From the Editor: Recently I had a conversation with an individual who flippantly remarked that I was wasting my time with an online magazine about Everett, Washington. The caliber of this individual was nothing to brag about, so I just considered the source of these ridiculous comments and moved on.
But later on I was driving down the freeway and thinking about the many world class leaders that were Everett natives including Kenny Loggins, Kent Weeks (leading Egyptologist in the world) and of course Henry M. (Scoop) Jackson. The next day I happened to drive past Jackson’s home in Everett.
Jackson was an amazing man – a United States Senator who in the early 1960’s was called one of the nation’s most eligible bachelors. A graduate of Stanford University and the University of Washington, he was a man that set new standards of excellence, and like his predecessor Warren Magnuson, he worked relentlessly to make the lives of the average Washington residents better. In the mid 70s he ran for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States and was beaten by Jimmy Carter who went on to win the general election.
Jackson’s infectious smile was a powerful tool in his work with the public and his colleagues, but beneath his down-to-earth demeanor he was a steadfast warrior and legislative expert who constantly fought for the causes that he and his constituents believed in. At times he could be very controversial and he was a strong supporter of the Vietnam War. But many would say that he was really a steadfast supporter of the military and the bases that are found in Washington State. It was always his take that if we as a nation were going into a conflict, we had better stick to our guns and support the effort.
He believed firmly that lip service in support of the military and the troops was worthless unless it was backed by the funding that was required. He pushed forth funding of bases and salary and benefit increases for the soldiers of the day. After Jackson’s death, President Ronald Reagan posthumously awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom and called him one of the greatest lawmakers of the century.
Jackson was a man who was respected by both Republicans and Democrats. He had offered and interesting mix of progressive ideals and conservative principles that were refreshing compared with the unbending ideologies of today. Senator Jackson believed that at the core, we are all Americans no matter what party we belong to, and for that reason we must at times lay our differences aside for the good of the nation and our state.
Regardless of your opinion of Senator Henry M. Jackson, one cannot dispute the fact that this man was a world class individual that came for none other than good ole Everett – just one more example of why Everett, Washington is one place like no other. So to the negative person who complained about the caliber of people from Everett, he need look no further than the stately Jackson home in Everett to be reminded that our town is a fertile garden for greatness. Jackson proves the point.