From geologic time to the present, a list of events that occurred in the area that is now the State of Colorado.
When did it happen? Colorado firsts? Check the list for events from the serious to the trivial.
The date appears in the center of the list of events for the year.
600 –300 million years ago
Seas cover much of what is now Colorado.
c. 300 million years ago
The original Rocky Mountains form by a process called the Colorado Orogeny, in which the earth’s crust breaks in a north-south direction as the North American Plate shifts upward over the Pacific Plate. The ancient Rockies erode over the next 200 million years.
The Fountain Formation of coarse red sandstone is deposited.
280 million years ago
Lyons Sandstone formation is laid down.
250 million years ago
The Lykins formation, cream colored limestone layers, is deposited between red mudstone.
251 million years ago
The Permian –Triassic extinction of over 90% of all marine and many land species.
c. 200 – 140 million years ago
A moist lowland climate supports lush plant life, dinosaurs, and other animals. Colorado is sometimes covered with volcanic ash from western volcanoes.
c. 150 million years ago
The 400 foot deep Morrison Formation is deposited.
c. 100 million years ago
Inland seas cover the area of present Colorado, depositing layers of shale rich in marine fossils. Dakota Sandstone is laid down across the area that is now Colorado.
70 million years ago
Pierre Shale remains once inland seas retreat.
65 million years ago
Asteroid strikes earth near Yucatan Peninsula cause large scale extinctions.
The Denver Formation is laid down. The area of Colorado has much volcanic activity. The Colorado Mineral Belt is formed.
64 million years ago
The Rocky Mountain slopes are covered with dense rainforest.
c. 60 million years ago
A second major uplift, the Laramide Orogeny begins to form the second Rocky Mountains.
c. 55 million years ago
Paleosol Dawson Arkose layers form around the Denver Basin. These layers of colored clays settle above a fossil layer.
c. 35 million years ago
Shale and oil shale deposits are formed on the Western Slope.
c. 30 million years ago
Volcanic activity forms the San Juan Mountains.
5 million years ago
The Colorado Plateau forms during the Miocene-Pliocene Uplift which raised the area to 5000 feet.
1.2 million years ago- 10,000 B.C.
Glaciers envelop Colorado during the Pleistocene period.
Clovis people hunt mammoths at the Dent site.
Paleoindians, small groups of nomads who hunted mammoth and bison, live in Colorado. Many Paleoindian sites have been found in what are now Alamosa and Saguache Counties, as well as, Montezuma, Grand, and Gunnison Counties.
c.8000 B. C.
Folsom people hunt bison in the San Luis Valley area.
7000 B.C. – 500 A.D.
Archaic period. Wild plant gathering supplements hunting, and people begin to settle and store food with their habitations. Many Archaic sites are in central and southwestern Colorado.
Early Archaic people occupy the Colorado River Valley Yarmony site in winter pit houses.
1500 – 1000 B.C
Hunter-gatherer Basket Maker groups begin to cultivate corn in southwest Colorado.
Late Archaic people use bow and arrow, a first in Colorado, at the Kewclaw site.
320 B.C – A.D. 1290
The Ancestral Puebloan culture thrives in southwest Colorado. Colorado’s first reservoir, Mummy Lake, is constructed. The lake drains into Far View Ditch.
A.D. 150 - 1600
The Formative/Late Prehistoric period is characterized by pottery production and bow-and-arrow technology. In some parts of Colorado this period is noted for the major shift to sedentary village life based on agriculture. Many sites are located in western Colorado.
Apishipa Culture sites are located in eastern Colorado in present-day Las Animas and Pueblo Counties.
c. A.D. 1100
Utes seeking better habitat leave the Utah Great Basin area to enter western Colorado.
1200 – 1400
Apache groups migrate to the Southwest.
1276 – 1299
Ancestral Puebloans abandon settlements due to prolonged drought and, perhaps, pressure from nomadic tribes.
Ute Indians inhabit mountain areas of the southern Rocky Mountains, making these Native Americans the oldest continuous residents of Colorado.
1540 - 1800
The Protohistoric Period is characterized by the beginning of historic records referring to native peoples. In Colorado, first contacts are made between Native Americans, Utes and Apache, and the Spanish.
Spanish explorer Coronado may have crossed into the southeast corner of Colorado after he fails to locate the mythical Seven Cities of Cibola.
April 30th, Juan de Onate claims all territory drained by the Rio del Norte, which includes New Mexico and the San Luis Valley, for Spain.
Apache groups in southern Colorado use hide-covered tepees.
Utes become familiar with horses through contact with the Spaniards.
Pueblo Indians revolt against the Spanish, killing 400 and sending the survivors south as far as El Paso and Mexico.
Ute slaves are freed from the Spanish and take herds of horses.
Utes become a powerful group as they use horses for hunting bison and in trade with Shoshones and Comanches.
Utes raid Spanish and Pueblo villages for horses and food.
Apaches inhabit eastern Colorado plains.
As other tribes acquire horses, they leave settled homelands and become mobile hunters, able to exploit bison herds on the plains.
Explorer La Salle claims for France all of the area now called Colorado east of the Rocky Mountains.
Diego de Vargas, Governor of New Mexico, leads small expedition into southern Colorado to strengthen claims of the area against the French and to keep Indians in check.
Spanish reconquer New Mexico.
Migrating south from Wyoming, Comanches are noted by Spanish north of the Arkansas River. As they move into Colorado, they put pressure on the Apaches to move south of the Arkansas River. Comanches raid New Mexico farming communities.
Attempting to recapture fleeing Pueblo Indians, Juan de Ulibarri leads expedition from Taos as far north as present day Pueblo before turning east to Quartelejo. He formally claims this area for the Spanish king, Philip V.
Ulibarri reports to Santa Fe officials the presence of French traders on the plains.
The Spanish send an expedition to Colorado mountains to find Ute raiding parties.
Pedro Villasur leads expedition north from New Mexico to find French traders. Most of the party are killed by Pawnees near the forks of the Platte River.
Spanish governor Antonio Valverde Cosio leads large expedition of Spaniards and Indian allies into Colorado mountains against the Comanches and Utes, but fails to locate the raiders.
Most Apaches are pushed out of Colorado by southward moving Comanches.
Pierre and Paul Mallet, French traders, open a trade route from Illinois to Santa Fe, via the Missouri, Platte and Arkansas Rivers, and south into New Mexico.
France cedes to Spain all of Louisiana west of the Mississippi River.
Juan Maria Rivera leads a Spanish expedition into San Juan and Sangre Cristo Mountains in search of gold and silver.
Use of the horse is common among all Plains tribes.
Friars Escalante and Dominguez, seeking a route from Santa Fe to California missions, cross what is now western Colorado as far north as the White River in Rio Blanco County.
Juan Bautista de Anza leads over 500 men from Santa Fe into the San Luis Valley to fight the Comanches. Joined by Apache and Ute allies, de Anza travels through South Park and over the Front Range before he defeats Cuerno Verde and his Comanche warriors on Greenhorn Creek at Green Horn Mountain.
A rectangular grid pattern is set by the U.S. Congress to survey western lands.
New Mexico Governor de Anza brokers a peace treaty between Utes and Comanches.
Governor de Anza establishes San Carlo, near present day Pueblo, where Comanches agree to settle in villages and give up nomadic life. The experiment fails and Comanches return to former lifeways. The Spanish establish a short-lived irrigation project; the ditch was soon abandoned.
