Happy Birthday Colorado (130 years today)
Happy Birthday Colorado (130 years today)
Happy Birthday Colorado, der Staat ist heut 130 Jahre alt.
Hier mal ein Auszug mit infos aus unserer Tageszeitung.
Maybe a little history lesson will heighten appreciation for Colorado Day. In a nutshell, Colorado had to fight for 15 years to be admitted to the Union. The process was marred by disputes over whether the territory had the minimum 30,000 people required for statehood and by negative impressions from the East, according to “Semi-Centennial History of the State of Colorado” by Jerome Smiley.
“The East Coast generally did not welcome any Western states,” said Tom Noel, professor of history at the University of Colorado-Denver, who also writes columns for The Denver Post as “Dr. Colorado.”
An 1875 newspaper article from The Pittsburgh Commercial summed up the prevailing opinion of the territory: “There is something repulsive in the idea that a few handful of rough miners and reckless bullwhackers, numbering less than 100,000, should have the same voice in the senate as New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.”
Nevertheless, in 1873, President Ulysses S. Grant urged the Senate to approve admission.
“I would recommend for your favorable consideration the passage of an enabling act for the admission of Colorado as a State of the Union. It possesses all the elements of a prosperous state, agricultural and mineral, and I believe has a population now to justify such admission,” he said.
Two years later, Grant appointed John Routt as territorial governor, and Routt helped write and rework the state constitution (he eventually would be elected the state’s first governor).
State representatives voted to ratify the constitution on July 1, 1876, and Grant signed the proclamation of statehood on Aug. 1. People celebrated, although the party was “overshadowed by the return of grasshoppers” that had come the summer before, damaging crops and “picking the land clean,” according to a 1976 article in Colorado/Rocky Mountain West magazine.
But that was an unofficial celebration. Maybe Coloradans needed a rest from the fight for statehood. Maybe they were busy building businesses and mining and trying to settle on an appropriate state flower.
Whatever the reason, it wasn’t until 1907 that Gov. Henry A. Buchtel established Colorado Day as an official holiday, Noel said.
“It was a day you were supposed to celebrate being Coloradan,” said Modupe Labode, chief historian at the Colorado History Museum and Colorado Historical Society in Denver.....
.....DID YOU KNOW . . . ?
- You can read the original 1876 Colorado constitution online at the Colorado state Web site, www.colorado.gov. Just a warning: The 65-page file takes a long time to load.
- The word Colorado is derived from the Spanish word for “colored red.” c The state is home to 75 percent of the land in the country above 10,000 feet.
- Denver’s Colfax Avenue is the longest commercial street in the United States.
- The “Pinto Bean Capital of the World” is Dove Creek, in southwestern Colorado
- Denver’s Republic Plaza is the tallest building in the state at 57 stories.
- In 1976, Colorado voters turned down a chance to hold the Olympics in Denver. It is the first and only location in history to do so. Economic and environmental concerns were cited as reasons.
- It took six years to install the irreplaceable “Beulah red” marble at the Colorado State Capitol.
- Colorado was the second state in the union to give women the right to vote. Wyoming was first.
- The Eisenhower/Johnson Memorial Tunnels along Interstate 70 are the longest tunnels in the country built with interstate funds. Each is 8,960 feet long.
- Mount Elbert is the highest mountain in Colorado, at 14,433 feet. c Grand Mesa is home to the world’s largest flat-top mountain.
- The Arkansas River was the dividing point between U.S. and Mexican territories from 1821 to 1848.
- The United States government owns more than one-third of all state land.
Sources: The United States Department of Transportation, “Colorado Trivia” by B. J. Murphey-Lenahan, the Colorado state Web site (www.colorado. gov), www.colorado.com, www.50states.com, Colorado’s Frontier, the Colorado Historical Society
- James Purcell was the first American to report finding gold in South Park in 1807.
- The Rocky Mountain News was the first Colorado newspaper published; it started in 1859.
- In 1860, Colorado’s first public library opened in Denver. c President Abraham Lincoln appointed the first territorial governor and legislature in 1861.
- Citizens first tried to turn Colorado from a territory into a state in 1864.
- The first rodeo in Colorado was held in Deer Trail in 1869.
- In 1871, enver became the first place in Colorado to get gas street lights and horse-drawn street cars.
- The first telephone system in the state began in 1879.
- In 1887, Aspen became the first Colorado town to offer electricity to all residents.
- Colorado School of Mines played Colorado College in the state’s first college football game in Golden in 1889.
- The Brown Palace Hotel in Denver was the state’s first fireproof building. It opened in 1892.
- Governor Davis H. Waite holds two firsts in state history. He is the first, and to date only, governor elected from a third party. Waite was a member of the Populist party and was elected in 1892. He was also the first governor to occupy the State Capitol Building (1893).
- The first woman registered to vote in Colorado was First Lady Eliza Routt in 1893.
- The first women ever to hold seats in a state legislature were elected to the Colorado General Assembly: Clara Cressingham and Frances Klock, both Republicans from Arapahoe County, and Carrie Holly, a Republican from Pueblo County, were elected in 1894.
- The state’s first automobile race was held in 1903, going from Denver to Colorado Springs.
- One dollar was the going rate for one of the first hunting licenses issued in the state in 1903.
- The first Colorado Lottery scratch tickets were sold in 1983.
SOURCE: Colorado State Archives
Impress your friends! Dazzle your family! Become a font of knowledge about all things Colorado with this handy Colorado Day trivia list:
State Motto: “Nil Sine Numine,” Latin for “Nothing Without the Deity”
Bird: Lark Bunting
Animal: Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep
Nickname: “Centennial State”
Song: “Where the Columbines Grow”
Flower: White and Lavender Columbine
Tree: Colorado Blue Spruce
Rock: Yule Marble
Grass: Blue Grama Grass
Insect: Colorado Hairstreak Butterfly
SOURCE: Colorado Department of Personnel & Administration, Division of Information Technologies
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