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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Washington State Turns 125 Years Old

Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network

Washington state is 125 years old. There was a celebration Tuesday at the state capitol. It featured an historic reenactment, a time capsule ceremony and, of course, cake.

In the Capitol Rotunda, a member of the Squaxin Indian tribe sang a blessing song.

That was followed by “Lift Every Voice and Sing” Then a speech by the governor before the action moved to Washington’s time capsule. The locked vault was opened and a new generation of time capsule keepers sworn in.

These are 10-year-olds who pledge for the next 25 years to help preserve the time capsule. They were joined by the original capsule keepers from 25 years ago.

Among them was Mary Aardal of the Tri-Cities. She said, “I just think it’s cool to be part of history.”

Now her daughter will be a capsule keeper. At exactly 3:09pm there was a historical reenactment of the arrival of the telegram that announced Washington’s statehood in 1889.

That was followed by the cake.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."