Spain cedes present eastern Colorado to France, but retains western portion by Treaty of San Ildefonso.
Spanish persuade Utes to spy on Plains Native American tribes.
Spain returns Louisiana to France.
United States under President Thomas Jefferson acquires eastern Colorado through Louisiana Purchase. While the United States lays claim to this vast territory, Native Americans have lived here for hundreds of years.
Utes and Apaches join Spanish in war on Navajos.
James Purcell finds gold in South Park.
Lieutenant Zebulon M. Pike leads a military expedition into present day Colorado to explore the southwestern boundary of the Louisiana Purchase. He reaches headwaters of the Arkansas River near Leadville.
Pike expedition crosses Sangre de Cristo Mountains to Conejos River in San Luis Valley where he builds Pike’s Stockade. The party is arrested and taken to Santa Fe by Spanish authorities.
James Purcell trades with Indians in South Park and on South Platte River
John Jacob Astor founds the American Fur Company.
Manuel Lisa and others found Missouri Fur Company.
Comanches and Kiowas attack 600 Utes on Arkansas River.
Zebulon Pike’s report on his expedition is the first English description of Pikes Peak and other Colorado landmarks.
Missouri Fur Company sends trappers to upper Arkansas River Valley.
Spanish imprison three Americans for attempting to open the Santa Fe Trail to Americans.
Maurio Arze and Lagos Garcia travel through present western Colorado.
Auguste Chouteau and Julius de Munn trap with forty-five men in central Rocky Mountains.
Mountain men trade with Native Americans near the junction of Bear Creek with the South Platte River, near present-day Englewood.
The Adams-Onis Treaty sets the Spanish-American boundary along the upper Arkansas River.
The Mouache, Weeminuche, and Capote bands, or Southern Utes, live in southwest Colorado. The Uncompahgre or Tabeguache band occupies the central Western Slope of Colorado. The Northern Utes include the Grand River, Uintah and Yampa bands.
Kiowas move southward onto Colorado plains between South Platte and Arkansas Rivers and are eventually pushed south of the Arkansas River.
Major Stephen H. Long expedition explores the “Great American Desert” and Front Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The party came up the South Platte River. Dr. Edwin James, historian of the expedition, leads the first recorded ascent of Pikes Peak.
Samuel Seymour, a member of the Long expedition, is the first non-native artist to visit Colorado.
Numerous Native American tribes live in the Colorado area: Ute bands in the mountains, Cheyennes & Arapahos from the Arkansas to the Platte River, Kiowas and Comanches south of the Arkansas River. Pawnees hunt along the Republican River, while the Sioux hunt near the borders of Cheyenne & Arapaho lands.
Part of present southern Colorado becomes Mexican domain due to Mexican independence from Spain.
Hugh Glenn, Jacob Fowler, and eighteen men trap in south-central Rockies, and build log house at present Pueblo.
William Bucknell travels from Missouri over Raton Pass to open the Santa Fe Trail to Americans.
Mexico forbids beaver trapping in northern provinces.
Albert Gallatin, grandson of Daniel Boone, hunts in Middle Park.
James Pattie explores Colorado Rocky Mountains.
Eight of Antoine Robidoux’s trappers kill Shoshones on Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains.
Ignoring Mexican orders, Americans trap through San Luis Valley and on the Uncompahgre, Gunnison, and Green Rivers.
Ashley sells fur trading company to Jedediah Smith, David Jackson, and William Sublette.
Antoine Robidoux builds Fort Uncompahgre on Gunnison River.
Three hundred Cheyennes, Arapahos, and Kiowas attack United States troops north of the Arkansas River.
Charles Bent and Ceran St. Vrain form partnership.
Pawnee theft of Cheyenne sacred arrows causes full-scale war.
Thomas Fitzpatrick, James Bridger, Milton Sublette, Henry Fraeb, and Baptiste Gervais form the Rocky Mountain Fur Company when they buy the trade from Smith, Jackson, and William Sublette.
Cheyennes and Arapahos attack caravan on Santa Fe Trail.
Gantts Fort on Fountain Creek opens whiskey and buffalo robe trade with Cheyenne and Arapaho bands.
Bent, St. Vrain & Company enters Indian trade on upper Arkansas River.
Conejos Mexican Land Grant, 2,500, 000 acres, is established.
Tierra Amarilla Mexican Land Grant of 594,515 acres is made in San Luis Valley.
Cheyennes defeat Kiowas near present Denver.
Great meteorite showers panic Plains Native Americans.
Mexican families fail to settle on Conejos Land Grant in San Luis Valley.
William Bent leads successful attack on rival Gantts Fort.
Bents Fort completed. Forty acres near the fort were irrigated with water from the Arkansas River.
Rocky Mountain Fur Company sells its fur trade enterprise to the American Fur Company.
U.S. Trade and Intercourse Act forbids liquor trade with Native Americans.
Louis Vasquez and Andrew Sublette build Fort Vasquez.
Colonel Henry Dodge holds council with Plains Native Americans at Bents Fort.
Fort Lupton built by Lancaster Lupton as trading post.
Texas becomes an independent republic and claims a narrow strip of mountain territory extending northward through Colorado to the 42nd parallel.
Bent, St. Vrain & Company builds Fort St. Vrain.
Fort Jackson is built by mountain men Henry Fraeb and Peter Sarpy.
The Cheyennes split into two groups, the Southern Cheyennes joining the Arapahos near the Arkansas River, and the Northern Cheyennes, who paired with Arapahos of Wyoming and Nebraska.
Epidemics of cholera and small pox decimate Native American tribes across the West.
Arapahos and Cheyennes make last major attack on Kiowas and Comanches.
Kit Carson winters at Fort Davy Crockett.
Smallpox epidemic rages among Kiowas and Comanches.
Peace concluded at Bents Fort between Arapahos, Cheyennes and Kiowa-Comanche tribes.
Baubien and Mirander (Maxwell) Mexican Land Grant of 265,000 acres is made in present day Colorado. Mexico granted lands to secure lands against Texas and United States claims.
Lieutenant John C. Fremont leads the first of five survey and mapping expeditions, reaching South Pass.
Fort Pueblo settlement founded by trappers near the confluence of Fountain Creek and the Arkansas River.
James Beckwourth trades 100 gallons of whiskey for 400 Cheyenne buffalo robes and 38 horses.
John Hawkins and Dick Wooton bring beaver pelts and silver across the Sangre de Cristo Pass to Bents Fort on the Arkansas River.
Cornelio Vigil and Ceran St.Vrain receive (Las Animas) Mexican Land Grant, 4,096,000 acres.
Fremont leads expedition to Colorado.
Gervacio Nolan Mexican Land Grant 300,000 acres is made.
Sangre de Cristo Mexican Land Grant of 1,038,195 acres are given to Luis Lee and Narciso Baubien.
Fort Uncompahgre on Gunnison River is destroyed by Utes.
Hardscrabble is founded at present Canon City.
Greenhorn is founded south of present Pueblo.
Fremont’s third expedition passes through Rockies.
In March the United States annexes the Texas Republic and claims Rio Grande as United States boundary.
Colonel Stephen Kearny’s Army of the West enters Santa Fe via Bents Fort during the Mexican War.
Forty-three Mormons winter at Fort Pueblo.
Alexander Barclay came from the trading post on Hardscrabble Creek to the San Luis Valley to trade with Utes for hides.
