Seattle is the largest city on the Pacific Northwest coast. While the area has been inhabited for at least the last 4000 years, the first permanent white settlers didn't arrive until 1851. Since then, the population has grown to over 3,300,000 for the metropolitan area. Seattle has a reputation for drinking a lot of coffee. Some of the coffee companies that were founded or based in Seattle include Starbucks, Seattle's Best Coffee, and Tully's.
One of the most outstanding and remembered symbols of the city of Seattle is the Seattle Space Needle. The Space needle is 605 feet tall and looks out over the whole city and harbor.
Thanks to periodic global warming, Seattle is no longer under a glacier that was a mile high at one time. Imagine Puget Sound under a mile of ice. Imagine the Space Needle covered with ice five times its height. 20,000 years ago, glaciers covered everything in between the Olympics and the Cascade mountains and spread as far south as Olympia. Glaciers advanced (Global cooling) from Canada and retreated (Global warming) four or more times. Over a few million years, Puget Sound was carved and scoured by glaciers.
"Seattle Washington is a coastal port city and the largest city in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located in the state of Washington between an arm of the Pacific Ocean called Puget Sound and Lake Washington, about 96 miles (154 km) south of the Canada - United States border in King County, of which it is the county seat.
The Seattle area has been inhabited for at least 4,000 years, but European settlement began only in the mid-19th century. The first permanent white settlers-Arthur A. Denny and those subsequently known as the Denny party-arrived November 13, 1851. Early settlements in the area were called "New York-Alki" ("Alki" meaning "by and by" in the local Chinook Jargon) and "Duwamps". In 1853, Doc Maynard suggested that the main settlement be renamed "Seattle," an anglicized rendition of the name of Sealth, the chief of the two local tribes. In 2006, the city had an estimated population of 582,174 and an estimated metropolitan area population of approximately 3.3; million. Seattle is the hub and largest city of the Seattle metropolitan area, often called Puget Sound, which also includes Tacoma, Bellevue, and Everett. From 1869 until 1982, Seattle was known as the "Queen City". Seattle's current official nickname is the "Emerald City," the result of a contest held in the early 1980s; the reference is to the lush evergreen trees in the surrounding area. Seattle is also referred to informally as the "Gateway to Alaska," "Rain City," and "Jet City," the latter from the local influence of Boeing. Seattle residents are known as Seattleites.
Seattle is the birthplace of grunge music, and has a reputation for heavy coffee consumption; coffee companies founded or based in Seattle include Starbucks, Seattle's Best Coffee, and Tully's. There are also many successful independent artisanal espresso roasters and cafes. Researchers at Central Connecticut State University ranked Seattle the most literate city of America's sixty-nine largest cities in 2005 and 2006 and second most literate in 2007. Moreover, analysis conducted in 2004 by the United States Census Bureau of 2002 survey data indicated that Seattle was the most educated large city in the U.S. with 48.8 percent of residents 25 and older having at least bachelor degrees. Based on per capita income, in 2006 the Seattle metropolitan area ranked 17th out of 363 metropolitan areas in a study by the Census Bureau.
Seattle was the site of the 1999 meeting of the World Trade Organization, and the attendant demonstrations by anti-globalization activists. The city is also home to the Pride Foundation, which became the best-funded LGBT rights organization in the US when Ric Weiland, one of the first five Microsoft employees, bequeathed $65 million to the foundation as well as ten other organizations.
What is now Seattle has been inhabited since the end of the last ice age. Archaeological excavations at West Point in Discovery Park, Magnolia, confirm that the Seattle area has been inhabited by humans for at least 4,000 years. tohl-AHL-too ("herring house") and later hah-AH-poos ("where there are horse clams") at the mouth of the Duwamish River in what is now the Industrial District has been inhabited since the 6th century BC. By the time the first European settlers arrived in the area, the Dkhw'Duw'Absh and Xachua'Bsh people (now called the Duwamish Tribe) occupied at least seventeen villages in the areas around Elliott Bay.
