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5 Fun Facts About January 31 In Washington History

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

1. In 1939, the Grand Coulee Dam, the largest hydroelectric power producing facility in the United States at the time, began generating electricity for the first time. The dam, located on the Columbia River in central Washington, still provides electricity to thousands of homes and businesses in the Pacific Northwest.

2. On January 31, 1950, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsed in a strong windstorm, just four months after it opened to traffic. The bridge's failure led to advances in engineering and the development of better methods for testing and designing suspension bridges.

3. In 1986, Spokane hosted the first annual Bloomsday Run, a 12-kilometer race that has since become one of the largest running events in the world. The race is held on the first Sunday in May and draws runners from across the globe.

4. January 31, 1995, was a significant day in Washington State history because it was the day that the state government began issuing licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries. The state's medical marijuana program has since been expanded and now includes licensed growers, processors, and retail shops.

5. On January 31, 1996, Bill Gates announced that Microsoft would invest $1 million in a new program to bring computer technology to low-income communities in the Pacific Northwest. The program, called "Partners in Learning," has since expanded to other regions and has helped millions of young people around the world to learn about technology and improve their digital skills.
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