Upper Platte and Arkansas Indian Agency created with Thomas “Broken Hand” Fitzpatrick as agent.
Hatcher Ditch, oldest ditch still in use in Colorado, was built by John Hatcher, who was hired by William Bent. Indian raids kept the ditch from use for a time, but was again in operation by 1865.
Charles Bent is killed in Taos uprising.
Thomas Fitzpatrick, Indian agent, holds a council at Bents Fort with Cheyennes and Arapahoes.
Fremont’s expedition spends a disastrous winter in San Juan Mountains.
By the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexico cedes to the United States most of that part of Colorado not acquired by the Louisiana Purchase.
Bents Fort burns.
Cholera epidemic is rampant among theComanche and Cheyenne.
The Calhoun Treaty or the Treaty of Abiquiu is the first United States treaty with Utes. The treaty recognizes U.S. jurisdiction over the Ute territory and permits the United States to establish Indian agencies and military posts on Ute lands.
U.S. government purchases Texas’ claims to Colorado and present Colorado boundaries are established.
On June 22nd Lewis Ralston and other California gold seekers find small amounts of gold in Ralston Creek in present day Arvada.
First permanent, non-native settlement established at San Luis.
The Treaty of Fort Laramie establishes Cheyenne and Arapaho Reservation.
Fort Massachusetts is established in San Luis Valley on Ute Creek to protect settlers from attacks by Native Americans protecting their traditional lands.
San Luis People’s Ditch, the oldest ditch in continuous use in Colorado, is constructed in San Luis Valley.
William Bent builds new a fort on Arkansas River.
Captain John W. Gunnison leads exploring party across southern and western Colorado in search of a possible railroad route through Colorado.
E.F. Beale and G.H. Heap lead a railroad survey through San Luis Valley.
Treaties with Native Americans prove unsatisfactory, leading to conflicts and the killing of fifteen settlers at Fort Pueblo on Christmas Day.
Area of future Colorado is divided between four territories: Utah, New Mexico, Kansas, and Nebraska.
Fremont leads second expedition through Rockies to test railroad route.
Colonel Thomas Fauntleroy and United States troops defeat Utes at Poncha Pass.
Kansas Territory establishes Arapahoe County.
First Catholic Mass celebrated in San Luis Valley by Rev. Gabriel Ussel.
Our Lady of Guadeloupe, in Conejos, is the first church built in Colorado.
On May 5th George Simpson, teamster with the March Expedition from Fort Union to Fort Bridger, finds gold in the confluence of Cherry Creek and the South Platte River.
Placer Camp is settled in present Littleton on Little Dry Creek, where the William Green Russell party found gold.
Montana City, the first organized and platted settlement in the Denver area, is founded near Placer Camp by the Lawrence Party.
Auraria is laid out August 30th on the west bank of Cherry Creek by members of the Russell party.
September 24th, the Saint Charles Town Company is established on the east bank of Cherry Creek at the confluence with the Platte River.
General William Larimer and the Leavenworth party arrive with commissions as officers of Arapahoe County, Kansas Territory.
After a brief visit to Cherry Creek in October, D.C. Oakes returns to the States where he publishes a best selling guide book to the Colorado gold diggings.
On November 6th pioneers elect representatives Hiram J. Graham to go to Washington, D.C, and A.J. Smith to go to Kansas Territorial capitol.
On November 16th Kansas Territory sends Arapahoe County officials to Cherry Creek. Word of November 6th election does not arrive prior to Kansas action.
Larimer and others organize the Denver City Company November 22nd, taking over the claims of the St. Charles Company men who had gone to Kansas to file their claims.
Fort Garland replaces Fort Massachusetts as the military post in San Luis Valley.
Arapahoe City and Golden Gate are platted in the Clear Creek Valley at the end of the year.
Fountain City is laid out at the mouth of Fountain Creek by gold hunters.
January 27th U.S. Senator James Green of Missouri introduces a bill to create a territory from parts of Kansas, Utah and Nebraska. The bill fails.
February 16th U.S. Senator Alexander Stephens introduces a bill to create Osage, then Jefferson Territory. The measure is tabled.
Kansas Territory creates five more counties: Fremont, El Paso, Oro, Montana, and Broderick.
First stagecoach with mail for Cherry Creek settlements leaves Leavenworth, Kansas on March 9 th.
The first election for county offices for Arapahoe County, Territory of Kansas is held March 28th.
About 100,000 people rush to the gold fields from the east in the spring of 1859.
Only about half reach the diggings; many turn back, a few die along the way. Around half of these who arrive, turn back after a short, fruitless stay in the Cherry Creek area.
1000 people are living at Auraria and Denver in the spring.
April 7th Fountain City, later Pueblo, votes to form a new state.
April 11th Auraria and Denver vote to consider creation of territory or state.
April 15th, at Dick Wooton’s place, pioneers vote to create State of Jefferson.
First newspaper in the region, Rocky Mountain News, is published April 23rd by William N. Byers, beating out the Cherry Creek Pioneer by a half hour.
John Gregory finds gold lode at Gregory Gulch May 6th on North Clear Creek.
On May 7th the first overland stage and express line, Leavenworth and Pikes Peak Company, arrives in Denver.
In May Arapaho Chief Little Raven meets with Denver and Auraria settlers at the Blake and Williams Hotel in Denver.
George Jackson finds gold along Chicago Creek at present day Idaho Springs.
Gold is discovered at Gold Hill.
Gold camps established at Black Hawk, Central City, Nevadaville, Boulder, Colorado City, Gold Hill, Hamilton, Tarryall, Fairplay, Buckskin Joe, and Pueblo.
In June W.A. H. Loveland settles Golden City.
Colorado City is established.
The El Paso Claim Club is established to document land claims until the land was legally taken from Native Americans.
Painter John Howland settles in Colorado.
Horace Greeley arrives in Colorado June 6th by stagecoach to investigate and report on conditions of the mines and agriculture of the area.
Horace Greeley’s “Extra” stems tide of “gobackers.”
Friendly groups of Cheyenne, Arapahos, Utes, Sioux, Kiowas, Comanches, and Apaches visit and camp at the new settlements on Cherry Creek.
September 7th voters reject statehood proposal.
September 24th Cherry Creek settlements hold a meeting to form a provisional territorial government.
First school established October 3rd at Auraria by O.J. Goldrick.
October 3rd election selects territorial delegates to Washington, D.C. to seek territorial status. Delegates are elected to form a provisional government. New officers are elected for Arapahoe County.
October 24th Voters approve constitution for a provisional government, the Territory of Jefferson.
The first legislature for the proposed Jefferson Territory assembles in Denver on Nov. 7th, where R.W. Steele is elected governor of extralegal Jefferson Territory.
First Texas cattle are driven to Colorado.
Mountain City citizens protest provisional government.
The area that is now Colorado is part of four territories: Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico, and Utah.
Attempt to establish Jefferson Territory, population 25,371.
U.S. Congress ignores a memorial asking it to create a new territory.
U.S. President James Buchanan supports organization of Jefferson Territory, but Congress fails to take action.
Region administered variously by Jefferson Territory officials, miners’ and peoples’ courts.
U.S. Army takes over the new Bents Fort and names it Fort Wise.
Gold rush begins to California Gulch on present day site of Leadville.
First schoolhouse is built at Boulder.
Rev. John H. Kehler holds Denver’s first Episcopal service in the Union School House January 29th.
Denver, Auraria, and Highlands merge.
