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5 Fun Facts About August 23 In Washington History

---Learn Every Day: WA Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history wa To: 618-270-4005---

1. On August 23, 1852, the first Central Pacific Railroad train was put into service, connecting Sacramento and Folsom, California. This marked a major milestone in the construction of the transcontinental railroad.

2. Ten years later, on August 23, 1862, the Civil War Battle of Groveton took place in Virginia, also known as the Second Battle of Bull Run. General Robert E. Lee's Confederate army defeated Union General John Pope, resulting in a high number of casualties.

3. In 1962, on August 23, the Seattle World's Fair, also known as the Century 21 Exposition, held its opening ceremonies. The area now known as Seattle Center was transformed into a futuristic wonderland, featuring the iconic Space Needle and monorail.

4. On August 23, 2001, Seattle's Safeco Field hosted the first ever game of the National Hockey League's (NHL) Phoenix Coyotes, who faced the Vancouver Canucks in a preseason game. It was the first time an NHL game had been played in Seattle since 1975.

5. In 2011, on August 23, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck Virginia, the largest earthquake to hit the East Coast since 1944. The quake was felt as far north as Canada and caused significant damage in parts of Virginia and the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
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