Thursday, October 25, 2012

Washington - #42, November 11, 1889

The state that is named for our first President was explored by by Spanish, American, and British explorers - Bruno Heceta for Spain in 1775, the American Captain Robert Gray in 1792, and Captain George Vancouver for Britain in 1792–1794. Lewis and Clark completed their westward journey through the Columbia River region and coastal areas. Rival American and British settlers and conflicting territorial claims threatened war in the early 1840s. However, in 1846 the Oregon Treaty set the boundary at the 49th parallel and war was averted.

Washington has over 1,000 dams, including the Grand Coulee, built for a variety of purposes including irrigation, power, flood control, and water storage.  The state is also home to Mount St. Helens, a peak in the Cascade Range, which erupted in May 1980.  The state has the largest ferry system in the United States and it also ranks third in the world.

The current Governor of Washington is Democrat Christine Gregoire.  Both Senators for Washington are Democratic women, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray. The  Congressional delegation has eight members currently, with one vacancy in the first district, leaving it equally split ideologically, 4 Democrats and 4 Republicans - Jay Inslee, who resigned from the 1st District is a Democrat.  He resigned his seat to focus on his run for Governor.
  • State Capital - Olympia
  • Largest city - Seattle
  • Date of Admission - November 11, 1889
  • Area - 71,300 sq mi (18th) 
  • Population (2011 est.) - 6,830,038 (13th) 
  • State Motto - "Alki" "By and By" 
  • State Nickname - The Evergreen State
  • State bird - willow goldfinch
  • State fish - steelhead trout
  • State flower - pink rhododendron
  • State fruit - apple
  • State vegetable - Walla Walla sweet onion
  • State gem - petrified wood (really.)
  • State tree - western hemlock
  • State University - The University of Washington
  • Washington State Archives 
  • The Washington State Historical Society 
Prominent Washingtonians - (here's a few lists to peruse, one and two - there's evidently a lot of doodling and singing going on up there in Washington State)

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