Encyclopedia Article


The 36th state to join the union, Nevada sent their entire constitution to the U.S. capitol via telegram to speed up the admission process. The state is the seventh largest in the U.S. and one of the least populated. Although most of the state is desert, Nevada sits between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevadas, and is home to the largest number of mountain ranges in any state. Because of the difficult terrain, the area was one of the last in the western part of the U.S. to be explored. A gold rush in the mid-nineteenth century, however, brought many new explorers to the area.

The capital, Carson City, is smaller and less famous than Las Vegas, which is a popular tourist destination known for its casinos and entertainment venues. Gambling and prostitution are both legal in Nevada, and the state hosts the annual Burning Man event. The state is home to Hoover Dam, the largest public works project in U.S. history; Lake Mead, the resulting reservoir that is also the nation's largest; as well as Area 51, the CIA's secret development and military testing headquarters.

Photo Credit: 

"The stark beauty of the Nevada desert, March 4, 2013" by O Pallson is licensed under CC BY.