|Nickname||The Evergreen State|
|Governor||Christine Gregoire, D|
|Senator||Patty Murray, D |
|Senator||Maria Cantwell, D |
|Ratification of Constitution/or statehood||November 11, 1889 (42nd)|
|Motto: "Al-ki" (bye and bye)|
Washington, often referred to as Washington State, was the forty-second state to enter into the Union, on Nov. 11, 1889. The state is named after the first president George Washington. Its capital is Olympia, and its largest city is Seattle. It is located at the extreme northwest corner of the 48 contiguous American states.
The state has a notably wide variety of terrain and boasts of three national parks. The western edge of Washington borders the Pacific Ocean and has the only temperate rain forests in the country, the Hoh, Queets, and Quinault. The Olympic Mountains rise from sea level to nearly 8,000 feet in elevation. Puget Sound, gouged by the Vashon sheet in the last ice age, brings ocean access to ports far inland. The Cascade Mountain Range bisects the state from north to south and contains several large volcanoes, both active and dormant. The eastern half of Washington is much drier, with a continental climate and much farmland irrigated by Columbia River dams and irrigation works constructed in the time of the New Deal.
Washington was the first state to allow women to vote in local elections, since 1855.
The 2004 election created controversy due to a virtual tie between candidates conservative Republican Dino Rossi and liberal Democrat Christine Gregoire. Rossi won both the original election and the first recount, but the second recount gave the election to Christine Gregoire by a mere 129 votes. Controversially, on the second "recount," more votes were counted than ballots were cast in Washington state.
In 2009, Washington was the first state in the United States to affirm civil unions by a public vote (Ref. 71). In 2012, they continued this continued this trajectory by fully implementing marriage equality by a vote of the people. The same year, they fully legalized marijuana possession.
- Sen. Patty Murray (D)
- Sen. Maria Cantwell (D)
- Rep. Suzan Delbene [D, WA-01]
- Rep. Rick Larsen [D, WA-02]
- Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler [R, WA-03]
- Rep. Doc Hastings [R, WA-04]
- Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers [R, WA-05]
- Rep. Derek Kilmer [D, WA-06]
- Rep. Jim McDermott [D, WA-07]
- Rep. Dave Reichert [R, WA-08]
- Rep. Adam Smith [D, WA-09]
- Rep. Denny Heck [D, WA-10]
- Governor Jay Inslee (D)
- Lt. Governor Brad Owen (D)
- Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D)
- Secretary of State Kim Wyman (R)
- State Auditor Troy Kelley (D)
- State Treasurer Jim McIntire (D)
Notable people from Washington
- Glenn Beck, conservative talk radio host and television anchor employed by Fox News.
- Bob Barker, host of the long-running game show The Price is Right, was born in Darrington.
- Kurt Cobain, lead singer of the influential grunge band Nirvana, was from Aberdeen.
- Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and the world's richest man as of 2007, lives in Medina.
- Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft and despoiler of skylines.
- Jimi Hendrix, an influential rock guitarist of the late 1960s, was born in Seattle.
- Gary Larson, cartoonist known for his strip The Far Side, was born in Tacoma.
- Bill Nye, engineer best known for his children's television series Bill Nye the Science Guy, studied at Washington State University in Pullman.
- Chief Sealth, a Native American leader who converted to Roman Catholicism, lent his name to the city of Seattle.
- John Stockton, the all-time NBA leader in assists and steals, was born and raised in Spokane.
- Ted Bundy, serial killer, grew up in Tacoma and attended University of Washington.
- Gary Ridgeway, serial killer.