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Named for George Washington , the first president of the United States, the state was made out of the western part of the Washington Territory , which was ceded by Britain in in accordance with the Oregon Treaty in the settlement of the Oregon boundary dispute. It was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in Olympia is the state capital ; the state's largest city is Seattle. Washington is sometimes referred to as Washington State , to distinguish it from Washington, D.
Approximately 60 percent of Washington's residents live in the Seattle metropolitan area , the center of transportation, business, and industry along Puget Sound , an inlet of the Pacific Ocean consisting of numerous islands, deep fjords , and bays carved out by glaciers. The remainder of the state consists of: Mount Rainier , an active stratovolcano , is the state's highest elevation, at almost 14, feet 4, meters , and is the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous United States.
Washington is a leading lumber producer. Its rugged surface is rich in stands of Douglas fir, hemlock, ponderosa pine, white pine, spruce, larch, and cedar. The state is the biggest producer of apples, hops, pears, red raspberries, spearmint oil, and sweet cherries, and ranks high in the production of apricots, asparagus, dry edible peas, grapes, lentils, peppermint oil, and potatoes.
Livestock and livestock products make important contributions to total farm revenue, and the commercial fishing of salmon, halibut, and bottomfish makes a significant contribution to the state's economy. Washington ranks second only to California in the production of wine. Manufacturing industries in Washington include aircraft and missiles, ship-building, and other transportation equipment, lumber, food processing, metals and metal products, chemicals, and machinery.
Washington has over 1, dams, including the Grand Coulee Dam , built for a variety of purposes, including irrigation, power, flood control, and water storage.
Washington is one of the wealthiest and most liberally progressive states in the country. Along with Colorado , Washington was one of the first to legalize medicinal and recreational cannabis , was among the first thirty-six states to legalize same-sex marriage , doing so in , and was one of only four U. Wade loosened federal abortion laws. Similarly, Washington voters approved a referendum on legalization of physician-assisted suicide , and is currently only one of five states, along with Oregon , California , Colorado and Vermont , as well as the District of Columbia to have legalized the practice.
The state is also one of eight in the country to have criminalized the sale, possession and transfer of bump stocks , with California, Florida , New Jersey , New York , Vermont, Maryland , and Massachusetts also having banned these devices. Stanton found the name too similar to the District of Columbia the national capital, itself containing the city of Washington , and proposed naming the new territory after President Washington. Confusion over the state of Washington and the city of Washington, D.
These proposals failed to garner support. Washington is the northwestern-most state of the contiguous United States. Oregon is to the south, with the Columbia River forming the western part and the 46th parallel forming the eastern part of the Oregon-Washington border.
To the west of Washington lies the Pacific Ocean. Washington is part of a region known as the Pacific Northwest , a term which always includes Washington and Oregon, and may or may not include some or all of the following, depending on the user's intent: The high mountains of the Cascade Range run north-south, bisecting the state.
In addition to Western Washington and Eastern Washington , residents call the two parts of the state the "West side" and "East side," "Wet side" and "Dry side," or "Timberland" and "Wheatland," the latter pair more commonly in the names of region-specific businesses and institutions.
From the Cascade Mountains westward, Western Washington has a mostly Mediterranean Climate , with mild temperatures and wet winters, autumns and springs, and relatively dry summers. The Cascade Range has several volcanoes , which reach altitudes significantly higher than the rest of the mountains. Helens , and Mount Adams. All are active volcanoes. Rainier the most dangerous volcano in the Cascade Range, due to its proximity to the Seattle metropolitan area , and most dangerous in the continental U.
Western Washington also is home of the Olympic Mountains , far west on the Olympic Peninsula , which support dense forests of conifers and areas of temperate rainforest. These deep forests, such as the Hoh Rainforest , are among the only temperate rainforests in the continental United States.
Eastern Washington — the part of the state east of the Cascades — has a relatively dry climate, in distinct contrast to the west side. Farther east, the climate becomes less arid, with annual rainfall increasing as one goes east to The Palouse southeast region of Washington was grassland that has been mostly converted into farmland, and extends to the Blue Mountains.
As described above, Washington's climate varies greatly from west to east. A Mediterranean Climate predominates in western Washington, and a much drier semi-arid climate prevails east of the Cascade Range. Major factors determining Washington's climate include the large semi-permanent high pressure and low pressure systems of the north Pacific Ocean, the continental air masses of North America, and the Olympic and Cascade mountains.
In the spring and summer, a high pressure anticyclone system dominates the north Pacific Ocean, causing air to spiral out in a clockwise fashion.
