Washington Facts and Trivia

  1. The state of Washington is the only state to be named after a United States president.
  2. Seattle is home to the first revolving restaurant, 1961.
  3. Washington state produces more apples than any other state in the union.
  4. Washington state has more glaciers than the other 47 contiguous states combined.
  5. Washington state's capitol building was the last state capitol building to be built with a rotunda.
  6. Everett is the site of the world's largest building, Boeing's final assembly plant
  7. Medina is the home of the United States wealthiest man, Microsoft's Bill Gates.
  8. The Northwestern most point in the contiguous U.S. is Cape Flattery on Washington's Olympic Peninsula.
  9. King county the largest county in Washington was originally named after William R. King, Vice President under Franklin Pierce; it was renamed in 1986, after civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  10. Microsoft Corporation is located in Redmond.
  11. Before it became a state, the territory was called Columbia (named after the Columbia River). When it was granted statehood, the name was changed to Washington, supposedly so people wouldn't confuse it with The District of Columbia.
  12. The highest point in Washington is Mount Rainier. It was named after Peter Rainier, a British soldier who fought against the Americans in the Revolutionary War.
  13. The Governor Albert D. Rosellini Bridge at Evergreen Point is the longest floating bridge in the world. The bridge connects Seattle and Medina across Lake Washington.
  14. Washington is the birthplace of both Jimi Hendrix (Seattle) and Bing Crosby (Tacoma).
  15. The oldest operating gas station in the United States is in Zillah.
  16. Washington's state insect is the Green Darner Dragonfly.
  17. The world's first soft-serve ice cream machine was located in an Olympia Dairy Queen.
  18. Starbucks, the biggest coffee chain in the world was founded in Seattle.
  19. Spokane was the smallest city in size to host a World's Fair. - 1974
  20. The state capital is Olympia, and the largest city is Seattle.
  21. As of the 2000 census, the state population was approximately 5.9 million and the state work force numbered about 3.1 million.
  22. Residents are called "Washingtonians" (emphasis on the third syllable, pronounced as tone).
  23. Washington is bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west; Oregon to the south (the Columbia River forming most of this border); Idaho to the east and British Columbia, Canada to the north.
  24. Puget Sound's many islands are served by the largest ferry fleet in the United States.
  25. The forests of the Olympic Peninsula are among the rainiest places in the world and the only rainforests (such as the Hoh Rain Forest) in the continental United States
  26. The first European record of a landing on the Washington coast was by Spanish Captain Don Bruno de Heceta in 1775, on board the Santiago, part of a two-ship flotilla with the Sonora.
  27. The Lewis and Clark expedition entered the state on October 10, 1805.
  28. The first settlement in Washington was New Market (now known as Tumwater) in 1846.
  29. In 1853, Washington Territory was formed from part of Oregon Territory.
  30. Washington became the 42nd state in the United States on November 11, 1889.
  31. Early prominent industries in the state included agriculture, lumber, shipping, fishing, salmon canning and mining.
  32. By the turn of the 20th century, Aberdeen had the distinction of being "the roughest town west of the Mississippi" because of excessive gambling, violence, extreme drug use and prostitution (the city remained off-limits to military personnel into the early 1980s).
  33. The region around eastern Puget Sound developed heavy industry during World War I and World War II, and the Boeing company became an established icon in the area.
  34. During the Great Depression, a series of hydroelectric dams were constructed along the Columbia river as part of a project to increase the production of electricity. This culminated in 1941 with the completion of the Grand Coulee Dam, the largest dam in the United States.
  35. During World War II, Seattle was the point of departure for many soldiers in the Pacific, a number of which were quartered at Golden Gardens Park.
  36. In eastern Washington the Hanford Works atomic energy plant was opened in 1943 and played a major role in the construction of the nation's atomic bombs.
  37. In 1980, the northeast face of Mount St. Helens exploded outward, destroying a large part of the top of the volcano.
  38. As of 2004, Washington's population included 631,500 foreign-born (10.3% of the state population), and an estimated 100,000 illegal aliens (1.6% of state population).
  39. The six largest reported ancestries in Washington are: German (18.7%), English (12%), Irish (11.4%), Norwegian (6.2%), Mexican (5.6%) and Filipino (3.7%).
  40. Washington is home to many innovative Internet companies, including Amazon.com, Classmates.com, Whitepages.com, and Marchex.
  41. The percentage of non-religious people in Washington is the highest of any state, and church membership is among the lowest of all states.
  42. The state of Washington is one of only seven states that does not levy a personal income tax.
  43. Property tax was the first tax levied in the state of Washington and its collection accounts for about 30 percent of Washington's total state and local revenue.
  44. In 2004 Washington ranked first in the nation in production of red raspberries (90.0% of total U.S. production), hops (75.0%), apples (58.1%), sweet cherries (47.3%), pears (42.6%), Concord grapes (39.3%), and Niagara grapes (31.6%).
  45. There are 140 public airfields in Washington, including 16 state airports.
  46. Washington is home to four of the five longest floating bridges in the world: the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge and Homer M. Hadley Bridge over Lake Washington, and the Hood Canal Bridge connecting the Olympic and Kitsap Peninsulas.
  47. Three ships of the United States Navy, including two battleships, have been named USS Washington in honor of the state.
  48. United Airlines was originally owned by the Boeing Airplane Company.
  49. Popular games Pictionary, Pickle-ball, and Cranium were all invented in Washington.
  50. The town of Artic was to be named 'Arta' after the wife of the town founder. The application was misread and resulted in the unusual spelling of the word Artic.
  51. Thanks to: Gerald Moon, Cindy, Daniel Berman, MHus915910, Paul Dexter, Megan Moench, Phillip Buff