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Nevada State History

Nevada is a state in the west of the United States. It borders Idaho, California, Arizona, Utah and Oregon.

It is the seventh largest state in the United States.

The capital city of Nevada is Carson City.

Seal Of Nevada

Nevada is Spanish for “snow covered”. Nevada is the driest state in the United States. Most of the state is desert or semi-arid, apart from Las Vegas Valley.

It gets less than ten inches of rain per year. All this vast desert makes it the ideal home for wild horses, who can roam undisturbed.

Related: Nevada State Facts


It may seem strange that Nevada means “snow covered” when there are lots of deserts.

It was called “Nevada” because Nevada actually has more mountains than any other U.S. state.

Snow in Ely NV
Snow in Ely NV

This means the largest part of Nevada is covered in snow.


Lovelock Cave

The area now called Nevada was long inhabited by several Native American groups including the Shoshone, Paiute and Washoe peoples.

Before these people, there is evidence that people inhabited Nevada for thousands of years!

The oldest mummy in North America was found there. His nickname is “Spirit Cave Man”.


After it was discovered by Europeans, Nevada became part of New Spain, as part of the Spanish Empire.

Jedediah Smith English Version

In the 1820s, trappers like Jedediah Smith explored Nevada. In 1847, the Mormons created the State of Deseret.

They claimed rights over all of Nevada and founded the first settlement, Mormon Station (now Genoa) in 1851. The State of the Deseret was a state proposed to the United States in 1849.

Jedediah Smith
Jedediah Smith

It was never accepted and it only lasted two years. In 1861, Nevada separated from Utah and became Nevada.

In 1864, Nevada officially became a state. Technically speaking, Nevada did not have enough residents to become a state (you needed 60,000).

Nevada only had a population of 10,000 at the time.

Flag Of Nevada

Nevada was famous for mining. Even though California is nicknamed “the Golden State”, Nevada actually produces more gold.

Many people think there is more gold that has not yet been found in Nevada, because there is so much unexplored desert.

In 1859, a famous silver mine was found in Comstock Lode. Many other rich minerals were discovered, such as copper, lead, zinc, mercury, barite and tungsten.

In 1954, oil was discovered.

Las Vegas
Seal Of Las Vegas Nevada

Nevada is home to Las Vegas, a desert city which tourists flock to every year. It is famous for casinos, where people go to gamble and play casino games.

Las Vegas also has a number of big sports arenas and entertainment venues. It hosts many boxing and mixed martial arts matches.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway is also very famous and brings lots of fans to the gigantic complex of tracks.

Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas

Nevada has the most hotel rooms per person in the United States. The state comes below other states, like New York, but Nevada has a much smaller population.

Nevada has a hotel for every 14 residents: 187,301 rooms.

Nevada Quarter

The famous sign that reads “Las Vegas” was gifted to the city by an artist called Betty Willis.

She decided to share the design with the city and let anybody use it.

US State History

Quiz Time!


How much rainfall does Nevada get?

Who explored Nevada in the 1820s?

Who established the first settlement in Nevada?

gold ingots

What was discovered in Nevada?

What was the name of the artist who designed the Las Vegas sign?

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

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