In June Congress appropriates funds to negotiate treaty with Arapaho and Cheyennes for lands on the eastern plains of present-day Colorado.
In July Clark, Gruber & Company casts first gold pieces in Denver.
In August, Mountain City citizens want another convention to write a state constitution and apply for statehood.
In September Mount Vernon citizens support formation of a provisional government.
Joseph P. Machebeuf is Vicar Apostolic and then Bishop of Colorado 1860 – 1889.
A convention meets in Golden with goal of seeking statehood and sending delegate to Kansas, but consensus isn’t reached.
Residents of other Colorado communities hold various viewpoints, some wanting creation of new territory, but disagreeing with the Golden idea to send a delegate to Kansas. A Central City convention opposes the goals of the Golden convention; instead advocating delegations to Washington, Nebraska, and Kansas, to create judicial districts. This position has little support from other communities.
In November the second general assembly of Provisional Legislature meets.
On December 12th U.S. Representative Galusha Grow asks the House Committee on Territories for permission to introduce a bill for the creation of a new territory. He later postpones his proposal.
February 4th the U.S. Senate selects the name Territory of Colorado.
U.S. Senate approves creation of Territory of Colorado February 26 th and sends measure to President Buchanan.
Territory of Colorado, population 25,371, is created Feb. 28th with boundaries of current state.
The U.S. Civil War begins.
William Gilpin, first territorial governor, is appointed by Abraham Lincoln. Gilpin takes office June 6th.
Colorado Supreme Court is organized and congressional delegates selected in July.
First Assembly meets, creates seventeen counties, authorizes university, and selects Colorado City as the Territorial capitol.
The Colorado Territorial Legislature passes the first wildlife law, banning the use of nets for catching fish.
Treaty of Fort Wise, concluded in February, confines Cheyennes and Arapahoes to small triangle on the plains. The treaty is ratified in August.
Overland telegraph line to Pacific coast reaches Julesburg.
Manufacture of mining machinery begins.
John Evans replaces discredited Gilpin as territorial governor.
Second Territorial legislature meets July 7th for a few days at Colorado City, adjourns to Denver, and selects Golden as the new capitol.
First tax-supported schools in Colorado are established.
First producing oil well is drilled near Canon City.
John W. Prowers raises Hereford cattle in Arkansas Valley.
First Regiment of Colorado Infantry defeats General Henry H. Sibley’s Confederate troops at Glorietta Pass near Santa Fe, New Mexico.
First commercial honey is produced in Colorado.
Telegraph reaches Denver from Julesburg Oct. 10th, linking Denver with the Eastern cities.
Plains Indians attempt to drive white settlers from their hunting grounds on the Colorado plains.
Denver’s first great fire, April 19th, burned seventy buildings and almost all of the provisions, scarcely leaving thirty days supplies for the territory.
Alfalfa introduced in Colorado.
Artist Albert Bierstadt visits Colorado to paint scenes for eastern publications.
Utes cede San Luis Valley to United States.
U.S. Congress authorizes the Transcontinental Railroad.
President Lincoln signs the Homestead Act, which allows heads of households to claim up to 160 acres in newly settled areas.
The Hungate family is killed by Native Americans, which fuels anti-Native American sentiment in Denver.
On May 20th, Cherry Creek floods Denver.
Fort Sedgwick is established near Julesburg.
Camp Collins, which later became Fort Collins, is established to protect travelers on the Overland Trail.
Georgetown silver rush begins.
The Treaty of Conejos is ratified and signed by Abraham Lincoln. The treaty angers many Ute bands and is signed only by the Tabeguache band, which is led by Ouray.
June 27th Governor Evans proclaims that friendly Native Americans must gather at federal forts where they would be protected. In August, Evans raises troop of Indian fighters for 100 days of service.
Denver is officially incorporated.
Governor Evans holds council with Cheyennes at Camp Weld in September.
Cheyennes and Arapahos, led by Black Kettle, make their winter camp at the Sand Creek Reservation.
U.S. Congress passes an enabling act giving Colorado Territory the right to become a state as soon as it writes and adopts a constitution.
July 4th delegates gather in Golden for a constitutional convention, but soon move deliberations to Denver.
Voters reject statehood for Colorado 4676 to 1520, partly because voters didn’t want to suffer an additional tax burden.
Tension between non-natives and the Native American tribes escalates.
On November 29th, John Chivington leads soldiers and settlers in the Sand Creek Massacre of men, women, and children in a Cheyenne and Arapaho encampment.
Colorado Seminary, now the University of Denver, is chartered.
The Sisters of Loretto open an academy in Denver.
Fort Morgan is established as military post as protection against Indian attacks
Old Julesburg is sacked by Cheyennes.
Native Americans, angered by the Sand Creek Massacre, raid overland trails, closing them to settlers.
Food is scarce for settlers and prices are high.
Another Colorado constitutional convention meets in the spring.
President Andrew Johnson refuses to allow Colorado to be admitted as a state claiming enabling legislation is no longer valid.
Clark, Gruber and Company reorganizes as First National Bank of Denver.
Alexander Cummings named territorial governor.
John W. Iliff buys first cattle driven over Goodnight-Loving Trail.
Peter Magnes introduces sugar beets in Platte Valley.
The Mining Law of 1866 opens all U.S. public lands to lode-mining claims by citizens and those who declared intent to become citizens.
Worthington Whittredge, Hudson River School artist, works in Colorado.
Alexander C. Hunt is named territorial governor.
Treaty of Medicine Lodge Creek removes Cheyennes and Arapahoes from Colorado to Indian Territory.
Denver is named the capitol of Colorado Territory by the territorial legislature meeting in Golden.
The Golden Transcript is established by George West.
Boulder Valley News, Boulder’s first newspaper begins publication April 3.
Otto Mears buys a charter for his first toll road, which crossed Poncha Pass.
Colorado Stock Growers Association is founded.
Denver declared “too dead to bury” when Union Pacific decides to build through Wyoming.
Western third of Colorado territory is granted to Utes.
Kit Carson dies at Fort Lyon.
Nathaniel P. Hill builds the first smelter in Colorado at Black Hawk, inaugurating the era of hard-rock mining.
Until U.S. Army reinforcements arrive, U.S. Scouts are under siege for nine days by Northern Cheyennes and Sioux at the Battle of Beecher Island in northeastern Colorado.
The Pueblo Chieftain is established by Dr. M. Beshoar at Pueblo.
William Byers and John Wesley Powell make the first recorded ascent of Longs Peak in August.
Caribou Mine discovery triggers Boulder County silver boom.
Edward McCook is named territorial governor.
Merino sheep introduced into Colorado.
The first Transcontinental Railroad is completed, with eastern and western lines meeting at Promontory Point, Utah.
The Battle of Summit Springs is the final military engagement between Plains Native Americans and settlers in the eastern part of the Colorado territory.
President Grant places responsibility over Indian affairs to missionaries rather than government agents.
Deer Trail cowboys hold Colorado’s first rodeo.
German Colonization Society organized.
Colorado population reaches 39, 864.
Denver Pacific Railroad links Denver and Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Kansas Pacific Railroad reaches Denver from Leavenworth, Kansas.
Nathan Meeker’s Union Colony founds Greeley.
Denver and Rio Grande Railway Company incorporated Oct. 27th.
First irrigation canal is surveyed in Greeley.
Mining Law of 1870 is expanded to include placer claims.
Chicago German Colony settles Longmont after unsuccessful attempt to establish the colony in the Wet Mountains.
