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Facts About Colorado History: 7 Things You Might Not Know

Image: Facts About Colorado History: 7 Things You Might Not Know
Colorado San Juan Skyway Red Iron Peaks Lake. (Sue A Mckenzie/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 07:24 PM

Colorado is known as the “colorful” state and it is home to the Rocky Mountains and the Denver Broncos, but those are facts everyone knows.

Here are seven facts about the only state in history to turn down the Olympics:

1. Colorado, which means the color red, is named as the Centennial State because it was founded as the 38th state in 1876, 100 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

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2. Many restaurants claim to have invented the cheeseburger, but it was Colorado resident Louis Ballast, owner of the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In in Denver, who named it. One day he put a slice of cheese on a burger, heated the cheese, and decided that the taste of the cheese went well with the beef, according to The Colorado Vacation Directory. He applied for a patent on his invention “Cheeseburger” in March 1935 but was denied. While he did not receive a patent, he was awarded a trademark on the name “cheeseburger.

3. The world's first rodeo was held in Colorado on July 4, 1869, in Deer Trail. It is documented as the first organized rodeo within the country with prizes awarded. First prize was a new suit of clothing, according to a Facebook page dedicated to the event.

“The boys gathered at Deer Trail and decided on a little celebration in the way of a bronco-busting contest. They were the best horsemen in the state, and they were out to do one another up in the contest or die,” is the first line from an article that appeared about the rodeo in the “Field and Farm” magazine in 1889.

4. One of our country’s most patriotic songs, “America the Beautiful,” was written by Katherine Lee Bates atop Pikes Peak overlooking Colorado Springs, the Vacation Directory said.

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It was first published as a poem in the July 4 edition of the church periodical, The Congregationalist, in 1895. At that time, the poem was titled "America." It was put to music and publish as a song in 1910.

5. The Kit Carson County Carousel in Burlington, Colorado, is the one of the oldest wooden merry-go-rounds in the United States. Constructed in 1905, it is also the only antique carousel in the country to still have its original paint on both the animals and the scenery panels, the carousel’s website said.

6. In 1859, John Gregory discovered "The Gregory Lode" near Central City, Colorado, the Vacation Directory said. That was the start of the gold rush on what became known as “The Richest Square Mile on Earth.”

7. Thousands of people flock to Fruita, Colorado, the third weekend in May every year for “Mike the Headless Chicken Day.” Mike was a young rooster that, on Sept. 10, 1945, had his head lopped off by a farmer named L.A. Olsen.

Legend has it Mike lived for another four years without his head. The festival in his name features music, contests, food, and family fun. “Mike's will to live remains an inspiration,” the festival website said. “It is a great comfort to know you can live a normal life, even after you have lost your mind.” 

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Colorado is known as the "colorful" state and it is home to the Rocky Mountains and the Denver Broncos, but those are facts everyone knows. Here are seven facts about the only state in history to turn down the Olympics.
facts, about, colorado, history, to, know
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2015-24-26
Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 07:24 PM
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