by Brian Zylstra | November 10th, 2010
Courtesy of Washington State Archives
You don’t need to buy a gift or a card, but this Thursday is our state’s 121st birthday. On November 11, 1889, Washington joined the Union as the 42nd state, just three days after Montana was admitted and nine days after North Dakota and South Dakota officially became states.
Above is the Western Union telegram to the state’s first governor, Elisha P. Ferry, letting him know that President Benjamin Harrison signed the proclamation declaring Washington to be a state. The funny part is that the telegraph messenger had to collect 61 cents from the Clerk of the Territorial Legislature before he could hand over the telegram. Just imagine if he didn’t have the money!