city today. From Virgil Bogues’ 1911 plan for mass transit to the 1995 Seattle Commons proposal, there have been countless visions of Seattle’s possible future ranging from the prosaic to the fantastical. Join Eric Scigliano as he explores the Seattles that might have been.

Untold Stories from the Chinese Exclusion Act Files - 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 20. For 61 years, the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act barred Chinese laborers from entering the United States and prevented those who did from becoming naturalized citizens. Applicants were questioned in detail at US ports of entry about their families and villages in China. This rich, biographical information is now accessible in Seattle, housed at the local office of the National Archives. Hear from National Archives’ volunteer Trish Hackett Nicola about the valuable information found in these files, and from Cathy Lee about how the files helped her uncover her great aunt’s story.     

History Café is co-presented by The Seattle Public Library, MOHAI and HistoryLink. The Library brings people, information and ideas together to enrich lives and build community. We support universal access to information and ideas, and form strong partnerships with community organizations to offer performance art that is accessible to all. We accomplish this by finding creative solutions like History Café to meet the public's changing needs and interests.