Florida Guide > Florida History
The State Nicknames- Part 12
Each of the states of America has a nickname which reflects its history, geography, industries and people. These nicknames can be found on car license plates, and we have found it fascinating to look out for these as we drive round the Orlando area.
Named after the mountain range to the west of this state, it is said that Spanish sailors gazed out from their ships and saw the beautiful mountain ranges of California. They named this mountain range, Sierra Nevada, or snowy range, so it seemed an apt name for this new territory which was once part of Utah. However, in 1859 its name was shortened to just ‘Nevada. ’ Nevada became a state in 1864, and is home to more than 50% of the USA’s wild horses.
Like Nebraska, Nevada is also a land of spectacular deserts, splendid mountains and vast open plains which support both sheep and cattle. But it was the discovery, in 1859, or one of the largest silver lodes in the world that made it famous, and together with gold, this led to the rush to mine silver, gold and copper, together with other minerals and gems. This mining continues to this day, but now Nevada is booming because of tourism, gambling, construction and finance. With that most famous of gambling centers, Las Vegas, in its midst, Nevada attracts families and gamblers from all over the USA and the world to come and experience the excitement of gambling, but also the magnificent scenery of the surrounding countryside. Hotels, huge resorts and vast gambling halls continue to be built and the area continues to expand.
Nevada’s official state slogan is ‘The Battle Born State’ and this refers to the fact that Nevada was admitted to the union during the Civil War, in 1864. This motto is also to be found on the state flag of Nevada.
The nickname, ‘The Silver State, ’ is easy to understand because Nevada has rich silver resources, and it was carried on license plates in the early 1980’s. When Nevada was admitted to the union in 1864, silver was the principal mineral mined, and in 1999 it produced around 30% of all the silver which was mined in the USA. Along with ‘The Silver State, ’ Nevada is also known as ‘The Mining State, ’ and of course, this reflects the importance of mining as an industry.
A rather charming nickname refers to the sage hen, which is a native of the west. The sage hen or sage grouse was once very plentiful in Nevada, so it is no surprise that it led to it being known as the ‘Sage-hen State. ’ Nevada is also known as the ‘Sagebrush State, ’ as the wild sagebrush flourishes here. The Sagebrush is the state flower, and it can be found on Nevada’s state flag.
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