Nevada Day in the United States Date in the current year: October 25, 2024

Nevada Day in the United States Nevada Day, formerly known as Nevada Admission Day, is observed on the last Friday of October. It is a legal holiday in the state of Nevada that commemorates Nevada’s admission to the Union as the 36th state that occurred on October 31, 1864.

Nevada is in the Western United States, bordering Arizona, California, Idaho, Oregon, and Utah. Its official nickname is the “Silver State”, since silver mining played an important role in shaping Nevada’s history and economy.

The first Europeans to set foot in what is now Nevada were the Spanish. They annexed is as part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and in 1804, Nevada became a part of the province of Alta California (“Upper California”). Following the end of the Mexican War of Independence in 1821, Alta California became part of Mexico. However, in 1848, Mexico lost it to the United States as a result of the Mexican–American War.

Nevada was originally administered as part of the Territory of Utah, formed in 1850. The territory was governed by Mormon settlers, with little involvement of the federal government. Non-Mormon settlers weren’t particularly happy with the Mormon dominance and campaigned first for Nevada’s incorporation into California and then for separate territorial status.

In 1859, a lode of silver ore was discovered near Mount Davison, and Virginia City developed as a boomtown nearby. The “silver rush” and subsequent economic development eventually led to the formation of the Territory of Nevada on March 2, 1861. It was named after the Sierra Nevada mountain range, which means “snowy mountains” in Spanish.

Following a convention in Carson City and a public vote, the residents of Nevada petitioned the federal government for Nevada to become a state. Despite lacking the minimum requisite 60,000 residents, Nevada was incorporated as a state and admitted to the Union on October 31, 1864.

Nevada Day, then known as Admission Day, was first celebrated in the 1870s. It was formally established as a state holiday in 1933. For a long time, Nevada Day was celebrated on October 31, the exact anniversary of Nevada’s admission to the Union. Some counties even celebrated Halloween a day earlier so that it wouldn’t overlap with the holiday. In 2000, Nevada Day was moved to the last Friday in October.

Since Nevada Day is a legal holiday, all government offices, most libraries and schools, and some private businesses (for example, banks) are closed for the day. However, most of the big events, such as the parade and carnival in Carson City and various festivities in Las Vegas and Henderson, take place on the following Saturday.

One of the most beloved Nevada Days traditions is the annual treasure hunt sponsored by the Nevada Appeal, a bi-weekly newspaper published in Carson City. Throughout the month of October, daily clues related to the history of Nevada are posted on the contest’s website to narrow down the search area. The first person to find the “treasure” (a small plaque referred to as a “medallion”) wins up to $1000.

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