In 1863, the Nevada Territory began to push for statehood without authorization from Congress. Statehood was originally rejected in 1863 because the taxation of mines was too unfavorable to voters in the first draft of the constitution. A year later,
Congress rushed to make Nevada a state. In 1864, the nation was in the middle of the civil war and three major candidates were in the running for president. The fear that no party would receive majority of electoral votes was overwhelming and Congress found it necessary to admit another Republican state to the nation. A second draft of the constitution was written and approved by voters Sept. 7, 1964. The constitution was sent to Washington D.C., (the longest, most expensive telegraph ever sent up to that time) where President Lincoln declared Nevada a state on Oct. 31, 1864, making it the 36th state in the Union.
Until 2000, Nevada Day was always celebrated on Oct. 31. Nevada State Legislature passed a law that beginning in 2000, Nevada Day is to be celebrated the last Friday of the month in hopes that a three day weekend and not being associated with Halloween would draw more attention to Nevada’s history. This year, Nevada Day was observed on Oct. 25, followed by large celebrations and the annual Nevada Day parade at the state capitol, Carson City.
Besides sagebrush, big horn sheep and our battle born flag, what makes our silver state so interesting?
- Nevada was the first state to ratify the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave African-American men the right to vote.
- By the end of 1882, the Comstock Lode had produced more than $300 million in gold and silver. To this day, Nevada supplies three-quarters of all gold mined in the United States.
- Area 51 was established by the CIA in 1955.
- Nevada’s Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park contains the largest known Ichthyosaurus fossils ranging from 2 feet to 50 feet. The extinct reptiles swam in the ocean that would eventually become Nevada, 225 million years ago.
- In Death Valley, the kangaroo rat lives its entire life without drinking a drop of water.
- Nevada takes its name from a Spanish word meaning snow-clad.
- The Hoover Dam contains enough concrete to pave a two-lane road from San Francisco to New York.