State of the union
The completion of the North Pacific (1886) and Great North (1893) rail lines boosted Washington’s economy. The region’s economy, in its first decades as a state, depended mainly on agriculture and mining. Throughout the 1890s, modern irrigation techniques would allow agriculture to be practiced in the deserted eastern Washington region. There, cattle were replaced by wheat crops. Other important sources of income were the timber industry and fishing. At the beginning of the 20th century Washington’s reputation at home was that of a wild and dangerous land, like the rest of the American West, only with lumberjacks instead of cowboys and forests instead of deserts. In particular, the city of Aberdeen had a reputation as the toughest city in western Mississippi, due to gambling, violence, widespread drug use, and prostitution.
Seattle prospered with American migration to Hawaii and Alaska, and was a main supply center for Hawaii for several decades, and even today it is the main supply center for Alaska. Washington’s economy prospered greatly with the onset of World War One. Wood and food production increased notably. Seattle also became an industrialized city, one of the largest manufacturers of ships and aircraft in general throughout the war. In 1917, Boeing is founded in Seattle, which became the main private company in the state and is currently the largest aircraft producer in the world. The war generated a greater union between the workers of the state, and several unions were created. After the end of the war, in February 1919, city unions organized a general strike in Seattle, which called for more than 60,000 workers. During these first years the population went from 75,000 residents to 1.25 million, demonstrating the rapid demographic growth of the state. See topschoolsintheusa for best high schools in Washington.
The Great Depression, which began in 1929, ruined the state’s economy. To try to minimize the problems caused by the Depression, such as misery, unemployment and poverty, the state began the construction of various public works, including several dams, culminating in the opening of the Grand Coulee Dam in 1941, to date the largest operating dam in the United States.
Washington’s economy recovered with the start of World War II. The Seattle metropolitan area, thanks to its proximity to the Pacific front lines, became one of the largest manufacturers of military ships, and the largest manufacturer of military aircraft in the country. In 1943, the US government inaugurated a nuclear power plant in the state, the Hanford Site. This plant generated much of the nuclear fuel (plutonium) used in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs. Washington industrialized rapidly during and after the end of World War II, and agriculture, mining, and the logging industry lost much importance in the state economy.
During the 1960s, the Washington government approved a series of programs aimed at the decontamination of rivers and lakes contaminated by industrial and fecal waste. Boeing’s rise as the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer led to a large population growth in the Seattle metropolitan area. In 1962, Seattle held the 1962 World’s Fair. The biggest attraction at that fair was the construction of the Space Needle, a 184-meter high tower, inaugurated a year earlier, in 1961. Later, in 1964, the governments of Canada and the United States began a joint program for the construction of various dams along the Columbia River and its tributaries. This provided water for irrigation, flood control, cheap electricity, and led to the development of inland ports and increased river traffic.
The 18 as maypole as 1980, Erupting Mount St. Helens. Dormant for hundreds of centuries, the volcano literally exploded, causing total destruction in a radius of about 25 kilometers around. A total of 57 people died, and the damage caused amounted to more than $ 4 billion. Washington’s economy entered a recession that lasted for about two years. The eruption released volcanic ash in a radius of more than 1,500 kilometers from the explosion, mainly in the first 200 kilometers, covering several cities in a thick layer of ash, several centimeters thick.
In 1996 Gary Locke was elected as governor of the state, becoming the first American of Chinese descent to be elected governor of a US state.
In December 2012, Washington was the first state in the United States to legalize the possession and use of marijuana for recreational use by adults. This measure eliminated the law that ordered the detention of any person over 21 years of age who carries 28.5 grams or less of marijuana for recreational use. The rule also legalized the possession of up to 0.45 kilograms (kg) of solid cannabis goods for consumption and up to 2.4 kg in liquid form  .