The first Europeans to attempt settlement in the area were the Collins Party, who filed legal claim to land at the mouth of the Duwamish River on September 14, 1851. Thirteen days later, members of the Collins Party were on the way to their claim when they passed the scouts of the group of settlers that would eventually found Seattle, the Denny Party. The scouts for the Denny Party, Terry Lee, David Denny, and John Low, would lay claim to land on Alki Point on September 28, 1851, with Terry Low returning to Portland, Oregon carrying a message from David Denny telling his brother, Arthur Denny, to "Come at once." Following the instructions of David Denny, the rest of the Denny Party set sail from Portland and landed on Alki during a rainstorm on November 13, 1851. The landing party's first sight of their new homestead was the roofless cabin that David had been unable to complete because of a fever.
After spending a winter of frequent rainstorms and high winds on Alki Point, most of the Denny Party moved across Elliott Bay and settled on land where present day Pioneer Square is located and established the village of "Dewamps" or "Duwamps." The only members of the party that did not migrate to the eastern shore of Elliott Bay were Charles Terry and John Low, who remained at the original landing location and established a village they initially called "New York," after Terry's hometown, until April 1853 when they renamed it "Alki," a Chinook word meaning, roughly, by and by or someday. The villages of New York-Alki and Duwamps would compete for dominance in the area for the next few years, but in time Alki was abandoned and its residents moved across the bay to join the rest of the settlers.
David Swinson ("Doc") Maynard, one of the village's founders, was the primary advocate for renaming the village to "Seattle" after Chief Sealth (si'áb Si'ahl) of the Duwamish and Suquamish tribes. Doc Maynard's advocacy bore fruit, because when the first plats for village were filed on May 23, 1853, it was for the Town of Seattle. In 1855, nominal legal land settlement was established and the city was incorporated in 1865 and again in 1869, after having existed as an unincorporated town from 1867 to 1869.
Seattle is located between an inlet of the Pacific Ocean to the west called Puget Sound and Lake Washington to the east at the mouth of the Duwamish River, which empties into the city's chief harbor, Elliott Bay, an inlet of the Sound. West beyond the Sound are the Kitsap Peninsula and Olympic Mountains, on the Olympic Peninsula; east beyond Lake Washington and the eastside suburbs are Lake Sammamish and the Cascade Range. The sea, rivers, forests, lakes, and fields were once rich enough to support one of the world's few sedentary hunter-gatherer societies. Opportunities for sailing, skiing, bicycling, camping, and hiking are nearby and accessible almost year-round.
The city itself is hilly, though not uniformly so. Like Rome, the city is said to lie on seven hills; the lists vary, but typically include Capitol Hill, First Hill, West Seattle, Beacon Hill, Queen Anne, Magnolia, and the former Denny Hill. The Wallingford and Mount Baker neighborhoods are technically located on hills as well. Many of the hilliest areas are near the city center, with Capitol Hill, First Hill, and Beacon Hill collectively constituting something of a ridge along an isthmus between Elliott Bay and Lake Washington. The topography of the city center has been reshaped by regrading projects, a seawall, and the construction of an artificial island, Harbor Island (completed 1909), at the mouth of the city's industrial Duwamish Waterway.
The man-made Lake Washington Ship Canal incorporates four natural bodies of water: Lake Union, Salmon Bay, Portage Bay, and Union Bay, connecting Puget Sound to Lake Washington.
Seattle is in an earthquake zone and has experienced a number of significant quakes, most recently (as of 2007) the magnitude 6.8 Nisqually Earthquake, February 28, 2001, which did significant architectural damage, especially in the Pioneer Square area (built on reclaimed land, as are the Industrial District and part of the city center), but caused no fatalities. Other strong quakes occurred on December 14, 1872 (estimated at 7.3 or 7.4 magnitude), April 13, 1949 (7.1), and April 29, 1965 (6.5). The 1949 quake caused eight known deaths, all in Seattle; the 1965 quake caused three deaths in Seattle directly, and one more by heart failure. Although the Seattle Fault passes just south of the city center, neither it nor the Cascadia subduction zone has caused an earthquake since the city's founding. The Cascadia subduction zone poses the threat of an earthquake of magnitude 9.0 or greater, capable of seriously damaging the city and collapsing many buildings, especially in zones built on fill."