This Day in History: Oct. 31, 1864
Nevada is known as a Wild West state that’s still a little wild, but there’s more to this ancient desert land than the City of Sin. An aerial tour highlights Nevada’s vital role in the shaping of America, from the mines and ghost towns of its gold and silver rush, to its icon of American ingenuity: the Hoover Dam. Discover the highs and lows of Nevada’s history, and the booms and busts that have defined it as the land of big builders and bigger dreamers.
Nevada’s harsh but rich environment shaped its history and culture. In the 1820s, trappers and traders entered the Nevada territory. In 1843–1845, John C. Frémont and Kit Carson explored the Great Basin and Sierra Nevada. The U.S. obtained the region in 1848 following the Mexican War, and the first permanent settlement was a Mormon trading post near present-day Genoa. In 1859, Nevada was made famous by the discovery of the Comstock Lode, the richest known U.S. silver deposit.
Nevada became the 36th state on October 31, 1864, after telegraphing the Constitution of Nevada to the Congress days before the November 8 presidential election (the largest and costliest transmission ever by telegraph).