Hudson River School artist John Kensett spends time in Colorado.
Painter Worthington Whittredge works in Colorado in 1870 – 1871.
The Greeley Tribune is established.
Colorado Springs is founded by General William J. Palmer.
William J. Palmer’s Denver & Rio Grande Railway reaches Colorado Springs.
The U.S. Army Signal Service establishes a weather station in Denver. The first weather report is made November 20th.
The Longmont Sentinel , Longmont’s first newspaper, is published.
The Caribou Post, Caribou’s first and only newspaper is published May 1871 through 1874.
The town of Erie is laid out January 25th.
On May 29th Greeley incorporates. On June 20th, town site laid out.
Colorado School of Mines is established at Golden.
George Swink produces first melons in Arkansas Valley.
In January Russian Grand Duke Alexis of Russia, accompanied by General Philip Sheridan, hunts buffalo near Kit Carson, Colorado.
Del Norte is founded.
Black Hawk and Central City are connected with Denver by railroad.
Denver & Rio Grande Railroad reaches Pueblo.
Mining Law of 1872 goes into effect.
Agricultural settlements are established throughout the South Platte Valley.
Out West, later the Colorado Springs Gazette, is established.
The “Mountain Branch “ of the Santa Fe Trial is no longer used.
In April, President Ulysses S. Grant vacations in Colorado, traveling by special train through Clear Creek Canyon to visit Central City and Black Hawk.
In July, paleontologist E.D. Cope visits Horsetail Creek to search for fossils.
Dr. Joseph Leidy and his party visit Bridger Basin seeking fossils.
During the summer the U.S. Army Signal Service establishes the world’s highest weather station atop Pikes Peak.
The Las Animas Leader, Bent County’s first newspaper begins May 23rd.
Fort Collins Agricultural College is established.
Geologist and paleontologist E.B. Meek visits Colorado.
While participating in the Hayden Survey, William Henry Jackson photographs the Mount of the Holy Cross.
Isabella Bird’s experiences near Estes Park later are later recounted in A Lady’s Life in the Rock Mountains.
Barbed wire is invented, changing ideas of the free open range in the west.
Edward McCook again becomes territorial governor.
Gunnison is founded.
Constitutional convention of 39 delegates meets in Denver and works for 85 days to develop a state constitution of 23,000 words.
Colorado College founded in Colorado Springs.
May 22nd a fire burns in Central City .
Territorial legislature appropriates $1500 for the University of Colorado at Boulder, on condition that an equal amount is raised by the city.
William Henry Jackson, photographer of the Hayden Geological Survey, notes ruins of ancient cliff dwellings along the canyon on the Mancos River.
Painter Thomas Moran spends time in Colorado.
Utes cede San Juan mining area to United States.
Lead carbonate ores, rich in silver, are found near the present site of Leadville.
A grasshopper plague invades Colorado.
La Junta is founded.
Denver’s low temperature record, - 29 degrees is recorded on January 9th.
The Denver Jewish Reform Congregation dedicated Temple Emanuel , at Curtis & 19th St. on September 19th.
March 3rd, U.S. Congress passes enabling legislation for Colorado statehood.
In December Constitutional Convention of thirty-eight members holds first meeting in Denver.
John L. Routt is named territorial governor.
St. Mary’s Academy holds first graduation in Denver.
July 1st, Colorado voters ratify Colorado constitution.
August 1st Colorado granted statehood as thirty-eighth state.
John L. Routt, Republican, takes office August 1st as the first state governor.
Greeley’s first industry, the tanning of buffalo hides, turns out twelve robes a day.
Painter Albert Bierstadt spends time in Colorado.
Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad reaches Pueblo.
The Florence oil field is opened.
On April 8th a man named Stofel is to first to be hanged in Denver. He is strung up on a cottonwood tree at the corner of 11th and Holladay streets.
University of Colorado opens classes at Boulder, with two teachers and forty-four students.
Silver discovered near present Leadville.
In August, Ferdinand V. Hayden, with naturalists Sir Joseph Hooker and Asa Gray, arrives in Denver in preparation for the geological survey.
State Board of Agriculture is created to establish an Agricultural College at Fort Collins.
January 18th Ouray County is established.
Leadville silver rush surges as rich strikes are made on Iron, Fryer, and Carbonate Hills.
Leadville is incorporated.
Central City Opera House opens.
First telephones are installed in Denver.
“Royal Gorge War” between Santa Fe and Rio Grande Railroads.
The Alamosa News, the town’s first newspaper, begins publication in May.
Nathan Meeker named agent at White River.
State Historical Society of Colorado is founded.
Frederick Pitkin, Republican, takes office January 14th as governor.
Nathan Meeker, Indian agent and other employees at the White River agency are killed during Ute uprising.
Major Thornburgh and half of his command of 160 soldiers are killed as they try to aid Meeker. The Utes are finally defeated.
Colorado College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts offers instruction at Fort Collins.
Manassa founded in San Luis Valley as a colony of Mormons.
January 29 th the Evening Chronicle and the Carbonate Chronicle begin publishing in Leadville.
The Longmont Ledger publishes its first issue September 12th.
First telephone exchange established in Denver on Feb.20 by F.O. Vaille and Henry R. Wolcott. The exchange had 200 subscribers and was located above Conrad Frick’s shoe store on Larimer Street.
The first long distance toll line is installed between Denver and Georgetown.
H.A.W. Tabor establishes a telephone exchange in Leadville under the management of the Western Union Telegraph Company.
Colorado population is 194, 327, 387% increase over 1870.
Miners strike in Leadville May 26th.
First electric lighting available for Denver residences and businesses.
In July and August, Ulysses S. Grant visits mining camps and towns on the Western Slope: Leadville, Gunnison, Gothic, Ruby and Crested Butte.
Salida and Durango are founded.
William J. Palmer founds Colorado Coal and Iron Company.
Denver & Rio Grande lays track through Royal Gorge and on to Leadville.
Ute chief Ouray dies.
Utes are removed to reservations in Utah and southwestern Colorado.
Delta and Grand Junction are founded on former Ute lands.
Prairie Cattle Company is organized in Britain.
Denver Union Stock Yard Company is established to facilitate sales and shipment for growing livestock industry.
Colorado Telephone Company is incorporated Jan. 10th by F.O. Vaille and Henry R. Wolcott.
Artist Thomas Moran visits Colorado to paint Colorado scenes.
John T. Gunnell is the first African American to serve in the Colorado General Assembly, representing Denver in Arapahoe County.
Tabor Opera House, built by H.A.W. Tabor, opens in Denver.
Denver Union Depot is completed.
Small quantities of carnotite and gold, also containing radium, are discovered in western Colorado.
Rifle, Akron, Montrose, and Glenwood Springs are founded.
Denver & Rio Grande Railroad completes track to Grand Junction.
Hebrew Immigrant Aid society settles at Cotopaxi.
Steel is milled in Pueblo from Colorado ores.
January 20th, Montrose platted and laid out.
Sixteenth Street viaduct, Denver’s first, construction begins.
Mining and Industrial Exposition held in Denver.
James B. Grant, Democrat, is inaugurated January 9th as governor.
Denver 4th city in world to adopt electric street lighting when electric lighting installed in suburban districts of city.
Bison herds become nearly extinct in the west after slaughters by professional hunters meeting the needs for furs in the east.
Denver City Hall and Arapahoe County Courthouse are built.
