Most Populous City: Seattle
Governor: Christine Gregoire
Governor-elect: Jay Inslee
Nickname: The Evergreen State
Admission to the Union: November 11, 1889 (42nd)
Motto: Alki (Chinook Jargon for “Eventually” or “By and By”)
State Song: “Washington, My Home”
State Tree: Western Hemlock
State Bird: Willow Goldfinch
State Flower: Pacific Rhododendron
State Fruit: Apple
State Gem: Petrified Wood
Significant businesses based in Washington include Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo of America, Valve Corporation, Amazon.com, Expedia, Starbucks, Costco, Jones Soda, Getty Images, Zymogenetics, Zumiez, Bungie Studios, Msnbc.com, T-Mobile USA, Nordstrom, and the Cheezburger blog network.
Washington has significant trade with Asia, and is the fourth largest exporting state in the U.S, after New York, California, and Texas.
Washington ranks first in the nation in the production of red raspberries, hops, apples, sweet cherries, pears, Concord grapes, Niagara grapes, carrots, and others.
Nearly 3/4 of Washington’s electricity is generated from hydroelectricity, and Washington is the top producer of hydroelectric power in the country.
Culture and Geography:
Musicians and bands from Washington include Soundgarden, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Sir Mix-a-Lot, Kenny G, Jimi Hendrix, Death Cab for Cutie, Foo Fighters, and Heart.
Washington culture is severely divided by geography. The more populous side of the state, west of the Cascade Mountains, is more urban and multicultural. A thriving population of East Asian-Americans have left their mark on the cuisine, as well as Latin Americans and Indian-Americans. Seafood is popular, and organic and local foods are important to the community.
Western Washington is part of the “Unchurched Belt” of the United States, being one of the least religious areas in the country. Politically, Western Washington is particularly left-leaning, and being the more populated part of the state, contributes to the state’s overall liberalism.
Eastern Washington, however, is right-leaning, but less populated. Divided from the west side of the state by an impressive volcanic mountain range, Eastern Washington does not receive the rainfall its counterpart is famous for. Eastern Washington is more agricultural, cultivating much of the state’s important crops, such as apples, grapes, hops, wheat and potatoes.
The state of Washington, especially the west, is highly forested. Indeed, Western Washington receives so much rain that much of it is classified as a temperate rainforest. In contrast, Eastern Washington houses canyons and deserts in addition to its farmland.
Films, books, and TV series set in Washington include Frasier, Here Come the Brides, Twin Peaks, The Ring, Kyle XY, iCarly, Sleepless in Seattle, Grey’s Anatomy, 10 Things I Hate About You, Charlie St. Cloud, The Last Mimzy, Snow Falling on Cedars, and the Twilight series.