Tags: US State Facts | Nevada History | Hoover Dam | Las Vegas

Nevada History: 8 Events That Shaped the State

Image: Nevada History: 8 Events That Shaped the State
Gold Hill, Nevada, (1867 - 1881) Geological Exploration of the Fortieth Parallel. (wikimedia/commons)

By    |   Friday, 27 Feb 2015 02:12 PM

Nevada has been a popular spot for entertainment, casinos and its large public works projects, such as the Hoover Dam and the Lake Mead reservoir, the largest in the country. Nevada history is rich in its natural resources and free spirit.

Here are eight events that shaped the state of Nevada over the years:

1. Between 1833 and 1844, explorer and mapmaker John C. Fremont led expeditions through the region that was to become Nevada. His party became the first white explorers to see Lake Tahoe, the scenic lake near today's Reno. They also named Pyramid Lake, part of Mexico at the time and now about 30 miles northeast of Reno.

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2. In 1859, prospectors discovered an enormous concentration of sliver and gold in Nevada, called the Comstock Lode. This made the state a thriving mining area as thousands of fortune seekers poured into the area.

3. Nevada's gold and silver production may have helped in its admission to statehood in 1864 during the Civil War, although it was a federal territory since 1861, according to History.com. But the Union wanted to ensure precious metals remained secure and away from the Confederacy. To speed up its approval as the Union's 36th state, Nevada officials sent its entire state constitution by telegram to Washington, D.C.

4. Nevada's history involves producing three quarters of all gold mined in the U.S., reports History.com. The state is also the fourth largest producer of gold throughout the world, behind China, Australia and South Africa.

5. Nevada was the first state granting African-American males the right to vote after ratifying the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1869.

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6. Nevada history includes its reputation for gambling and casinos. Although gambling became legal in the state in 1869, it was banned in 1910. It remained illegal for more than 20 years, but gambling operations continued in discreet areas as many people ignored the law. Gambling was re-legalized in 1931, making the later popularity of Las Vegas possible.

7. The expansion of the gambling industry helped Nevada became the nation's fastest-growing state from 1960 to 1980 with its population increasing by 70 percent in the 1960s and more than 60 percent in the 1970s. The population began increasing more than any state again in the early 1990s as the state expanded its industries and also offered new attractions in Las Vegas for families.

8. Yucca Mountain became the nation’s nuclear waste repository site, despite objections from many Nevadans. President George W. Bush approved the site in 2002, but Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn vetoed it. However, the U.S. Congress overrode the governor's veto. The state filed lawsuits against federal agencies and the waste disposal site remains a controversy.

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Nevada has been a popular spot for entertainment, casinos and its large public works projects, such as the Hoover Dam and the Lake Mead reservoir, the largest in the country. Nevada history is rich in its natural resources and free spirit.
Nevada History, Hoover Dam, Las Vegas
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2015-12-27
Friday, 27 Feb 2015 02:12 PM
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