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Washington state turns 120 on Nov. 11

A copy of the telegraph notifying Gov. Elisha P. Ferry that President Benjamin Harrison signed the proclamation declaring Washington to be a state. The date: Nov. 11, 120 years ago.  - Washington Secretary of State
A copy of the telegraph notifying Gov. Elisha P. Ferry that President Benjamin Harrison signed the proclamation declaring Washington to be a state. The date: Nov. 11, 120 years ago.
— image credit: Washington Secretary of State

Nov. 11 is Washington state’s 120th birthday.

We became the 42nd state on Nov. 11, 1889. Check THIS BLOG BY BRIAN ZYLSTRA OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE for a post about the big date, as well as population comparisons then and now.

In the blog post, you’ll see a digital copy of the telegram informing Gov. Elisha Ferry that President Benjamin Harrison signed the proclamation declaring Washington a state.

At the time it reached statehood, Washington was drawing in people like crazy. According to historical data, 357,232 people lived in the new state in 1890. A book by Robert E. Ficken about the state’s first 10 years said it was a “five-fold increase over the 1880 figure, and a rate of growth 16 times the national pace for the 10-year period.”

Just as it ranks now, Seattle was the state’s most populated city in the 1890 census at 42,837 souls. Tacoma ranked second with 36,006, followed by Spokane at 19,922.

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