Colorado

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Colorado
Capital Denver
Nickname The Centennial State
Official Language English
Governor John Hickenlooper, D
Senator Mark Udall, D
(202) 224-5941
Contact
Senator Michael Bennet, D
(202) 224-5852
Contact
Ratification of Constitution/or statehood August 1, 1876 (38th)
Flag of Colorado Motto: "Nil Sine Numine" (Nothing Without the Deity)
Colorado

Colorado became the 38th state of the United States with its admission to Statehood on August 1, 1876. It is known for its skiing and snowboarding resorts, such as Vail and Aspen in the Rocky Mountains, which run north-south through the state. In the mountains and plains the winters are usually very cold and produce many snowstorms. However, along the front range (where Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Greeley and most large cities are located), the weather is more mild and is very sunny.

The United States Air Force Academy and NORAD are located in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Contents

Elevation

A number of Colorado cities are located near the Front Range of the Rockies, at elevations of around 5,000 feet. Denver, its capital and largest city, is sometimes called "The Mile-High City", because the official elevation of Denver City Hall is exactly 5,280 feet.

Mount Elbert is the highest point in Colorado, at an elevation of 14,440 feet. It is one of over 500 mountains in the state that exceed 13,000 feet. The entire state lies at an elevation over 3,000 feet.

At elevations of 5,000 feet, the air is thinner and air pressure is lower than at sea level. It is not unusual for visitors to feel lightheaded for a day or two until they adjust (but actual altitude sickness is very rare). At this altitude, skies are a clearer, brighter blue than at sea level. At that elevation, water boils at only 203 degrees F, compared to 212 degrees at sea level, so cooking recipes have to be modified.

History

The Native American (Indian) groups indigenous to Colorado were the Anasazi and Utes who lived in the mountainous regions, and several tribes who lived in the flatlands and near the rivers at various times including the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa, Comanche, Pawnee and Sioux. [1]

It is believed that in 1541 the Spanish explorer Francisco Vázquez de Coronado was the first European on record to have entered the land that is now Colorado. [2] The Spanish called the area Colorado because of its red colored earth.[3]

The United States acquired part of what is now Colorado in 1803 through the Louisiana Purchase. In 1848 Mexico ceded claims to the rest of it. There were no European settlers or forts. Before gaining statehood, Colorado was part of the Nebraska, Utah, Kansas, and New Mexico Territories, and in 1861 Congress created the Territory of Colorado. The state now encompasses 104,247 square miles.

The state is bordered by Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Utah. The population of Colorado is approximately 4,750,000.

Official Symbols

Colorado has many official state symbols including:[4]

  • State Bird: Lark Bunting
  • State Flower: Rocky Mountain Columbine
  • State Animal: Big Horn Sheep
  • State Fish: Greenback Cutthroat Trout
  • State Tree: Colorado Blue Spruce
  • State Folk Dance: Square Dance
  • State Fossil: Stegosaurus
  • State Gemstone: Aquamarine
  • State Insect: Colorado Hairstreak Butterfly
  • State Song: "Where the Columbines Grow" and "Rocky Mountain High"

Notable Coloradoans

Elected officials

Federal

Statewide

See also

Bibliography

  • Abbott, Carl, Stephen J. Leonard, and David McComb. Colorado: A History of the Centennial State. 2nd ed 1982.
  • Athearn, Robert G. The Coloradans. 1976. popular history
  • Athearn, Robert G. Rebel of the Rockies: A History of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. 1962.
  • Baker, James H., and Leroy R. Hafen, eds. History of Colorado. 5 vol State Historical Society of Colorado, 1927, with many short biographical sketches
  • Bancroft, Hubert Howe, History of Nevada, Colorado, and Wyoming, 1540-1888 (1890) 828 pages; famous classic; online edition
  • Eugene H. Berwanger. The Rise of the Centennial State: Colorado Territory, 1861-76, (2007) 208 pages
  • Cassels, E. Steve. The Archeology of Colorado. Boulder: Johnson Books, 1983
  • Cronin, Thomas E. and Robert D. Loevy. Colorado Politics & Government: Governing the Centennial State, (1993) online edition
  • Ellis, Elmer. Henry Moore Teller: Defender of the West. 1941.
  • Ellis, Richard N., and Duane A. Smith. Colorado: A History in Photographs. 1991.
  • Gulliford, Andrew. Boomtown Blues: Colorado Oil Shale, 1885-1985. 1989.
  • Hafen, Le Roy R. Colorado: The Story of a Western Commonwealth. 1933.
  • Hogan, Richard. Class and Community in Frontier Colorado. 1990.
  • Lamm, Richard D., and Duane A. Smith. Pioneers and Politicians: 10 Colorado Governors in Profile. 1981. popular
  • Lorch, Robert S. Colorado's Government. 5th ed. 1991. textbook
  • Ormes, Robert M. Guide to the Colorado Mountains. 7th ed. 1979.
  • Parsons, Eugene. The Making of Colorado: A Historical Sketch (1908) 324 pages online edition
  • Rohrbough, Malcolm J. Aspen: The History of a Silver Mining Town, 1879-1893. 1986. scholarly study
  • Scamehorn, Lee. High Altitude Energy: A History of Fossil Fuels in Colorado (2002) online edition
  • Scamehorn, Lee. Mill & Mine: The Cf&I in the Twentieth Century (1992) online edition
  • Schulte, Steven C. Wayne Aspinall and the Shaping of the American West (2002) online edition
  • Smith, Duane A. Henry M. Teller: Colorado's Grand Old Man, 2002 online edition
  • Sprague, Marshall. Money Mountain: The Story of Cripple Creek Gold (1979) online edition
  • Ubbelohde, Carl, Maxine Benson, and Duane Smith. A Colorado History. 6th ed. 1988. textbook
  • Wright, James Edward. The Politics of Populism: Dissent in Colorado. 1974. on 1890s

Primary sources

  • Ubbelohde, Carl, ed. A Colorado Reader (2nd ed 1964)
  • Fossett, Frank. Colorado: A Historical, Descriptive and Statistical Work on the Rocky Mountain Gold and Silver Mining Region (1878) 470 pages online edition
  • Fossett, Frank. Colorado, Its Gold and Silver Mines: Farms and Stock Ranges, and Health and Pleasure Resorts (1880), 1184 pages online edition
  • Parsons, Eugene. A Guidebook to Colorado (1911) 390 pages online edition


References

  1. http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit/archives/history/histfaqs.htm
  2. http://www.colorado.gov/
  3. The name is also sometimes credited to a Jesuit, Francisco Garcia, who in 1776 named the land after the Colorado River. Concise Dictionary of World Place-Names (Oxford 2005) p 116
  4. Colorado Department of Personnel and Adminstration Website


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