Nevada Timeline

1200s - 1700s
  • (1200's) Mojave Indians inhabited the land, planted crops along river banks
  • (1519) Area claimed by Spain
  • (1609) Town of Santa Fe established as Spanish-Indian trade center
  • (1776) Spanish missionaries arrived in southern Nevada
  • (1821) Mexico took control of the Nevada area
  • (1826) Peter Skene Ogden explored the Snake River; Jedediah Smith led expedition to Muddy River
  • (1828) Ogden discovered Humboldt River
  • (1830) Santa Fe merchant, Antonio Armijo, led first pack train from Santa Fe to Los Angeles
  • (1833) Joseph Walker led expedition along Humboldt River
  • (1841) Earliest immigrants, the Bartleson-Bidwell party, passed through Nevada
  • (1842) Capt. John Fremont and party were first white men to view Lake Tahoe
  • (1843) Joseph Walker led first group of wagons across the Sierra
  • (1846) Donner party became trapped in the Sierras. 47 out of 87 perished.
  • (1848) The United States gained control of Nevada after the Mexican-American War ended
  • (1849) Over 60,000 settlers in covered wagons (49ers) passed through Nevada on their way west
  • (1851) Gold was discovered near Dalton
  • (1859) Silver discovery brought thousands into the state; Virginia City developed almost overnight
  • (1860) The Nevada Territory was created
  • (1864) Nevada became 36th state
  • (1869) Gambling was legalized; an earthquake shook Reno; transcontinental railroad crossed Nevada for the first time
  • (1870) U S Mint established in Carson City; first train robbery in the Western U S occurred
  • (1875) Virginia City was consumed by the great fire
  • (1888-90) Nearly 100 inches of snow fell in northern Nevada - the "White Winter"
  • (1890) Elizabeth Potts first woman to be executed in Nevada
  • (1894) The Great Meteor fell
  • (1902) Wyatt Earp arrived in Tonopah
  • (1910) Gambling was abolished
  • (1912) The last Indian uprising occurred; Shoshone Mike and family members were killed
  • (1914) Women won right to vote
  • (1916) Last stage robbery in the country took place at Jarbidge Canyon
  • (1918) State prohibition law went into effect
  • (1931) State legalized six-week divorce law and gambling
  • (1935) Hoover Dam completed; dedicated by President Franklin Roosevelt
  • (1941) Las Vegas strip was estabished
  • (1946) Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel opened the Flamingo Hotel
  • (1951) The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission began testing in newly established Nevada Proving Grounds
  • (1954) Ronald Reagan performed at the Last Frontier
  • (1955) Riviera Hotel became first high-rise
  • (1956) Nellis Air Force Base became home of Thunderbirds - Air Force aerobatic team
  • (1959) Wayne Newton opened at the Fremont Hotel in Las Vegas
  • (1966) Howard Hughes moved to Las Vegas; Circus Circus Casino opened
  • (1969) MGM Grand opened
  • (1986) Great Basin National Park became the first national park in Nevada
  • (1990) U.S. census population figures showed Nevada was fastest growing state
  • (1997) First supersonic land speed record set in Black Rock Desert; Mandalay Bay and Venetian opened in Las Vegas
  • (1998) The Bellagio opened
  • (2002) Fight between Hell's Angels and Mongols in Laughlin Casino resulted in three dead and 13 wounded; B-29 Superfortress bomber discovered in Lake Mead
  • (2003) Flooding in Las Vegas Valley caused millions of dollars in damages; Roy Horn of Siegfried & Roy mauled onstage by tiger during show
  • (2006) US polygamist sect leader on FBI's Ten Most Wanted List arrested in Las Vegas
  • (2007) Grand Canyon Skywalk Bridge opened; aviation adventurer, Steve Fossett, reported missing
  • (2008) Steve Fossett declared dead after missing five months
  • (2009) OJ Simpson found guilty of kidnapping, armed robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers in Las Vegas, sentenced to 33 years in prison
  • (2010) Nevada had highest population of illegal immigrants in US; both houses of Nevada Legislature impacted by 12-years term limits; Tea Party targeted Harry Reid
  • (2011) Crash at Reno air race killed three, over 50 injured, some critically
  • (2011) Dan Wheldon, Indianapolis 500 winner, killed in accident at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
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Nevada Photographs

donner partyShoshoni indianshumboldt riversilver mineb29 flying fortresscarson city mintnuclear testhoover damgreat basinlake tahoefrontier hotelnellis air force basesteve fossettthunderbirds