The U.S. State of Colorado was admitted as the 38th state of the union on August 1st, 1876. Colorado encompasses most of the southern Rocky Mountains and parts of the Great Plains. The territory was home to mostly indigenous tribes of Native Americans for nearly 13,000 years. After a number of territorial disagreements between Spain and the United States, the area of Colorado remained mostly an unorganized territory until 1861 when President Buchanan signed an Act of Congress that established Colorado as a formal territory. With it’s boundaries remaining virtually unaltered, it was formally admitted to the union as the State of Colorado 15 years later on the 100-year centennial of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. From thereon out, Colorado gained its nickname, “The Centennial State.”
Currently, the state of Colorado is the 8th geographically largest state making up the 48 contiguous United States. It ranks as the 21st most populated state with its most recent estimation by the United States Census bureau set at 5,540,545. Colorado is notorious for its diverse and vivid landscape. While it encompasses most of the southern Rocky Mountains, the landscape offers stunning plateaus, mesas and canyons, along with dense forests and wide-open plains.
Denver, Colorado stands as the capital and most populated city of Colorado. Denver is home to four major league sports franchises, the Denver Broncos, the Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Avalanche, and the Colorado Rockies.
In 2010, CBNC recognized Colorado as the third-best state in the nation for business. The federal government also maintains a presence in Colorado’s economics with the establishment of NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command), the United States Air Force Academy, Schriever Air Force Base, Peterson Air Force Base, the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), the NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
In recent years, Colorado became a strong proponent of recreational marijuana legalization. In 2012, Colorado became the first state to vote for the legalization of recreational marijuana and in the subsequent years, establish regulations and a production industry throughout the state. The first recreational marijuana dispensaries in the United States opened in 2014 in Colorado. This new industry has contributed greatly to Colorado’s economy in addition to its strong technology and science industry. Most recently, Colorado rose to the top of the list in domestic beer production.
The state of Colorado features a large number of universities and higher education institutions as well as a large number of military bases and installations all contributing to the employment of Colorado citizens. Also contributing are Colorado’s 4 national parks, 8 national monuments, 11 national forests and various national historic sites, trails, recreation and conservation areas, and state parks.
Colorado’s current Democratic Governor, John Hickenlooper, has been in office since 2011. Colorado’s two state Senators come from both the Republican and Democratic parties. The seven representatives currently sitting in the United States House of Representatives also come from both political parties; four of them Republicans and three of them Democrats. Colorado has often been considered a “swing state” in federal elections due to its highly diverse population and constituency.