Spokane is a city located in the state of Washington in the northwestern United States. It is located along the Spokane River west of the Rocky Mountain foothills in eastern Washington, 92 miles south of the Canada–US border, approximately 20 miles from the Washington–Idaho border, and 280 miles east of Seattle along Interstate 90.
Known as the birthplace of Father's Day, Spokane is officially nicknamed the "Lilac City". It is the seat of Spokane County and the economic and cultural center of the Spokane Metropolitan Area, the Greater Spokane Area, and the Inland Northwest. The city, along with the whole Inland Northwest, is served by Spokane International Airport, 5 miles west of downtown Spokane. According to the 2010 Census, Spokane had a population of 208,916, making it the second largest city in Washington and the 102nd largest city in the United States. It is also the third largest urban area in the Pacific Northwest.
The first humans to live in the area, the Spokane people (their name meaning "children of the sun" in Salishan), arrived between 13,000 and 8,000 years ago, living off plentiful game. David Thompson explored the area with the westward expansion and establishment of the North West Company's Spokane House in 1810. This trading post was the first long-term European settlement in Washington. Completion of the Northern Pacific Railway in 1881 brought settlers to the Spokane area, and that same year it was officially incorporated as a city with the name of "Spokan Falls". In the late 19th century, gold and silver were discovered in the Inland Northwest. The local economy depended on mining, timber, and agriculture until the 1980s. Spokane hosted the first environmentally themed World's Fair at Expo '74.