For Washington, this means prevailing winds from the northwest bring relatively cool air and a predictably dry season. In the autumn and winter, a low-pressure cyclone system takes over in the north Pacific Ocean. The air spiraling inward in a counter-clockwise fashion causes Washington's prevailing winds, the Chinooks , to come from the southwest, and bring relatively warm and moist air masses and a predictably wet season.
The term " Pineapple Express " is used colloquially to describe the extreme form of the wet-season Chinook winds. Despite western Washington's having a marine climate similar to many coastal cities of Europe, there are exceptions such as the "Big Snow" events of , , , and , and the "deep freeze" winters of —, —, —, and —, among others.
During these events, western Washington experienced up to 6 feet 1. The Southern Oscillation greatly influences weather during the cold season. In , the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington published The Impacts of Climate change in Washington's Economy , a preliminary assessment on the risks and opportunities presented given the possibility of a rise in global temperatures and their effects on Washington state.
Rainfall in Washington varies dramatically going from east to west. Weeks may pass without a clear day. The western slopes of the Cascade Range receive some of the heaviest annual snowfall in some places more than inches or 5, millimeters water equivalent in the country. Precipitation then increases again eastward toward the Rocky Mountains.
The Olympic mountains and Cascades compound this climatic pattern by causing orographic lift of the air masses blown inland from the Pacific Ocean, resulting in the windward side of the mountains receiving high levels of precipitation and the leeward side receiving low levels.
This occurs most dramatically around the Olympic Mountains and the Cascade Range. In both cases, the windward slopes facing southwest receive high precipitation and mild, cool temperatures. While the Puget Sound lowlands are known for clouds and rain in the winter, the western slopes of the Cascades receive larger amounts of precipitation, often falling as snow at higher elevations.
Mount Baker , near the state's northern border, is one of the snowiest places in the world: East of the Cascades, a large region experiences strong rain shadow effects. Semi-arid conditions occur in much of eastern Washington with the strongest rain shadow effects at the relatively low elevations of the central Columbia Plateau —especially the region just east of the Columbia River from about the Snake River to the Okanagan Highland.
Thus, instead of rain forests, much of eastern Washington is covered with grassland and shrub-steppe. Both records were set east of the Cascades.
Western Washington is known for its mild climate, considerable fog, frequent cloud cover, and long-lasting drizzles in the winter, and warm, temperate summers. The Eastern region occasionally experiences extreme climate. Arctic cold fronts in the winter and heat waves in the summer are not uncommon. The Pacific shore surrounding the San Juan Islands are heavily inhabited with killer, gray, and humpback whales.
Mammals native to the state include the bat , black bear , bobcat , cougar , coyote , deer , elk , gray wolf , moose , mountain beaver , muskrat , opossum , pocket gopher , raccoon , river otter , skunk , and tree squirrel. This range includes raptors, shorebirds, woodland birds, grassland birds, ducks, and others. There are five species of salmon that ascend the Western Washington area, from streams to spawn.
Washington has a variety of National Park Service units. The skeletal remains of Kennewick Man , one of the oldest and most complete human remains found in North America, were discovered in Washington. Prominent among their industries were salmon fishing and, notably among the Makah , whale hunting. The peoples of the Interior had a very different subsistence-based culture based on hunting, food-gathering and some forms of agriculture, as well as a dependency on salmon from the Columbia and its tributaries.
The smallpox epidemic of the s devastated the Native American population. The first recorded European landing on the Washington coast was by Spanish Captain Don Bruno de Heceta in , on board the Santiago , part of a two-ship flotilla with the Sonora. He claimed the coastal lands up to Prince William Sound for Spain as part of their claimed rights under the Treaty of Tordesillas , which they maintained made the Pacific a "Spanish lake" and all its shores part of the Spanish Empire.
It was not discovered until Charles William Barkley , captain of the Imperial Eagle , sighted it in The straits were further explored by Spanish explorers Manuel Quimper in and Francisco de Eliza in , and British explorer George Vancouver in The British-Spanish Nootka Convention of ended Spanish claims of exclusivity and opened the Northwest Coast to explorers and traders from other nations, most notably Britain and Russia as well as the fledgling United States.
He named the river after his ship, the Columbia. Beginning in , Gray established trade in sea otter pelts. The Lewis and Clark Expedition entered the state on October 10, Explorer David Thompson , on his voyage down the Columbia River camped at the confluence with the Snake River on July 9, , and erected a pole and a notice claiming the country for Great Britain and stating the intention of the North West Company to build a trading post at the site.
Britain and the United States agreed to what has since been described as "joint occupancy" of lands west of the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean as part of the Anglo-American Convention of , which established the 49th Parallel as the international boundary west from Lake of the Woods to the Rocky Mountains.
