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Irrigation from the Columbia River and her tributaries allows for the large amount of agriculture in Wenatchee and the surrounding areas.The city of Wenatchee is bordered by the Wenatchee River on the north, the Columbia River to the east, and the Wenatchee Mountains to the south and west.On October 5, 1931, Clyde Pangborn and his copilot Hugh Herndon landed their airplane, named the Miss Veedol, in the hills of East Wenatchee, and thus became the first aviators to fly nonstop across the Pacific Ocean.The 41-hour flight from Sabishiro Beach, Misawa, Aomori Prefecture, Japan, won them the Harmon Trophy for the greatest achievement in flight of 1931.The Columbia River forms the boundary between Chelan and Douglas County.
In 1936, with the completion of Rock Island Dam, Wenatchee was protected from the summer flooding of the Columbia River, and the first of 14 hydroelectric projects on the Columbia began generating electric power.The city is also sometimes referred to as the "Buckle of the Power Belt of the Great Northwest".The "Power Belt of the Great Northwest" is a metaphor for the series of hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River.Wenatchee was platted in September 1888 and officially incorporated as a city on January 7, 1893. By the early 20th century, the Wenatchee Commercial Club, now the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce, was advertising the region as the "Home of the World's Best Apples." The tree fruit industry provided the economic backbone for the region for a century and still is an important source of revenue.On , the Wenatchee free speech fight occurred when members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) were arrested for speaking in the street in front of the local hall of the Socialist Party of America.