Interesting Facts About Washington State

Washington State, named after the first US president George Washington, is also known as the “Evergreen State” and the “State of Love and Trust.” It became the 42nd state to join the United States in 1889 and has a population of 7,614,893 people as of 2019, making it the 13th most populous state. Washington is bordered by Oregon and Idaho and covers 71,362 square miles of land and water, making it the 18th largest state. The capital of Washington is Olympia, located in the western part of the state.

Washington’s Early Inhabitants

People have been living in Washington for at least 13,000 years, with evidence of human occupation dating back to about 11,000 BC. The earliest settlers are believed to have come from modern-day Russia via the Bering Strait and slowly spread out across North America. Before the arrival of Europeans, there were at least 125 unique tribes living in Washington, each categorized by their region and way of life.

European Exploration

The first Europeans to make landfall in Washington were Spanish explorers in the late 18th century. The second ship, led by Don Bruno de Heceta, claimed the entire coastal region for Spain as far north as modern-day Alaska. Spain and Great Britain almost went to war over the territory.

Diverse Tribes of Washington

The tribes of Washington can be divided into the Plateau Tribes, who lived off what they could hunt or forage; the coastal tribes, who lived off what they could catch from the sea and built longhouses and canoes out of cedar; and the Columbia River tribes, who controlled the best place for catching salmon in the region and were the wealthiest group of tribes.

In 1778, British ships led by explorer James Cook arrived in the Washington region, hoping to claim it for themselves despite the presence of indigenous people. This led to a dispute with the Spanish who had also laid claim to the territory, and the two nations nearly went to war over it in 1789. Eventually, they agreed to share the claim in 1794, but the arrangement remained vague, allowing other nations to explore the area. In 1805, the Lewis and Clarke Expedition arrived and claimed the region for the United States, mapping the area and establishing Fort Clatsop in Oregon. The region was eventually split from Oregon Territory and named Washington after President George Washington. Despite attempts to rename it, the name remained, and in 1883, Washington became the first territory to give women the right to vote. This was later taken away, but women’s suffrage was reintroduced in 1910. Finally, Washington experienced a severe volcanic eruption, which is considered one of the most destructive in North America.

Mt. Saint Helens is a volcanic peak located in the Cascade Range, running from North Washington to California. It is the most explosive volcano among many in this mountain range. In 1980, the mountain experienced an earthquake, leading to the largest eruption in the U.S. history. This eruption produced clouds of smoke that covered an area measuring about 230 square miles and resulted in the death of 57 people and over 7,000 animals.

Washington is home to the world’s largest building in terms of volume, measuring 472,370,319 cubic feet. The building forms part of the Boeing airplane assembly factory in Everett, which was constructed in 1967 to focus mainly on the assembly of Boeing 747s. Since then, it has expanded significantly.

Seattle, Washington, is the birthplace of Starbucks. In 1971, the first Starbucks store opened, selling high-quality roasted coffee beans. By 1986, the chain had grown to six locations within Seattle, but only sold coffee beans and espresso. The founders sold the chain in 1987, and it started taking steps towards what it is today.

Father’s Day was founded in Spokane, Washington, after Sonora Dodd proposed the idea to the Spokane YMCA in 1910. Dodd believed that fathers deserved recognition, and the first celebration was held on June 19, 1910. Initially, it was a religious day, but it quickly turned commercial, leading to many rejecting it. It only became a federal holiday in 1972.

In 1996, two college students in Washington discovered one of the oldest intact skeletons in North America while swimming in the Columbia River. They alerted the authorities, who informed the coroner and a local archaeologist.

After a skeleton was discovered in a silty riverbed, it was found to be at least 9,000 years old and unlike any skeletons of today. Named the Kennewick Man, it had a broken stone spear point embedded in its hip, making it one of the most significant findings in North America.

Amazon was founded in a garage near Seattle, Washington by Jeff Bezos, who had quit his job as vice president of a Wall Street firm to capitalize on the internet business boom. Originally called Cadabra Inc., the online retailer of books was renamed Amazon due to confusion with the word “cadaver.” Within two months of starting the business in 1995, Bezos was earning $20,000 in weekly sales.

Over half of Washington state is covered in forests, mostly on the westward side of the Cascade Range. These forests are home to a wide variety of flora and fauna and are mostly federal land, with some commercial use. The National Forests protect much of Washington’s forests.

Washington is home to the oldest squirrel bridge in the United States, Nutty Narrows, built in Longview in 1963 to provide a safe crossing for squirrels between an office building and a nearby city park. Since then, four other bridges have been built for squirrels in Longview and have become popular tourist attractions.

As the most north-western state in the contiguous United States, Washington has a lot to offer. It has found a balance between preserving nature and making progressive strides, making it one of the finest U.S. states. Visitors should remember to pack an umbrella when traveling to the Evergreen State.


1. What is Washington known for?

Washington is known for its iconic landmarks like the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Washington Monument. The city is also the political capital of the United States and home to many important government institutions.

2. What is the history of Washington?

Washington was founded as the capital of the United States in 1791. The city was named after George Washington, the first president of the United States. Throughout its history, Washington has played a pivotal role in American politics and culture.

3. What are some famous landmarks in Washington?

Washington is home to many famous landmarks, including the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the National Mall. Other popular attractions include the Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo.

4. What is the climate like in Washington?

Washington has a humid subtropical climate, which means it has hot summers and cold winters. The city also experiences occasional hurricanes and thunderstorms.

5. What is the population of Washington?

The population of Washington is around 700,000 people. The metropolitan area, which includes nearby cities like Alexandria and Arlington, has a population of over 6 million people.

6. What is the economy like in Washington?

Washington has a diverse economy that includes government, tourism, and technology. Some of the city’s largest employers include the federal government, Georgetown University, and MedStar Health.

7. What are some famous events that take place in Washington?

Washington is home to many famous events, including the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which celebrates the arrival of spring in the city. The city also hosts many political events, such as presidential inaugurations.

8. What is the transportation system like in Washington?

Washington has a robust transportation system that includes a metro system, buses, and taxis. The city is also bike-friendly, with many bike lanes and rental services available.

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