Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Birthday, Washington

Our lovely little state turns 121 today.

Back in 1889 the 42nd state had 350,000 inhabitants. There are a few more, these days.

Here's a little write-up from the

On Nov. 11, 1889, President Benjamin Harrison signed legislation making Washington the 42nd state in the union.
Our forebears no doubt could've used some good news. Consider that during 1889 huge fires destroyed parts of Cheney (April 18), Republic (June 3), Seattle (June 6), Ellensburg (July 4) and Spokane (Aug. 4; the city was then known as Spokane Falls).
When Washington became a state the population was estimated to be about 350,000. Today it's 6.6 million.
People born in 1889 include Charlie Chaplin, Adolf Hitler, actor Claude Rains ("Casablanca") and playwright George S. Kaufman. In June of 1889 Butch Cassidy robbed his first bank in Telluride, Colo.
Here in Washington state Charles T. Ernst established Ernst Hardware and Plumbing Co. in downtown Seattle, the city's first electric streetcars were tested, Rudyard Kipling visited town and Norwegian immigrant Thea Foss bought a rowboat in Tacoma for $5 that spawned the Foss Maritime Co.