“Snow-covered” Nevada

The state of Nevada was admitted to the Union on October 31, 1864.  The state was named for the Sierra Nevada mountain range; nevada means “snow-covered” in Spanish.  The native nations initially inhabited the area.  Francisco Garces, a Spanish missionary who had been part of the Juan Bautista de Anza expedition, traveled there in 1776; he was the first European explorer in the region. (Please see October 23, 1775 for more on the Anza Expedition.)  The state hosts many localities with Spanish names, including Las Vegas — which was named by New Mexican businessman Antonio Armijo — Reno, Mina Caliente, Potosi Mountain, Aurora, Candeleria, Aurora, El Dorado, and La Madre Mountains.  The famous Nevada wild mustangs are also Latinos, descended from the horses brought by the Spanish conquistadores to America in the 16th century.