In February of 1889, President Grover Cleveland signed the Enabling Act, granting statehood to several states, including Washington, once those states were able to craft their requisite constitutions. Washington met this requirement later in 1889. On November 11, 1889, President Benjamin Harrison signed the proclamation that would make Washington the 42nd state admitted to the Union.
Named after George Washington, the Evergreen State has been a national leader in lumber production since its inception. The state’s unofficial nickname is a natural fit, given that 52% of Washington’s land is covered with forests.
Washington is also an agricultural leader in the United States, providing large portions of the nation’s needed hops, pears, red raspberries, spearmint oil, and sweet cherries.
Of course, no conversation about Washington agriculture is complete without a mention of their world-famous apple crop. Because of Washington’s perfectly balanced climate, they have been the United State’s leading apple producer for nearly 100 years.
This same climate balance also means Washington is the perfect place to grow grapes. California is the only U.S. state that produces more wine than Washington.
As an agricultural state and a port state (the Port of Tacoma is one of the busiest in the world), Washington has historically had to focus on water management. As such, the state has more than 1,000 dams for irrigation, power supply (80% of Washington’s power is hydroelectric), flood control, and water storage. The Grand Coulee Dam was the largest concrete structure in the United States at the time of its completion in 1941.