On October 31, 1864, Nevada was admitted to the Union as the 36th state. Original plans had the vote for Nevada’s statehood coming at a later date, but politicians rushed to get Nevada admitted ahead of the 1864 Presidential Election so that Nevadan voters would provide an extra boost to the Lincoln campaign (in retrospect, the move was unnecessary — Lincoln won in a landslide). Nevada’s admission to the Union during the Civil War earned the state its nickname, “Battle Born,” which also appears on the state flag.
Nevada is separated from California on the west by the Sierra Nevada mountain range, and intersects with California and Arizona at the Colorado River in the south. Otherwise, Nevada is comprised of a number of smaller mountain ranges whose breakups and basins result in a very dry climate — the driest in the United States by most measurable standards.
Because of its dry climate, nearly three quarters of the the state's population reside in Clark County, the location of Las Vegas. One might think that Nevada earned her nickname the “Silver State” because of tourism and the allure of Las Vegas, but Nevada’s mining industry is incredibly rich, and the “Silver State” is the world’s fourth leading producer of gold!
Tourism is still Nevada’s leading industry, and it’s no secret that Las Vegas plays a leading role in attracting travelers from all over. But the area where Las Vegas is wasn’t always in Nevada. Nevada is one of two states whose borders expanded after admission to the Union. Nevada expanded two times, and one of the expansions included taking the area that now includes Las Vegas (and other gold mines) off of Arizona’s hands . . .