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Nevada, US (Population: 2,495,529)

State Capitol: Carson City

Major Cities: Las Vegas, Reno, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Sparks, Elko, Boulder City, Mesquite, Fallon

State Nickname/Motto: The Silver State – All For Our Country

Statehood Granted: October 31, 1864

History: Nevada’s Pyramid Lake was first called Coo-yu-ee Pah by the Northern Paiute Indians. However, according to an old Paiute legend, the lake was also called "Wano," meaning a conical basket turned upside down. According to this legend, a woman who had been killed then resurrected came to the area and married a Paiute man. Their four sons, Shoshoni, Pit River, Washoe and Pah-Ute, fought all the time and were forced to leave. The old woman was so sad her tears filled the basket on her lap and the entire lake. A stone formation located at the lake is now known as the Stone Mother.

Geography: Highest point: Boundary Peak 13,143 feet. Much of the northern part of the state is within the Great Basin Desert, which is a mild desert that experiences hot temperatures in the summer and sub-freezing temperatures in the winter. The mountain ranges, some of which have peaks above 13,000 feet (4,000 m), harbor lush forests high above desert plains, creating sky islands for endemic species. The valleys are often no lower in elevation than 3,000 feet (900 m). The eastern parts of the state receive more summer moisture and have a slightly more verdant terrain. Sagebrush grows everywhere and some rivers and streams break the desert terrain. The southern third of the state, including the Las Vegas area, is within the Mojave Desert. The terrain is also lower, mostly below 4,000 feet (1,200 m), creating conditions for hotter summer days and colder winters.

Ethnic Diversity: One Race (96.9%), White (76.1%), Black or African American (7.2%), American Indian and Alaska Native (1.2%), Asian (5.8%), Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (0.5%), Some other race (6.2%), Two or more races (3.1%), Hispanic or Latino (23.7%)*

Famous State People:

  • Andre Agassi (1970 - ) Champion tennis player; born in Las Vegas.
  • James E. Casey (1888 - 1983) Founder of United Parcel Service (UPS); born in Candelaria.
  • Patricia Ryan Nixon (1912 - 1993) Wife of former President Richard Nixon, born in Ely.
  • Jack Wilson (1856 - 1932) Paiute Indian prophet; born in Esmeralda County.
  • Ben Alexander (1911 - 1969) Actor who played Officer Frank Smith in the television series Dragnet; born in Goldfield.
  • Greg LeMond (1961 - ) World Champion bicyclist that also won the Tour de France; raised in Washoe Valley.
  • Edna Purviance (1895 - 1958) Actress made famous in silent movies with Charlie Chaplin such as The Kid; born in Paradise Valley.
  • Sarah Hopkins Winnemucca (1844 - 1891) Author, Paiute interpreter and peacemaker.
  • Walter Van Tilburg Clark (1909-1971) Author; grew up in Reno.
  • Jack Kramer (1921 - )Tennis player; born in Las Vegas.

  • Major Colleges/Universities: Sierra Nevada College, Morrison University, University of Nevada System, Nevada State college at Henderson, Truckee Meadows Community College, Great Basin College, Community College of Southern Nevada, Western Nevada Community College, Touro University Nevada, University of Southern Nevada

    National Parks: California National Historic Trail, Death Valley National Park, Great Basin National Park, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Old Spanish National Historic Trail, Pony Express National Historic Trail, Mount Charleston Wilderness Area, Spring Mountain National Recreation Area, Bootleg Canyon, Ash Meadows National Wildlife Preserve

    Misc: Nevada's total state product in 2003 was $88 billion. Per capita personal income in 2003 was $31,910, which made it 19th in the nation. Agriculture operations including cattle, hay, alfalfa, dairy products, onions and potatoes make up about one-third of the yearly income of the state. Its industrial outputs are tourism, mining, machinery, printing and publishing, food processing, and electric equipment. It is well-known for gambling and prostitution (though the latter is illegal in Clark County). Large, luxurious casinos in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe and Reno attract visitors from around the world. In portions of the state outside of the Las Vegas and Reno metropolitan areas, mining and cattle ranching are the major economic activities. By value, gold is by far the most important mineral mined. In 2004, 6.8 million ounces of gold worth $2.84 billion were mined in Nevada, and the state accounted for 8.7% of world gold production. Silver is a distant second, with 10.3 million ounces worth $69 million mined in 2004. Other minerals mined in Nevada include construction aggregates, copper, gypsum, diotomite and lithium. Despite its rich deposits, the cost of mining in Nevada is generally high, and output is very sensitive to world commodity prices.

    *U.S. Census - 2005