History of Nevada

Archaeological remains found in Nevada show that human populations existed as early as 20,000 years ago. The first Europeans who explored the territory in the 18th century found the Mohave, Paiute, Shoshone and Washoe tribes.

The first European to visit the territory that today occupies the state of Nevada was probably the Spaniard Francisco Garc├ęs, a missionary who arrived here from California in 1776. The territory was at that time integrated into the province of Alta California, which depended on the viceroyalty of New Spain. Starting in 1821, Nevada was part of Mexico which became independent of Spain.

In 1848 Nevada became part of the United States following the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, signed after the war with Mexico, by the government of James Knox Polk in 1846. The discovery of gold in California in 1848 caused them to transit through the territory of Nevada thousands of people, enabling the region’s early development. In 1849, Nevada was part of Deseret, the state created by Brigham Young’s Mormons and which also included Utah and parts of other future states of the Union. In 1850 Young became the governor of this territory, but in 1857 the Mormons of Nevada moved to Salt Lake City to defend the rest of the Mormons threatened by the federal government.

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In 1859, Comstock Lode was discovered, a gold and silver vein in Storey County. This discovery caused the arrival of thousands of miners. Congress approved in 1861 that Nevada become an autonomous territory. In 1864, with the Civil War underway, the Union accelerated its admission as a state, as Nevada had declared itself an anti-slavery state, and its enormous wealth was needed to fund the Union.

Although the deposits were exhausted during the nineteenth century, the discovery of new gold, silver and copper mines managed to reactivate its economy. During the First World War, other important resources were discovered for the war industry.

In 1931, Nevada legalized gambling, this was the beginning of the development of the tourism sector, an important voice in the state’s economy. In 1936 the Hoover Dam was completed, which serves for the production of electricity and irrigation of the states of Nevada, Arizona and California. The irrigation of the Las Vegas area, thanks to Lake Mead, part of the Hoover Dam system, has allowed the development of this city.

During the Second World War, Nevada became an important center for the development of nuclear energy as experiments were carried out in its deserts as part of the Manhattan Project, a project that led to the creation of the atomic bomb. Between the 1980s and 1990s, Nevada experienced impressive population growth, thanks to the unstoppable growth of the city of Las Vegas and surrounding centers.

Nevada: what to visit

Las Vegas – Everywhere in the city special offers are popping up, and almost every corner you stumble upon a slot machine. Life begins in the evening, when the lights go on along the Strip and tourists board the buses to the casinos. Colorful neon-lit advertisements flash in front of luxury hotels, while gambling halls tinkle with chips. On the Strip, locals seem to compose a single, chain of lights, while hotels and casinos vie for tourists with ideas taken from amusement parks like Disneyland. Any excuse is good for enchanting the tourist and luring him to casinos. And as an unusual extra service, the city of a thousand lights offers wedding chapels, where you can get married quickly and without too much expense.

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Great Basin National Park– Those traveling along “America’s Loneliest Road” are inevitably drawn to the skyline of Wheeler Peak in the center of Great Basin National Park. Below the mountain are the Lehman Caves. The limestone formations of the caves include thousands of stalactites visible thanks to guided tours The steep Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive starts near the tourist center and crosses all the main areas of the Great Basin, in a 19 km route. Hikers and campers will find great tranquility among limestone caves, ancient coniferous forests and lakes.

Cultural Tourist Places – Nevada created the Nevada State Council in 1967 to promote the state’s cultural and artistic activities. The most important cultural institutions are the Nevada Art Gallery, the Sheppard Gallery of Fine Arts, the William F. Harrah Foundation National Automobile Museum, the Nevada Historical Society, and the Mackay Mining School Museum in Reno., the Museum of Natural History and the Art Gallery, in Las Vegas, the Museum of Southern Nevada, in Henderson, the Museum of Northeast Nevada, in Elko, the Museum of the Lost City, in Overton, the State Museum of the Nevada and the Railway Museum, in Carson City. Other centers of great interest are the numerous ancient mining towns, among them, Virginia City, which are now ‘ghost towns’ and can be visited by tourists during the day.

Curiosity – The most important associations and artistic organizations are the Nevada Opera Association, in Reno, the Las Vegas Symphony Orchestra, the Nevada Dance Theater, in Las Vegas and the Reno Symphony Orchestra.

In Nevada there are large communities of Basques, Italians, Mexicans and American Indians. Several festivals are celebrated every year, such as the Elko Basque Festival, and every 4th July, the Reno Rodeo.

Most tourists who come to Nevada visit Las Vegas. Major tourist attractions beyond Las Vegas are Nevada Pyramid Lake, Lake Tahoe, Lake Mead, Lehman Caves National Monument and Great Basin National Park. Grand Canyon National Park is the second most popular destination, with 18% of all visitors to American parks.

Nevada State Flag

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