Aug 1, 2022 - Things to Do

How Colorado became a state in 1876

A vintage postcard from the 1950s. Photo: Found Image Holdings/Corbis via Getty Images
A vintage postcard from the 1950s. Photo: Found Image Holdings/Corbis via Getty Images

It's Colorado Day, commemorating President Ulysses S. Grant signing a proclamation on Aug. 1, 1876, that resulted in the creation of our state.

  • Statehood was granted weeks after the 100th Independence Day β€” giving Colorado its official nickname of the Centennial State.
  • Colorado was a territory for 15 years before earning statehood.

Yes, but: It took a while before the date became a celebration.

  • The original commemoration in 1907 was sponsored by a group called the Sons of Colorado. A massive parade, including floats and an ox team, was planned in Denver, according to Denverite.
  • The same year, the state legislature passed a bill officially recognizing the day.

Flashback: President Andrew Johnson, Grant's predecessor, rejected Colorado's statehood bid in 1867, citing its small population.

Of note: To commemorate, all 42 state parks are free to the public today.

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