The Murray Morgan Bridge

Here’s the Morgan Bridge (formerly the 11th St. Bridge), a spanking new waterfront marvel exactly a century ago. Awesome the way a bridge can connect places in the realm of time and ideas, span obstacles of the mind and expand possibilities. The Morgan bridge does land in both the present and the past and crossing it is a journey of 100 years. That conifer tree is in full Spring growth right now and those rowboats probably belonged to Thea Foss in 1913. Hard to believe we almost lost this landmark and wondrous that we didn’t.

murry morgan bridge

Photo of the bridge_0

And a favorite photo of Murray Morgan before the eyes of the totem. The final photo is of the notorious Rosellini Hearings on corruption that were held at the Armory in the winter of 1951. As the caption from the Tacoma Public Library notes, there’s Murray, like some Zelig, watching the whole thing unfold. A favorite quote from him was “Tacoma has made some mistakes, and re-elected many of them”.

Murray Morgan 1

hearing

Senator Albert D. Rosellini and a panel of seven other legislators opened a vice probe at the Tacoma Armory November 26, 1951. Over 40 witnesses were scheduled to testify before the legislative committee investigating crime and vice in Tacoma. Testimony covered gambling, pinball, prostitution, narcotics activities and marijuana purchases. One woman stated that her husband committed suicide following accumulating heavy gambling losses. She had received threats to her and her children if she did not pay. One city official contended that Army authorities had asked him to keep “certain establishments open” to provide “relaxation” for troops. Two television cameras broadcast the hearing live. Murray Morgan is seated to the left of the man with headphones behind the KTBI broadcast equipment.

 

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