Find of the Month

September 2018 - Aretha Franklin Day


A staffer's note to Mayor Braman outlines City Councilmember Sam Smith's request to declare November 3, 1968, to be Aretha Franklin Day. The note explained that Franklin was "a well known Negro singer" who would be performing in Seattle that day ("P.S. TOP FEMALE VOCALIST FOR 1968"). The staffer noted that the proclamation would "show the young Negroes that the City of Seattle is interested in them." Mayor Braman okayed the idea, and this proclamation was released:

Aretha Franklin, a much beloved and well known national figure, has distinguished herself in her conduct and her contributions toward creating a better attitude of racial harmony and brotherhood in our now troubled land. Miss Franklin, in her travels to foreign lands and within the confines of this United States, has brought new hope to the age-old American Dream of black and white togetherness.

Outside of Miss Franklin's award winning achievements in the field of entertainment, no other prominent black person has won so much attention and praise from both the young and old. Coming from the home of a minister, the famous Reverend C.D. Franklin, Aretha has displayed her willingness to use her prominence in the battle for civil rights and law and order and justice.

As a gesture of goodwill and appreciation to Miss Franklin and to the entire black and white community of our city, who daily work toward a true state of togetherness and harmony, I, J.D. BRAMAN, Mayor of the City of Seattle, do hereby proclaim Sunday, November 3, 1968, as


and urge all our citizens to honor this woman who has done so much to bring honor to our land.

Franklin played a sold-out show at the Seattle Center Arena on "her" day, followed by a concert for prisoners at the McNeil Island penitentiary the following day.