William Pabor inaugurates fruit growing on Western Slope.
U.S. Chinese Exclusion Act begins to prevent Chinese immigration to U.S.
New Julesburg is founded.
Fort Lyon Canal irrigates 120,000 acres.
Fifty-nine miners killed in coal mine explosion at Crested Butte.
Record fifty-eight cattle companies organized in one year.
The U.S. Supreme Court, in Elk vs. Wilkins, rules that Native Americans are not U.S. citizens.
Benjamin H. Eaton, Republican, is inaugurated January 13th as governor.
End of open range cattle boom.
Cherry Creek floods Denver.
Electric street lighting replaces gas street lights in Denver.
Wray and Lamar are founded.
The Steamboat Pilot is established in Steamboat Springs.
The Brighton Register begins publication in 1886.
Two million sheep graze in Colorado.
Denver Exchange Building is erected as a livestock exchange.
Ground is broken for Colorado State Capitol Building.
Short’s electric trolleys begin operating.
Andrew Green is executed in Denver’s last public hanging for the murder of Joseph Whitnah, a streetcar driver.
Colorado State Fair begins in Pueblo.
The Dawes Act encourages individual allotments, rather than communal ownership, on Indian reservations. This results in the sale of land to white settlers.
Alva Adams inaugurated January 11th as governor.
Joseph Machebeuf becomes the first Roman Catholic Bishop of Denver.
Fowler and Springfield are founded.
Wetherill brothers and Charlie Mason find Cliff Palace ruins at Mesa Verde.
Union Colony at Greeley completes 900,000 acre irrigation project.
Colorow leads a Ute band from Utah on a last raid into Colorado, where they are defeated and returned to the Utah reservation.
Littleton Gazette, which was continued as the Littleton Independent, began publishing on July 21st.
Denver’s cable car transit service begins.
Job A. Cooper, Republican, takes office January 8th as governor.
Craig and Limon founded.
Globe Smelter opens.
The Pagosa Springs Herald begins publication in May as the town’s first newspaper.
Trinidad’s Temple Aaron, at 3rd and Pine, is dedicated.
Overhead trolley wires are first used in Denver.
On April 23th Wheeler Opera House opens in Aspen.
The Colorado Telephone Company built the first high altitude long distance toll line from Leadville over Loveland and Mosquito Passes.
Colorado population is 413, 249.
Creede is founded in wake of rich silver strikes.
Gold is discovered in Cripple Creek area.
Strasburg, Moffat, Mosca and Edgewater are founded.
Boulder Daily Camera is founded by L.C. Paddock.
On July 4th, the cornerstone of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver is laid.
The passage of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act raises price of silver to more than $1.00 an ounce.
First building of State Normal School, now the University of Northern Colorado, is occupied October 3rd.
Cornerstone is laid for Colorado State Capitol.
Elitch Gardens opens in Denver.
Smelters are Denver’s largest industry. Argo, Grant & Omaha, and Globe Smelters are operating.
John L. Routt, Republican, is inaugurated January 13th as governor.
White River Land Reserve, the first national forest reserve in Colorado, is established.
Swedish Baron G. Nordenskold heads archaeological expedition to study Mesa Verde ruins.
The People’s Party is established by western farmers and others unhappy with the political establishment.
In May, President Benjamin Harrison visits Colorado.
Westminster, Colbran and Fletcher are founded.
Pike’s Peak Cog Railway begins operation.
Manhattan Beach opens on Sloans Lake.
Robert Womack’s discoveries open the gold field of Cripple Creek.
First asphalt street paving is laid in Denver.
Dolores is founded.
Arlington Park opens in Denver.
Painter Thomas Moran spends time in Colorado.
Brown Palace Hotel opens.
Henry C. Brown opens the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver.
Governor Davis Waite (P) takes office January 10th.
Colorado is second state to extend suffrage to women, following the precedent set by Wyoming.
Silver price plunge after repeal of Sherman Act causes economic devastation in Colorado.
Frederick Jackson Turner delivers lecture on “The Significance of the Frontier in American history.”
In July Denver banks close as a run of banks causes them to run out of cash.
Grand Junction Sentinel established.
Pikes Peak climb inspires Katherine Lee Bates to write America the Beautiful.
Colorado State Capitol Building is completed.
Russian thistle infests farmlands.
May 27th miners strike at Cripple Creek.
Severe drought affects Colorado.
Governor Albert McIntyre, Republican, takes office January 8th.
Annual Festival of Mountain & Plain celebrated for the first time in Denver.
Leadville builds Ice Palace.
Apple production soars in Grand Valley.
Palisade is founded.
National Guard breaks miners’ strike in Leadville.
Leadville builds Ice Palace to attract tourism.
In October the Hooper Tribune begins publication.
Cripple Creek fire razes downtown area.
Governor Alva Adams, Democrat, takes office January 12th.
Cherry Creek floods Denver.
Colorado House Bill 129, which created the Department of Forestry, Game and Fish, is signed by Gov. Alva Adams.
The last documented Colorado bison, from a South Park herd, are killed.
Spanish American War is fought in the Caribbean and Philippines.
National Stock Growers Association holds first annual meeting in Denver.
Salvation Army settles first colonists at Amity.
First Strawberry Day held in Glenwood Springs.
Boulder Chautauqua opens for the first season with a series of lectures and classes.
First automobiles are seen in Denver.
Governor Charles Thomas, Democrat, takes office January 10th.
Colorado’s first sugar beet refinery is built at Grand Junction.
Colorado Honey Grower’s Association is organized.
National Jewish Hospital opens in Denver to treat respiratory diseases.
American Smelting & Refining Company acquires most western smelters.
Colorado population reaches 539,700.
Chessman Dam is constructed.
Swank and Manzanita are founded.
In Cripple Creek, the second richest gold camp in the world, gold production reaches peak of more than $20,000,000 annually.
Governor James B. Orman, Democrat, takes office January 8th.
District irrigation law allows landowners to own water districts.
A violent strike occurs at Smuggler and Union Mines in Telluride.
Oil begins to be discovered in the West.
A constitutional amendment allows towns of 2000 to adopt “home rule.”
Denver becomes a “home rule” city.
Two hundred automobiles are in Denver.
U.S. Congress passes Newlands Act, authorizing federally funded water projects.
David Moffat, Jr. organizes Denver, Northwestern & Pacific Railway, and the Moffat Road, to cross the Continental Divide into northwestern Colorado.
A beet sugar refinery is built at Fort Collins.
The U.S. Mint opens in Denver May 1st.
President Roosevelt creates fourteen Forest Reserves in Colorado.
Governor James H. Peabody, Republican, takes office January 13th.
Denver Juvenile Court, the first juvenile court in the nation, is established by Judge Benjamin B Lindsey.
Miners, striking for better wages and working conditions, battle National Guard troops at Cripple Creek.
Tungsten mining begins.
The Uncompahgre irrigation project, the first federal reclamation project in Colorado, is authorized.
U.S. creates a national forest system.
Uncompahgre Irrigation Project first federal reclamation project in Colorado, begins.
National Guard breaks miners’ strike at Victor.
Jewish Consumptives’ Relief Society is founded.
Granby and Nucla founded.
The Cache la Poudre River floods Greeley on June 21st.
Oliver Fritchle begins the manufacture of electric automobiles in Denver.
Colorado has three governors in a day: Alva Adams, James H. Peabody, and finally Jesse F. McDonald.
