Colorado Day: A Brief History & Specials

colorado day fort collins

Happy Birthday, Colorado!

Today marks 142 years since President Grant made Colorado the “Centennial State” on August 1, 1876 and was the 38th state to join the union. A state filled with history, we’ve put together a very brief history about the area now known as Colorado.

Colorado was once a region that was home to a number of tribes and explorers including Arapahoe, Cheyenne, Navajo, Spanish explorers, settlers from the south and others. The land was first explored by Europeans in the late 1500s, calling the area “Colorado” due to it’s red color earth. The territory was given up to the United States after the Mexican-American War when the Treaty of Guadalupe in 1848.

The area would start seeing a population boom due to the Pikes Peak gold rush that began in 1858. The area began to grow as many traveled to the west to mine for riches. Communities would began to develop and railroads were built for commerce and trade. According to historians, an estimated 50,000 people had moved to the area between 1858-1859.

Although Colorado became a territory in 1861, it would take another 15 years before it was admitted as the 38th state.

Read more in-depth on Colorado’s history during the 1800s.


Colorado Day Specials

In celebrating Colorado Day, there are fun and adventurous specials to be had whether it be food, hiking or brushing up on Colorado history.

In celebrating Colorado’s 142nd year as a state, the History Colorado Museum in Denver is free all day today. All activities will be going until 5:00pm and includes an ice cream social, a Vaquero performance, Adobe Brick making and more! See the full list of activities for the day.

Other museums will also be free to the public all day.  You can stop in the Molly Brown House, Fort Vasquez Museum, the Byers-Evans House Museum, Trinidad History Museum and El Pueblo History Museum.

Not only are museums free to the public but on Monday, August 6th, all 42 state parks in Colorado will be free to enter in honor of Colorado Day. While admission to the parks is free, permits for fishing and camping are still needed. See some of Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s suggestions as to where you should go.

Going along with the theme of free, you’ll like this next one if you’re a sweet tooth. Next time you’re getting your daily coffee, stop by Dunkin’ Donuts for a cold brew and you’ll have yourself a free Colorado themed donut.

These sound like some pretty sweet deals to us!