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Nevada History Timeline
Important Dates, Events, and Milestones in Nevada
Offers a chronological timeline of important dates, events, and milestones in Nevada history.
About 900 BCE, the Patayan and Anasazi Native Americans inhabit the Colorado River area in the region that becomes known as Nevada. And, by 1200 CE, the area is populated by substantial groups of Native Americans. Mojave Natives plant crops along the riverbanks. The Washoe tribe inhabits the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range that forms the border between present-day Nevada and California. The Paiute reside in northern and southern Nevada, while the Shoshone occupy the northeastern region. Nevada is the seventh largest of the 50 states, but is one of the most sparsely populated.
16th Century Nevada History Timeline
1519 - Area claimed by Spain, Alta California (conquest of Mexico).
1540 - Spanish explorer Melchi Diaz travels through tri- state area.
1542 - Voyage to California coast by Juan de Cabrillo.
17th Century Nevada History Timeline
1609 - Town of Santa Fe established as Spanish-Indian trade center. It was held by the Pueblo Indians from 1680-92.
18th Century Nevada History Timeline
1776 - Father Garces crosses Colorado River at Katherine Landing.
19th Century Nevada History Timeline
1826 - September - Jedediah Smith, leads expedition to Meadow Valley Wash to Muddy River and is reported as the first white to enter into Nevada.
1827 - Jedediah Smith and his party returned from California, cross the center of what became Nevada.
1828 - November 9 - Humboldt River discovered by Peter Skene Ogden on his fifth Snake Country expedition 1828-1829.
1829 - Antonio Armijo party of 60 on the Old Spanish Trail to Los Angeles. Find an abundance of artesian spring water that allows travelers to cut directly through the vast desert to Los Angeles. Spanish traders named the desert oasis Las Vegas, Spanish for "The Meadows".
1830 - January 8 - First pack train to pass from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Los Angeles crossed Las Vegas Valley. Led by Antonio Armijo, a Santa Fe merchant.
1833-34 - Joseph Walker led a group from Captain Bonneville's party along the Humboldt on a secrete reconnaissance of California.
1834 - Stevens-Townsend party led by Old Greenwood, went down the Humboldt with wagons, the first taken across what later became Donner Pass.
1841 - Earliest organized emigrants passed through Nevada, the Bartleson-Bidwell party from Independence, MO, including one woman and a child crossed Nevada by way of the Humboldt, Carson Sink, and Walker River.
1843 - Immigrant party led by Joseph Walker through Walker Pass took the first wagons across the Sierra.
1845 - Captain Frémont crossed Nevada again with his guide, Joseph Walker, for whom the lake is named.
1846 - Donner Party delayed their journey too long in the Truckee Meadows near the present-day City of Reno, Nevada, and became trapped in the heavy snows of the Sierra Nevada when they attempted to follow the "Hastings Cutoff" through the Mountains into California. They resorted cannibalism in their attempts to survive the winter. 47 out of 87 perished.
1847 - Mormon people move to the fertile Salt Lake Valley in 1847.
1850 - United States Congress established the Utah Territory at the request of the Mormons in Salt Lake.
1856 - May 16 -
1857 - June - Pioneer Stage Line, the first stage to navigate the Sierras, traveled from Placerville, CA to Genoa began a once a month route with passengers and mail traffic.
1858 - December 18 -
1863 - Western Shoshone Indians sign treaty of Ruby Valley, signed by Te-Moak.
1866 - The official Nevada State Seal was adopted.
1871 - Lewis R. "Broadhorns" Bradley elected 2nd Governor of Nevada 1871-79, (2 terms) and died in Elko on March 21, 1879.
1872 - Virginia & Truckee RR extended to Reno.
1874 - University of Nevada was opened at Elko.
1875 - Wednesday, October 27 - Virginia City , the great fire of 1875. Another fire laid waste to Eureka.
1876 - August 8 - Pat McCarran born, Reno.
1884 - Sarah Winnemucca established Nevada's first school for Native Americans
1886 - Fort Halleck in Elko County was abandoned.
1889-90 - Winter - Known as the "White Winter" nearly 100 inches of snow fell - the heaviest snowfall in northern Nevada history. An estimated 90-95% of the state's livestock died during that winter.
1889 - April - Carson Mint re-opened with $1,600,00 in gold bars on hand.
