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San Juan Islands Sculpture Park
A Brief History of Washington
The first inhabitants of Washington were Native Americans, who lived in various tribes and cultures across the land. They hunted, fished, gathered, traded, and created art and stories that reflected their connection to nature and their ancestors.
The first European explorers to reach Washington were Spanish sailors in the late 18th century. They named the region Nueva Galicia and claimed it for Spain. Later, British explorers also arrived and named it New Georgia and Columbia. The two countries disputed over the territory until 1846, when they agreed on the 49th parallel as the border.
The first American settlers came to Washington in the early 19th century, following the Lewis and Clark expedition and the Oregon Trail. They established farms, fur trading posts, missions, and towns along the Columbia River and Puget Sound. They also clashed with some of the Native American tribes over land and resources.
Washington became a territory in 1853 and a state in 1889. It was named after George Washington, the first president of the United States. It was also nicknamed "The Evergreen State" because of its abundant forests and greenery.
In the 20th century, Washington experienced rapid growth and development due to its natural resources, such as timber, fish, coal, gold, and hydroelectric power. It also became a center of innovation and industry, especially in aviation, aerospace, technology, and music. Some of the famous companies and artists that originated from Washington include Boeing, Microsoft, Starbucks, Amazon, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Jimi Hendrix, and Bing Crosby.
Location & Climate
Washington has a varied climate that depends on its geography and elevation. Generally speaking, it has two main climate zones: west of the Cascade Mountains and east of them.
West of the Cascades, the climate is mild and humid, influenced by the ocean and the mountains. It has cool and wet winters, and warm and dry summers. It also has a lot of rainfall, especially in the coastal areas and the Olympic Peninsula, where it can reach up to 160 inches (4,064 millimeters) per year. The average temperature in Seattle, the largest city in this zone, is 41°F (5°C) in January and 65°F (18°C) in July.
East of the Cascades, the climate is dry and continental, influenced by the rain shadow effect of the mountains. It has cold and snowy winters, and hot and sunny summers. It also has less rainfall, ranging from 8 to 20 inches (203 to 508 millimeters) per year. The average temperature in Spokane, the largest city in this zone, is 27°F (-3°C) in January and 69°F (21°C) in July.
Fun Facts of Washington and Pets
Washington is home to the world's largest rottweiler statue, located in Vashon Island. It is 11 feet tall and weighs 2 tons. It was created by artist Matthew Gray Palmer in 2010 as a tribute to his dog, Smoky.
Washington is also home to the world's first Starbucks, located in Seattle's Pike Place Market. It opened in 1971 and still operates today. You can bring your dog inside and order a puppuccino, a small cup of whipped cream for your furry friend.
Washington has a state dog, the Siberian husky. It was designated as such in 2004, thanks to the efforts of a group of elementary school students who lobbied for it. The Siberian husky is a breed of dog that originated in Siberia and was used for sledding and hunting. It is known for its thick fur, blue or brown eyes, and friendly personality.
Washington has a state fossil, the Columbian mammoth. It was designated as such in 1998, thanks to the efforts of another group of elementary school students who lobbied for it. The Columbian mammoth is an extinct species of elephant that lived in North America during the Pleistocene epoch. It was one of the largest land mammals ever, reaching up to 13 feet (4 meters) at the shoulder and weighing up to 10 tons.