Washington (state), in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is bordered on the north by the Canadian province of British Columbia, on the south by Oregon, on the east by Idaho, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. Washington is the only state named for a U.S. president. It was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state on November 11, 1889. Washington has beautiful glaciated mountains and dense forests in the west, and a vast expanse of golden grainland in the eastern section of the state. Olympia is the capital of Washington. The state’s largest city, Seattle, is an important port and a gateway to East Asia and the Arctic North. However, it is the Columbia River, which carves its way down through the central part of the state before turning westward toward the Pacific Ocean, that is Washington’s most important resource.
The Columbia River is the greatest source for potential and actual hydroelectric waterpower in the United States. The construction of such great dams as Grand Coulee, Chief Joseph, and The Dalles to harness the power of this mighty river revolutionized the state’s economy and wrought startling changes in its landscape. The Columbia’s water provides electric power for industry, most of which has come into the state during and since World War II (1939-1945), and irrigation for agriculture, especially in the drier region east of the Cascade Range, where semiarid desert land has been transformed into highly productive ranchland and farms. Washington is known as the Evergreen State, for its extensive forests of evergreen trees. "Washington" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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