The MELON QUIZ: WASHINGTON (ANSWERS)
Aside from English, what are the six most commonly spoken languages in Washington State?
Believe it or not, the answer is (C). More Washingtonians speak Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Korean and Somali than Arabic, Chinese or French.
Because the US military stations so many army, air and naval facilities in Washington, the Evergreen State has long been a magnet for overseas refugees. Hundreds of thousands of Koreans, Vietnamese and later Somalis immigrated here after either marrying or retreating with US GI’s during said failed overseas adventures. The Russians and Ukrainians, by contrast, are fairly prolific across the US having left to escape communism or the collapse of the USSR. While Chinese and Arabic speaking peoples are certainly gaining a voice across Washington, they remain an extreme minority.
Who was the first settler to lead a wagon train into what is today Washington State?
Black History Month wouldn’t be complete were it not for George Washington Bush, the first settler in Washington Territory. Born in India in 1779, he was the servant — not slave — of an English Merchant named Stevenson who moved to Philadelphia where he subsequently died and left his fortune to Bush. Bush stayed in America, fought in the War of 1812 alongside Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans and later took a job as a fur trapper for the Hudson Bay Company in the Pacific Northwest. In 1831 he married the daughter of a German immigrant named Isabelle James. Bush moved with his family to Oregon in 1844 but upon arrival discovered that the Provisional Government of Oregon had recently passed an ordinance forbidding Africans from owning land in the territory. Bush subsequently crossed the Columbia River into the disputed no-mans-land that divided British and American New World territories. Moving North to the Southern tip of the Puget Sound, Bush and his family founded a settlement called Bush Prairie, which is now called Tumwater.
In what later became Washington, the Bush family enjoyed a unique social status that was not typical of bi-racial families of the day. George’s eldest son, William Owen Bush, was even elected twice to the Washington State Legislature and in 1890 introduced a bill that resulted in the creation of an academic institution known today as Washington State University (WSU).
The Whitman’s were not settlers, they were missionaries. You can read about the Bush family here:
The Washington State Legislature has 147 members between the House and Senate: six of whom are openly homosexual. This means that Washington has the second largest gay caucus in the United States. Which state has the largest?
The unlikely answer is (D) New Hampshire, which perhaps is not so surprising given its “live-free-or-die” mentality. California and Connecticut are currently tied for third in the nation with 5 openly gay members of their State Legislatures while New Hampshire reigns supreme over Washington with 7 gay members. So while politically New Hampshire may be independent enough to vote Red in 2000 and Blue in 04, in reality the Granite State is truly lavender at heart.
Which UPS alumni and Pierce County resident is the only Black women ever to be elected to the Washington State Senate?
(A) Rosa Franklin