Colorado Fun Facts &
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August 1, 1876 -
the Union. After its first bid for statehood was vetoed by President
Andrew Johnson, President Ulysses S. Grant issued a proclamation
declaring Colorado a state
on August 1, 1876, the year the United States celebrated its centennial.
Thus, the 38th state is known as the Centennial State.
Town of Fruita, Colorado, wanted something other than the usual "pioneers" to focus on
Heritage Week, so the city revived the story of Mike the Headless Chicken.
In the 1940's, farmer Lloyd Olsen went to get a chicken for dinner.
Wanting to leave as much of the neck as possible, he lopped off the
chickens head as tightly as he could. However, because of a bad aim with
the ax, the chicken did not die, and continued to "peck" for food as it
walked around the yard. Amazed, Olsen started feeding the chicken with an
eyedropper. The headless bird, dubbed Mike, appeared in Life magazine and
traveled to exhibitions around the country. Mike lived for 18 months after
his head was chopped off. Today, Fruita's Mike the Headless
Chicken Festival is a great success.
Mike, the Headless Chicken
Seventeen flags have fluttered over
In the midst of the most
mountainous state in the nation, a
Tropical Bug Museum can be found southwest of
is the only state ever to turn down the Olympics. In 1972, they
stunned the world when residents said they didn't want the 1976 Winter
Olympics. In a landmark vote on November 7th, 1972, the voters said by
a 62% percent majority that they were unwilling to host the Olympics
because of the cost, pollution and population boom it would have on
the State Of
and the City of Denver.
Guests stayed in Denver hotels at their own risk until the first hotel
with locks on the doors opened in 1872. Reported one newspaper at the
time: "Guests may lie down to peaceful slumbers, undisturbed by
apprehensions of getting their heads blown off."
The Smuggler II Mine near Aspen produced the largest silver nugget in
the world in 1894. It weighed more than a ton.
has one of the only working diamond mines in the United States near
has almost as many dead towns (about 500) as live ones (650). Mining
booms and busts left the mountains littered with more than 300
that fascinate locals and tourists. The eastern plains and western
canyon lands are also haunted by more than 200 ghost towns.
In 1863, one of Nevadaville's mines, the
Pat Casey (later the Ophir), was sold to Wall Street speculators.
Stock shares of Nevadaville's mines were thus the first of any
corporation to be quoted on the Big Board.
Millions of cattle came north along the Goodnight-Loving Trail, a
19th-century route from
The Buckhorn Saloon (est. 1860s) holds Denver Liquor License #1.
The largest building made out
of ice in North America was built in
in 1895. It covered more than 3 acres, with towers as high as 90 feet.
Shaped like a medieval castle, it had two ballrooms and a
16,000-square-foot skating rink.
Ice Palace opened January 1, 1896 but was forced to close two months
later because of unseasonably warm weather. To read all about the Ice
youngest prisoner was 11-year-old Antone Woode, convicted in 1893 for
murdering a neighbor. He served 12 years.
President Theodore Roosevelt signed his name
in hotel registration books all over Colorado.
Among them: Denver's Oxford Hotel and the Brown Palace and the Beaumont
Hotel in Ouray. It was during his stay at the Hotel Colorado in
Glenwood Springs that the Teddy Bear was allegedly invented, when
some hotel maids sewed and stuffed a toy bear for the president to cheer
him up after a fruitless grizzly hunt.
On August 15, 1870,
Pacific construction crews laid 10 miles of rail, the longest segment of
track ever built in one day.
is now a ghost town,
but in 1861, Nevadaville, outside
was larger than Denver.
The ghost of Madge
Reynolds is said to hang around the Reynolds Cottage, 1209 Logan St in
Denver. Years back, Madge and Fred Bonfils, then publisher of the
Denver Post, were quite and item. They went horseback riding one
day, and Bonfils is alleged to have spoken his true feelings for Madge
but she was married. She came home and was so overwhelmed by his
proposal and his pursuit, she collapsed and died. Today, people report
a ghost dressed in white inhabits the north side of the house, where
she was happiest.
When the Littleton Creamery at 1801
Wynkoop St. added space in 1917, it was said to be the largest
cold-storage warehouse in the Rockies, with 1.2 million cubic feet of
storage space. By 1929, it was said to be the third largest in the
nation. It remained a cold-storage business until 1981. Even after two
years without cold-storage activity, it took seven (summer) weeks to
defrost the walls; and ice was still 2 to 3 feet thick on the ceiling.
Nevadaville, 1865, courtesy Denver Public Library
Denver families are the most likely of
families in any city in the U.S. to own three or more cars! Studies
show that 11 out of 50 Denver families have need of three-car garages.
That's slightly ahead of the 1-in-5 rate in Oklahoma
City, Dallas, San Diego and Seattle.
Interstate 70's Eisenhower Tunnel is the world's highest auto tunnel
Before the Army built Fort Garland in Costilla
County, there was a Fort Massachusetts, Its absurd location allowed
Indians to stand on the bluffs and shower the soldier with arrows.
When Coronado sought the Seven Golden
Cities in the
he sent a group of 15 men into southern Colorado.
Upon reaching the area around Trinidad, they died from sheer
exhaustion. A Spanish priest who discovered their remains named the
area "Las Animas," meaning "Souls in Purgatory," because they died
without receiving last rites.
leads all states in silver production.
became the second state to grant women the right to vote. Perhaps one
was the first state to popularly vote and approve women's suffrage was
because of sarcastic remarks made in local newspapers, such as: "Women would be content with smaller bribes than men, saving the
candidates a great deal of expense." and "Men have had a franchise so
long and have made such a mess of it that women ought to be allowed a
Gus's Place in Pueblo was
listed three years running in Ripley's Believe It or Not for serving more
beer per barstool than any tavern in the world.
is nicknamed "the Centennial State" and was the 38th state admitted to the
Union, entering on August 1, 1876.
Katherine Lee Bates was
inspired to write "America the Beautiful" from atop Pikes Peak.
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Legends' General Store
Towns (America's Lost World) 2 Disc DVD
Unearth America's Lost World! This 5-Part series ventures into the roots
of our nations high hopes and hard labors to discover the towns that
boomed fast and went bust even faster. Through original footage,
interviews with experts and archival materials, this fascinating
documentary takes viewers on an amazing journey through our abandoned
history. From the deserts of California and mountains of Colorado to the
forts, trails and battle sites of war, witness the precious remains of the
past that only exist today as shadows of former glories and empty
First time on DVD! Legends of America's own Kathy Weiser-Alexander and
Dave Alexander, along with noted Ghost Town author Philip Varney, authors
Jeff Barnes, Kenneth Jessen and many more, even an appearance from Bob
Boze Bell. Created and Produced by Award-Winning Documentarians, Centre
Communications, exclusively for Mill Creek Entertainment. Total Running
time 5 hours, 34 minutes.