The History of Nevada Day
The Pioneer society held a sumptuous banquet on October 31, 1889, in honor of Nevada’s 25th anniversary as the 36th state.
The first observance of Nevada’s admission to the Union was initiated on the Comstock by the Pacific Coast Pioneer society in the 1870s. Journalist Alfred Doten of the Gold Hill News mentions a “grand celebration” in 1873 in his diaries.
In 1891, Governor Roswell Colcord signed a bill introduced by Senator Edward D. Boyle of Virginia City making October 31 a Governor Roswell Colcord judicial holiday. No court business was to be transacted on “Admission Day.” Both Virginia City and Reno held parades and other festivities.
In October 1908, the recently organized State Federation
of Women’s Clubs in Reno passed a resolution calling for a legislative bill to make Admission Day a legal holiday. Sadly, nothing resulted from the initiative. If would take the state another 31 years to
recognize Nevada’s birthday as an official state holiday.
In the meantime, the 50th anniversary of the state in 1914 was officially observed. Governor Tasker Oddie issued a proclamation declaring Saturday, October 31, “the semi-centennial Governor Tasker L. Oddie anniversary of the admission of its Nevada into the Union,” and a public holiday
The State Legislature passed a bill in 1933, which designated October 31 as “Nevada Day” and a discretionary state holiday.
The new law “authorized and
requested” the governor to annually issue a proclamation for state citizens to display the United States flag and conduct “suitable exercises of a public nature” in observance of Nevada’s admission into the Union.
Nevadans celebrate Nevada Day in many ways, but it’s regarded as a relaxed day best enjoyed with family and friends. Activities include organizing a picnic or barbecue, an outing to the nearest park, or attending an official Nevada Day event, like the annual Nevada Day parade in Carson City.