Senate Resolution 8671, sponsored by Sen. Karen Keiser, Sen. Joe Fain and Sen. Bob Hasegawa, celebrated Kent’s anniversary and evolution from an agrarian community to an economic dynamo known for creating the first lunar rover, designing next-generation rockets and serving as a globally connected hub of innovation and transportation.
In the 1860s, the area was known as Titusville and become a major hops growing center. The city was incorporated as Kent in 1890, named after a region in England known for its fine hops.
“The Kent Valley is now the fourth largest manufacturing and distribution center in the United States,” said Keiser, D-Kent. “Our economic engine generates $49 billion annually, one-eighth of Washington state’s total gross domestic product.”
“Honoring Kent’s 125th anniversary really means honoring the many great people who make up the community,” said Fain, who also represents Kent. “Bringing together such a diverse community including people from many backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities and interests, has led to a unique place for many to call home.”
“Kent’s 125,000 residents represent one of the most diverse and vibrant cultures in the state, speaking 137 different languages,” said Hasegawa, D-Beacon Hill. “With more than 43 percent of Kent residents speaking a primary language other than English, this is a community that stands as a testament to the increasing diversity of our wonderful state.”
Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke, on hand to watch the passage of the resolution from the Senate gallery, noted the state’s sixth-largest city had come quite a way since the days it was known as the lettuce capital of the world.
“Kent has a lot to celebrate every year, but we have a significant milestone to celebrate this year: our 125th anniversary of incorporation,” she said. “The second city in King County to incorporate, we have grown from hops to aerospace and have become the sixth largest and most culturally diverse city in the state. It was an honor to accept a proclamation from Washington state Senators Karen Keiser, Joe Fain and Bob Hasegawa in recognition of May 28, 2015, Kent’s 125th birthday.”