What are some notable events in Washington state's history?


Quick Answer

Washington became a state in 1889. Other historic events involving Washington include the beginning of Father's Day, women in the state winning the right to vote in 1910 and the eruption of the stratovolcano Mount St. Helens.

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Full Answer

Washington, the only state named after a U.S. president, officially became the nation's 42nd state on November 11, 1889. The state's first constitution was adopted in 1878, but it was never ratified by Congress. Much of it, however, was used in the state's 1889 constitution.

Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane pushed for the observance of a Father's Day much like Mother's Day, which already existed at that time. On June 19, 1910, Washington celebrated its first Father's Day. Mrs. Dodd campaigned heavily for a national observance, but Father's Day did not become an official national holiday until 1972.

Washington's progressive thinking also extended into the matter of women's suffrage. As a territory, Washington had allowed women to vote off and on between 1883 and 1888, but on November 8, 1910, the state granted women this right nine years before the 19th Amendment allowed it.

Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980, killing 57 people and shortening the size of the mountain by 1,314 feet. The eruption destroyed homes, highways and railways, and a huge loss of animal life occurred in the approximately 230 square miles of land that the eruption affected.

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