Resolution of the territorial and treaty issues, west to the Pacific, were deferred until a later time. Spain, in , ceded their rights north of the 42nd Parallel to the United States, although these rights did not include possession. Negotiations with Great Britain over the next few decades failed to settle upon a compromise boundary and the Oregon boundary dispute was highly contested between Britain and the United States.
Disputed joint-occupancy by Britain and the U. With American settlers pouring into Oregon Country , Hudson's Bay Company , which had previously discouraged settlement because it conflicted with the fur trade, reversed its position in an attempt to maintain British control of the Columbia District.
Despite such efforts, Britain eventually ceded all claims to land south of the 49th parallel to the United States in the Oregon Treaty on June 15, In , a group of missionaries, including Marcus Whitman , established several missions and Whitman's own settlement Waiilatpu, in what is now southeastern Washington state, near present day Walla Walla County , in territory of both the Cayuse and the Nez Perce Indian tribes.
Whitman's settlement would in help the Oregon Trail , the overland emigration route to the west, get established for thousands of emigrants in following decades. Marcus provided medical care for the Native Americans, but when Indian patients — lacking immunity to new, "European" diseases — died in striking numbers, while at the same time many white patients recovered, they held "medicine man" Marcus Whitman personally responsible, and murdered Whitman and twelve other white settlers in the Whitman massacre in This event triggered the Cayuse War between settlers and Indians.
Fort Nisqually , a farm and trading post of the Hudson's Bay Company and the first European settlement in the Puget Sound area, was founded in They settled in Washington to avoid Oregon's discriminatory settlement laws. The growing populace of Oregon Territory north of the Columbia River formally requested a new territory, which was granted by the U.
The creation of Idaho Territory in established the final eastern border.
Everything from canaries and carpet rags to jellies, jams and radios were solicited. They provided cigarettes, cards, magazines, Christmas cards, candy and scrapbooks to hospitalized veterans. They sent magazines and wrote letters for veterans and baked cakes for hospitality of visiting military. They planted five elms in honor of unknown soldiers of Washington and a memorial tree at Sand Point in Besides remodeling a common room there, they adopted a ward at Cushman Hospital in Tacoma.
The garden is no longer extant. The women planned to fund a recreational camp for disabled soldiers at Bainbridge Island in the s. Hurley, President of the King County Minute Women served on a committee investigating the treatment of veterans.
The women also worked with the Tuberculosis Association, supported the Tercentenary of Landing of Pilgrims and planted of trees along the highways, as well as supporting more arcane issues such as the preservation of huckleberries and promoting the rhododendron as state flower. At their state meetings, they supported resolutions for world peace and the international court of justice but favored compulsory military service.
They also continued their work with the Red Cross. They also recognized war work. In , the Minute Women presented the women who assisted in Liberty Loan drives with a medal made from captured German cannon. The group was also given a gavel made of oak and elm and French and German shells from Belleau Wood in France—a gift presented by Mrs.
Hurley through the efforts of the French and the French Consulate in Seattle. This was part of an effort of by the Touring Club of France to mark the line where the German advance was stopped by soldiers reinforced by American troops in July and August, The project was announced when Mrs. Ames presented him with letter and initial check to erect a monument or memorial mile stone on the line of battle from North Sea to Swiss Border in memory of Washington soldiers.
The Washington Minute Women were the first American group to participate in the project. October 25, Generated with League Easy Web 2. Serving the people of Pierce County: Each month, one of our members submits a brief book review to be published in the Voter. The following list provides ideas of books that may be of interest to League members and others.
Take a look at our Voter for additional book ideas. See us on TV Tacoma: The very popular forum series on Civility, Incivility and Civil Disobedience has now concluded. If you are interested in volunteering on one of the…. The abduction of Elizabeth Smart was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time. Elizabeth was abducted on June 5, , and her captors controlled her by threatening to kill her and her family if she tried to escape.
Fortunately, the police safely returned Elizabeth back to her family…. Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based, 8-hour training that teaches common risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems and specific disorders like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and substance use disorders.
Role-playing and simulations demonstrate how to offer initial help in a mental crisis and connect people to appropriate services and supports. Mental Health First Aid MHFA is an 8-hour, evidence-based training that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems and disorders like anxiety, depression, substance use disorders, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
A refuge for those with no place to turn. Serving the homeless and hurting of Pierce County and Tacoma. Help the homeless & hurting $50 $ $ $ A Pierce County woman called at Saturday morning to report Police: Armed pastor took down shooter at Washington state Walmart. Womens Council of Realtors Tacoma-Pierce County, Tacoma, WA. likes · 1 Are You Ready? 1. 1. GH Membership Give Away. 4 · See All. Posts.