Show some appreciation for this fascinating state, boasting incredible desert and mountain landscapes along with some soothing lakes and culture-filled cities. Nevada was the 36th state to be added to the USA and it is certainly worth celebrating. So go out, grab some friends, and get excited about Nevada Day!
History of Nevada Day
Nevada Day can be traced back more than 150 years to October 31, 1864, which was the day that the state was approved to be added to the Union. As with several western states, the territory of Nevada was added to the US after the Mexican American war, which ended in 1848.
Following the war, the area was incorporated as part of the Utah Territory, but in 1861 the Nevada Territory was born out of the silver rush and population boom two years prior. Due to this catalyst for the creation of the territory, Nevada is sometimes known as the “Silver State”.
In a desperate attempt to become a state before the presidential election taking place on November 8 of that year, the representatives of Nevada sent a telegraph message to Congress detailing their entire state constitution. To this day, that document stands as the longest (and most expensive) message ever sent by telegraph.
The rush to statehood was due to the fact that Abraham Lincoln was running for his second term as US president, and Nevada was a Republican state that could help ensure Lincoln’s victory. Due to the timing of Nevada becoming part of the Union during the Civil War, it has sometimes been referred to as the “Battle Born State”.
Originally known as Admission Day, this event has been celebrated since the 1870s when it was initiated by the Pacific Coast Pioneering Society. By 1933, Nevada Day was declared an official holiday by the state. Until the year 2000, it always took place on October 31 but it was changed to the last Friday in October in order to ensure that residents get a three-day weekend.
Nevada Day Timeline
US acquires Nevada from Mexico
Following the victory in the Mexican-American War, Nevada becomes a territory.
Nevada becomes a state
After its constitution is telegraphed to Congress prior to the presidential election, Nevada enters the Union on October 31.
Nevada Day becomes official
Nevada Legislature passes to establish the holiday on October 31.
Nevada Day is moved
To allow citizens to have a three day weekend, Nevada Day is moved to the last Friday in October.
Nevada Day gets a nod on television
A two-part episode of Aaron Sorkin’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip features a plot in which Nevada Day is central.
How to Celebrate Nevada Day
Show some love for the Silver State by enjoying and honoring Nevada Day! All sorts of activities might be fun, such as a low-key family barbecue or a little party. Other ideas and plans for celebrating the day might include some of these:
Visit the State of Nevada
Many people associate the state of Nevada only with the nightlife of Las Vegas, but there is so much more to it than that! Nevada Day might be a perfect motivation to make plans to take a trip and find out some of the amazing reasons that it’s a great state, starting with some of these:
- Mountain Activities. The nature in Nevada is breathtaking, including the rugged mountains. Charleston Peak and Wheeler Peak are both over 6500 feet and are enjoyable for hiking, skiing and more outdoor fun.
- Lake Tahoe. This area is home to some of the cleanest, most crystal clear lakes on the planet, with beaches, ski resorts, state parks, quaint towns and much more.
- Carson City. The state capital of Nevada offers fun activities all year long, including museums, arts and culture, fine dining and all types of recreation.
- Valley of Fire. Take a scenic drive, go on a hike, or have some four-wheel or motorcycle fun and experience this amazing geological landscape in the state park. These red rock formations in the Mojave Desert feel so remote but are just an hour’s drive from Las Vegas.
Check Out the Nevada Appeal
Looking for specific events to attend in honor of the day? Representing the capital city, Carson City, the newspaper called the Nevada Appeal, offers a month-long list of celebratory events around Nevada Day for its residents and visitors. From tours and museums to social club gatherings, from sporting events to train rides, the residents of Carson City have come up with all sorts of exciting festivities to celebrate this day.
Watch Some Vegas-Themed Movies
Sure, Las Vegas isn’t all there is to Nevada, but when it comes to the big screen, Sin City certainly features highly. Even those who aren’t currently in the state can show some love on Nevada Day by checking out one of these movies:
- Las Vegas (2013). Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline make up an amazing all-star cast in this story about a bachelor party with a group of older men.
- Ocean’s Eleven (1960 or 2011). Two options exist for this delightful casino heist film, the classic starring the Rat Pack of the 1960s, or the remake with George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and so many others.
- What Happens in Vegas (2008). Of course, Las Vegas makes a great setting for a Rom-Com and this one features Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher playing characters who got married on a drunken whim.
- Indecent Proposal (1993). Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson and Robert Redford star in this drama about love and marriage.
Nevada Day FAQs
What timezone is Nevada?
Nevada sits almost entirely in the Pacific Time Zone.
Can Nevada have tornadoes?
While they are rare, Nevada does get two tornadoes a year, on average.
Does Nevada have state taxes?
Due to the gaming industry, Nevada residents do not pay personal income tax in the way many other states do.
How did Nevada get its name?
Originally settled by Spaniards, Nevada’s name comes from the Spanish word “nieve”, which means something like “snowy”.
Is Nevada a community property state?
Yes. In Nevada, each spouse owns half of the property assets (or debts) in a marriage.