Governor Alva Adams, Democrat, takes office January 11 and serves until March 17
Governor James H. Peabody, Republican, served March 17 to March 18.
Governor Jesse McDonald, Republican, took office March 18.
Great Western Sugar Company and Holly Sugar Company founded.
Construction of the six mile Gunnison water tunnel is started by the Bureau of Reclamation.
South Platte River is rechanneled through south Denver to accommodate industrial growth.
After the last documented river otters are killed on the Yampa River, the species is extirpated in Colorado.
U.S. Mint in Denver issues its first coins.
The National Western Stock Show is born with the March 12 th chartering of the Western Stock Show Association following a successful showing of about 60 head of cattle and horses and a few sheep and hogs in a makeshift tent at the Denver Stockyards.
Mesa Verde National Park is created by Congress on July 29 th.
Colorado florists begin shipping carnations nationwide.
Governor Henry Buchtel, Republican, takes office January 8.
Frederick and Keenesburg are founded.
Fletcher is renamed “Aurora.”
Farmers Education and Cooperative Union is founded.
Canon City prison reforms are initiated.
Blanca, Silt, and Gilcrest are founded.
Children’s Hospital opens in Denver.
Denver Municipal Auditorium is completed in time to host the DNC, when William Jennings Bryant is nominated for the third time for president.
Democratic National Convention held in Denver.
Colorado Day is celebrated for the first time on August 1st, in recognition of the thirty-second anniversary of Colorado’s admittance to the Union.
The dome of the Colorado State Capitol is plated with gold leaf at a cost of $14,680.
Governor John F. Shafroth, Democrat, takes office January 12th.
Gunnison Irrigation Tunnel September 23rd opening ceremony attended by President William Howard Taft.
Colorado attains first rank among states in irrigation area with nearly three million acres under irrigation.
State Highway Commission is established as citizens complain about Colorado’s terrible roads.
Aurora’s first newspapers, Aurora Gazette and Aurora Democrat, begin publishing.
Western State Teachers College opens at Gunnison.
The Robert Burns Memorial by Grant Stevenson is installed in Denver City Park.
Colorado population is 799,024. Number of farms is 46,170.
Colorado voters adopt a constitutional amendment for direct legislation, giving to the people the right of initiative and referendum.
First airplane flies in Denver.
Over-hunting causes the Colorado elk population to drop to 500 to 1000.
Colorado’s highest January temperature, 84 degrees, is recorded at Hoehne.
First long distance telephone call is made May 8 th from Denver to New York City.
Dearfield is founded as an African American agricultural colony by Oliver Toussaint Jackson.
Ignacio is founded.
Governor Shafroth, Democrat, begins second term as governor.
Colorado National Monument, west of Grand Junction, is created by Presidential order.
Colorado adopts state flag May 6th.
Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company absorbs the Colorado Telephone Company in July.
Pioneer Fountain, a bronze by Frederick MacMonnies installed at Broadway and Colfax Ave. in Denver.
The first service in the new St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral is held Nov. 5th.
In October the Silverton –Durango rail service is closed for 60 days due to flooding in the San Juan Mountains.
Hog cholera devastates pork production.
Grand Valley irrigation project completed.
Orchard City is founded.
Arsonists set fires to burn Wheeler Opera House in Aspen.
Margaret Tobin Brown survives the sinking of the Titanic April 15.
Children’s Fountain by Max Blondet is installed in Denver City Park on the Seventeenth Avenue walking path.
Governor Elias M. Ammons, Democrat, takes office January 14th.
State Tax Commission is created by Colorado General Assembly.
The assessed value of Colorado property for tax purposes is set at $1,306,536,692.
The “Big Snow of 1913” covers Colorado to a depth of three to five feet, paralyzing transportation for weeks.
Georgetown records its biggest snowstorm, 86 inches of snow, December 4 –5. Denver receives 46 inches of snow, its largest snow fall.
Golda Meir, future Israeli stateswoman, attends North High School 1913-14.
Colorado begins licensing automobiles for the first time.
Ford Motor Company builds assembly plant at 900 Broadway in Denver and operated there until 1918.
Twenty-nine elk, captured in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, are reintroduced to Estes Park.
First Winter Sports Festival at Hot Sulphur Springs.
State law requires eight hour work day in mines, mills and smelters.
Mothers’ Compensation Act passed by the General Assembly to provide optional county welfare payments for dependent children. Only half of the counties participated.
Colorado has 5739 miles of railroad track.
World War II begins in August.
Strike of coal miners in southern Colorado fields is climaxed by the Ludlow Massacre, where miners, women, and children were killed during hostilities between strikers and the state militia.
National Radium Institute builds the first U.S. plant for radium processing in south Denver. The plant operates until 1917.
Dinosaur and Walsh arefounded.
Governor George A. Carlson, Republican, takes office January 12th.
Automobile toll road to top of Pikes Peak built by Spencer Penrose.
Construction of Broadmoor Hotel at Colorado Springs begins.
Colorado adopts prohibition four years before national ban.
Julius Gunter is elected governor.
Council for Defense mobilizes state’s resources for WW I.
The Strasburg News, the town’s first newspaper begins.
Emily Griffith Opportunity School opens in Denver.
U.S. Congress establishes the National Park Service.
Governor Julius C. Gunter, Democrat, takes office January 9th.
Many Coloradans volunteer for military service after Congress declares war on Germany April 6th.
Conflicts between sheepherders and cattlemen result in the “Gunnison National Forest War” when cowboys drove sheep over a cliff to their deaths.
125,000 Coloradans register for the draft.
Colorado citizens buy Liberty Bonds by the millions of dollars to help finance the war.
Fitzsimons Army Hospital is established outside Denver.
The influenza pandemic causes 7783 deaths out of 44803 Colorado cases in a population less than one million.
Coal production of Colorado reaches new high of 12,500,000 tons.
War is the impetus for development of molybdenum at Climax, the nation’s largest source of the metal.
Colorado Midland Railroad ceases operations.
Colorado voters approve constitutional amendment providing Civil Service for state employees.
Denver Tourist Bureau establishes a free auto campground for tourists at Overland Park in Denver.
Federal Reserve branch bank is established in Denver.
Mexican nationals imported to meet labor shortages in sugar beet industry.
Colorado reaches maximum mineral extraction, more than $80 million.
William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody dies and is buried on Lookout Mountain, west of Denver.
Agricultural production increases sharply to aid war needs. Dry lands plowed up to grow wheat.
Commercial lettuce production begins in Buena Vista.
Mining of tungsten causes flurry in Boulder-Nederland area.
Germany surrenders November 11, 1918.
Wynken, Blynken and Nod by Mabel Landrum Torrey is installed on a walking path in Denver’s Washington Park.
The Dennis Sullivan Gateway: Agriculture and Mining by Leo Lentelli is installed at the entrance of the Promenade to Denver City Park at Colfax Ave. and Elizabeth St.
The Joseph Addison Thatcher Memorial Fountain by Lorado Taft is installed in Denver City Park.
Governor Oliver H. Shoup, Republican, takes office January 14th.
Monte Vista stages first Ski-Hi Stampede.
Post-war inflation brings higher prices to farmers and producers; prices of farm land high, wages high; boom times everywhere.
Colorado enacts tax of one cent per gallon on gasoline for building of roads.
Denver Municipal Airport opens.
Colorado’s last lynching is September 13, when two Mexican- born men accused of killing a Pueblo policeman.
