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In 1775, Bruno Heceta, a Spanish explorer, visited what is now the state of Washington. He was followed by an American explorer named Captain Robert Gray, who came to the area in 1792. Also in that year, a British explorer named Captain George Vancouver began exploring the area and continued to do so until 1794. Later on, in 1805 and 1806, the famous explorers, Lewis and Clark, came to the Columbia River area to explore. War almost broke out over American and British claims to the area in the 1840s. The war was only prevented by the signing of the Oregon Treaty in 1846, which stated that the 49th parallel was an official boundary point. See also Washington History Page for more Details
The State of Washington was organized as territory on March 2, 1853 and entered the union as the 42th state on November 11, 1889. It has 39 Counties. The capital is Olympia and the official state website is www.wa.gov.
The State of Washington is bordered by bordered by Idaho (east), Oregon (south) and Canada. It has a land area of 71,303 square miles making it the 18th largest state, the 2010 population was 6,724,540.
Washington's largest cities (2010) are Seattle, 608,660; Spokane, 208,916; Tacoma, 198,397; Vancouver , 161,791; Bellevue, 122,363; Everett, 103,019; Kent, 92,411; Yakima, 91,067; Renton, 90,927; Spokane Valley, 89,755.
The State of Washington was named for for George Washington, the first president of the United States. The state nickname is " The Evergreen State ". The State Motto is " Alki " which means By and By .