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OLYMPIA — The Senate marked the quasquicentennial of the official beginning of the state of Washington today, with a resolution honoring the act of Congress that led to establishing the state in 1889.
Technically, they're five days early as the actual calendar goes. But they're on the mark as far as the official calendar goes. Here's why:
Congress passed the enabling act for the state of Washington on Feb. 22, 1889, a way of marking George Washington's birthday, which was a federal holiday back then. The Washington's Birthday holiday has been morphed into the President's Day holiday, which isn't tied to a particular day but to a Monday that forms a three-day weekend in mid February, apparently so car dealers and furniture stores can offer big sales.
So in a sense this is the appropriate day to take up the resolution, particularly since the calendar said Feb. 11 when George was born, if there was one in the colonial home at the time because they were using a different system then.
The enabling act set in motion the process for a state constitutional convention, approved by voters in October, and a proclamation of statehood on Nov. 11 of that year.Things moved much quicker in those days, Sen. Karen Fraser, D-Olympia, noted.
Look for more quasquicentennial, or 125th anniversary, mentions as they year continues.
So Washington's Birthday/President's Day isn't the state's 125th birthday. It's more like the 125th anniversary of getting a positive pregnancy test.
The resolution was a bit of early activity in what could be a long day of votes on bills that could continue into the evening as the Legislature plays beat the clock on the deadline for all bills not connected to the budget to be voted out of at least one house by 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Why was Coeur d'Alene formed? As we approach the 125th anniversary of the founding of the city (It is either Friday (Aug. 3) or Wednesday, Aug. 29 (depending on which reference in the early City minutes is correct), it is worth a quick look at the original Articles of Incorporation where there are 36 reasons for forming the city. Through the lens of 125 years of hindsight, some of them are pretty interesting. They are contained in the attachment (spelling errors are from the original document). Here are some of my personal favorites:
- Third: To restrain and suppress bawdy houses …
- Sixth: To prevent the firing of fire arms.
- Ninth: To creat (sic) and maintain poor-houses …
- Tenth: To provide pest houses.
- Fifteenth: To establish and regulate markets.
- Ninthteenth (sic): To provide for the inspection of lumber …
- Twenty third: To require and regulate the planting of shade trees on the streets.
- Twenty Seventh: To regulate the storage of gunpowder …
- Twenty Eight: To regulate the construction and cleaning of fire places…
- Thirtieth: To regulate prevent and furnish (sic) the carrying of concealed weapons.
- Thirty fourth: To establish and maintain a free public library and … appoint a librarian and janitor therefor …
Question: Which reason for incorporating Coeur d'Alene in 1887 do you appreciate most?