1891 - Roswell Keyes Colcord (1891-95) 7th Governor of Nevada . Governor Colcord died in Carson City on October 30,1939 at the age of 100.
1896 - Reinhold Sadler became Acting (9th) Governor of Nevada 1896-1903 after Governor Jones died.
20th Century Nevada History Timeline
1901 -Law was passed making it unlawful to sell horse-meat without informing the purchaser of its nature.
1912 - First Mayor of Las Vegas, Peter Buol elected
1916 - December 5 - Jarbidge, NV - The Last Stage Robbery in the country took place in Jarbidge Canyon, one-quarter mile north of the town.
1918 - State prohibition law goes into effect
1921 - Ruth Averill, republican from Nye county was the first woman attorney to serve in the Nevada Assembly.
1923 - James Graves Scrugham 14th Governor of Nevada 1923-27. Nevada, along with Montana, pass the country's first old age pension act.
1925 - February 13 - A silver strike at the Piermont Mine in Spring Valley
1928 - US Government appropriates $165 million for the Boulder Canyon Project, later renamed Boulder Dam, Las Vegas by President Roosevelt, but changed again by Congress in 1947 to Hoover Dam.
1929 - The third state flag was adopted.
1934 - Morley Griswold 16th Governor of Nevada 1934-35.
1936 - October 26th - The generation of electricity began at Hoover dam.
1938 - April 1 - Carson City -Warden Lewis announced the formation of a the first State Police Department
1939 - Edward Peter Carville 18th Governor of Nevada (1939-45). In 1945 he resigned to be appointed US Senator by then Acting-Governor Vail Pittman.
1943 - 3733 tons of scrap was collected in Nevada to help the war.
1945 - Vail Montgomery Pittman became acting (19th) Governor (1945-50), July 24, when Governor Carville resigned. He was officially elected in 1946.
1949 - Air field was reactivated as the Las Vegas Air Force Base.
1957 - US Government began a new series of atomic weapons test.
1958 - April 21 - A jet from Nellis AFB collided with a United Airlines DC-7, just west of Las Vegas, killing 49 people.
1959 - Grant Sawyer 21st Governor of Nevada 1959-67.
1960 - The El Rancho, the first casino on the strip burns down.
1961 - December 7 - Tribute to the 80 officers and crew members who died and the 140 which were wounded aboard the USS Nevada when it was attacked just 20 years prior at Pearl Harbor.
1963 - The US Government resumed underground tests of nuclear weapons.
1965 - Nevada ranked first in the United States in production of Barite
1968 - October 18 - The $15 million Circus Circus Casino opened on the Las Vegas Strip.
1973 - The MGM Grand opened
1976 - Clark County Museum receives the Boulder City Railroad Depot and moved the structure to a new location for the museum on Boulder Highway in Henderson. The Depot, is now the headquarters for the Clark County Heritage Museum.
1977 - Ichthyosaurs Shonisaurus Popularis would become immortalized as Nevada's official state fossil.
1981 - Nevada adopted the Lahanton Cuthroat trout as its official state fish.
1982 - Republican Patty D. Cafferata was elected state treasurer - the first Constitutional Seat won by a woman.
1983 - Richard H. Bryan 25th Governor of Nevada1983-89.
1987 - Congess established the Great Basin National Park
1990 - Jan Laverty Jones was the first woman elected Mayor of Las Vegas.
1991 - Nevada's 125th (Birthday) Celebration Committee commissioned George Dare of Henderson, Nevada to write a new state song.
1993 - October 29 - The Dunes Hotel/Casino imploded.
1996 - November 26 - The Sands Resort Hotel imploded.
1997 - October 15 - First supersonic land speed record 766.100 mph was set in Nevada's Black Rock Desert 125 miles north of Reno.
1998 - October - Bellagio resort opened on the land once occupied by the Dunes Hotel.
21st Century Nevada History Timeline
2000 - Nevada's population: 1,998,257
2006 - US polygamist sect leader on FBI's Ten Most Wanted List arrested in Las Vegas
2008 - Steve Fossett declared dead after missing five months
2009 - OJ Simpson found guilty of kidnapping, armed robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers in Las Vegas, sentenced to 33 years in prison
2010 - Nevada had highest population of illegal immigrants in US; both houses of Nevada Legislature impacted by 12-years term limits; Tea Party targeted Harry Reid