Washington State, named after the first U.S. President, is commonly called either the State of Washington or the Washington State to easily distinguish it from the United States capital of Washington D.C. The state of Washington's rich history is shared by native Indians, American, and British settlers. The Washington territory was popularized by the Lewis and Clark expedition; they had explored the Columbia River region and many of the then Washington territory's coastal areas between 1805 and 1806. War with Britain was looming again over territorial claims by rival British and American settlers until the Organ Treaty was agreed upon and hostilities ceased, the state's boundary was set at the 49th parallel.
Some of the State's many points of interests to visitors and residents alike are its National Parks and mountains, such as Mt. Rainer, Mount St. Helens, and Olympic. The state also has over 1,000 dams and is well known for its apples, hops, sweet cherries, and delicious pears. Washington is an outdoorsman's paradise; fishing in the state's lakes and rivers for salmon and halibut is a fishing experience never to be forgotten. Washington is a leading producer of livestock and lumber. Commercial fishing also plays a significant role in the state's economy. Manufacturing industries in the state make the most significant contribution to the economy; these include missiles, aircraft, transportation equipment, spare parts, shipbuilding, mining, metal products, chemicals, machinery, and food processing. Washington has many job training and apprenticeship programs within its manufacturing industries for people interested in moving to the state.M
Washington is part of the Pacific Northwest and has high mountains called the Cascade Range that run from the north-to- south the length of the state. Western Washington has rich dense forests, a vibrant marine industry, and many beautiful coastal towns. In contrast, separated by the Cascade Range the Eastern part of the state has a dryer climate and large arid and desert areas. The Washington State population in 2010 was 6.7 million people and the minimum wage was recently raised to $8.67 in 2011. For cities with the best employment and educational opportunities, Seattle, Spokane, and Tacoma rank the highest. Some of the state's most well known four-year institutions are located in and around these cities. The University of Washington has campuses in Seattle and Tacoma, Washington State University in Spokane, and the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma are just a few.