Symptomatic of the anticommunist “red scare,” the Colorado legislature prohibits the display of the “red flag” in public.
Colorado population is 939,629.
Colorado Wheat Growers Association organizes.
Employees of Denver Tramway Company strike. Aroused by editorials in the Denver Post, strikers raid Post building and cause much property damage.
Colorado’s first radio station broadcasts from Colorado Springs.
Bronco Buster sculpture by Alexander Phimister Proctor installed on Denver’s Civic Center Promenade.
The Prospector and The Trapper, murals by Allen Tupper True are installed in the east and west archways of the Greek Amphitheatre.
Oliver H. Soup, Republican, begins second term as governor in January.
Colorado General Assembly created State Highway Department with seven- man Advisory Board.
Colorado begins building concrete highways on main traveled roads.
On April 14 –15th the Silver Lake snowstorm total is 95 inches, or a 76 inch 24 hour snowfall, a national record until 1997.
Arkansas River floods on June 3rd, causing 100 deaths and $19 million damage in the Pueblo area.
Post-war deflation sets in and decline in prices harms rural areas. During next few years, numerous banks serving farming areas close, price of farm lands decline sharply from levels reached in World War II, causing farmers to clamor for farm relief.
Colorado Cooperative Lettuce Growers Association organizes.
Adams State Normal School, now Adams State College, opens.
Colorado River Compact is created to allocate waters of major western rivers that flowed across state lines.
Coloradans vote $6 million in bonds for highway construction.
Moffat Tunnel Improvement District is created by General Assembly for construction of 6.4 mile bore under Continental divide to provide better rail connections between the Eastern and Western Slopes of Colorado.
First state commercial radio license is issued to William Reynolds of KLZ in Denver.
Veterans Administration converts Fort Lyon to a military hospital.
Denver Baseball Company is formed and builds 8000 seat Merchants Park.
Daring daylight holdup of Federal Reserve Bank truck is staged as truck leaves U.S. Mint in Denver. The $200,000 robbery is never solved.
On the War Trail sculpture by Alexander Phimister Proctor installed on Denver’s Civic Center Promenade.
Bronze Sea Lions Fountain by Robert Garrison installed on the north side if Denver’s Civic Center.
Governor William E. Sweet, Democrat, takes office January 9th.
Oil production begins north of Fort Collins at the Wellington Dome. Flurry of oil stock promotion follows.
Ford Motor Company Denver assembly plant reopens and operates until 1947.
United Fruit Growers Association incorporates.
Elizabeth Allen Sopris Memorial, artist unknown, is installed in Denver City Park.
KFEL radio station established.
Colorado second state to ratify child labor amendment to federal Constitution.
1924 is the height of Ku Klux Klan influence in Denver. KKK secures domination of Republican Party in Colorado, and elects a pro-Klan governor and U.S. Senator.
Celebration held in Greeley upon the completion of concrete pavement between Denver and Greeley, marking the first two major cities in Colorado to be connected by paved highways.
Colorado’s deadliest tornado kills 10 on August 10th as it hits Thurman.
U.S. Congress declares Native Americans citizens of the United States.
The Shwayder Trunk Manufacturing Company, later the Samsonite Corporation, opens a plant on South Broadway in Denver.
Pinhorn Statue and Drinking Fountain by Clara Soanson Dieman is installed in the Larimer Square breezeway at Denver’s Fourteenth St. and Larimer St.
Governor Clarence J. Morley, Republican, takes office January 13th.
Williams Fork Tunnel is constructed to provide Denver with a greater water supply.
Adams State Teachers College at Alamosa and junior colleges at Grand Junction and Trinidad are opened.
Oil fields near Craig begin production.
Seventeen sugar beet factories are in operation in Colorado.
Last Chance founded.
The first airmail service is established between Pueblo and Cheyenne, with connections in Colorado Springs and Denver. On May 31st the first airmail leaves Denver.
Governor William H. Adams, Democrat, takes office January 11th.
Striking coal miners and National Guard violently clash at the Rocky Mountain Fuel Company’s Columbine Mine near Lafayette.
August 31st, Charles Lindbergh lands Spirit of St. Louis at Lowry Field where he was greeted by 50 thousand people.
State Historical Society of Colorado reorganizes and drops its natural history activities.
Moffat Tunnel opens at a cost of $18 million and 29 fatalities.
A pipeline from Texas natural gas fields to Denver is completed.
William Adams begins second term as governor.
The Great Depression begins, and doesn’t end until the beginning of WWII in 1941.
The Colorado River Compact is ratified by the U.S. Congress despite Arizona’s objections.
Construction begins on Trail Ridge Road, over Continental Divide in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Eight guards and five prisoners killed in Canon City Penitentiary riot.
Montgomery Ward builds retail and catalog store on South Broadway.
Colorado population is 1, 035, 791.
Porter Sanitarium and Hospital, designed by Saco de Boer, is dedicated.
Bear, a bronze by Louis Paul Jonas, is installed at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science entrance.
Dust bowl strikes in the West due to drought and farming practices.
William Adams begins third term as governor.
Oilmen drill more than a mile deep into the rich Weber Formation near Rangeley, but low oil prices make it too expensive to pump at this time.
Drought and dust storms ravage eastern Colorado.
Unemployed Citizens League organizes.
Great Sand Dunes National Monument created.
Denver artist Vance Kirkland opens Kirkland School of Art, which operates until 1946.
Flat Tops Primitive Area is set aside in the White River National Forest.
Denver’s Benedict Fountain, by Maurice Bardin is installed at Ogden St. and First Avenue.
Governor Edwin C. Johnson, Democrat, takes office January 10th.
Colorado National Monument and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument created.
To stop a run on the banks, in March, Governor Johnson orders a three day bank holiday.
Civilian Conservation Corps projects improve federal lands and parks throughout Colorado until 1942.
Colorado’s hottest summer temperature is recorded at 114 degrees in Las Animas on July 1st.
The Division of Public Welfare replaces the ineffective Department of Charities and Corrections.
U.S. Mint in Denver receives $3 billion in gold bullion from Colorado.
The United States abandons the gold standard, sets the price of gold at $35.00 per oz., spurring dormant mines in Colorado into operation.
Silver Purchase Act, which authorizes government purchase of silver, boosts Colorado silver miners.
The Northern Colorado Water Users Association organizes to lobby for Western Slope water diversions across the Continental Divide for eastern Colorado needs.
In January the record is established for the coldest month in Colorado history.
Colorado experiences the hottest and driest year in recorded history.
The Taylor Grazing Act is enacted to control ranchers’ use of public lands.
U.S. Congress passes the Indian Reorganization Act. This Indian New Deal reverses policies that encouraged the destruction of tribal reservations and governments.
On June 16th the Dotsero Cutoff opens, linking the Moffat line with the Denver and Rio Grande tracks.
Governor Edwin C. Johnson, Democrat, begins second term as governor.
U.S. Congress passes the Wagner Act, which legalizes collective bargaining,
The Rockefeller Plan, which had been in operation since 1914 was outlawed by the National Labor Relations Board.
The Colorado Supreme Court strikes down state laws which prohibited boycotts and picketing by unions.
In May twenty-four inches of rain fall on Kiowa in twenty-four hours.
The Twin Lakes Tunnel under Independence Pass brings water into Twin Lakes and on into the lower Arkansas Valley.
Voters approve $15 million bond issue to provide for highway planning.
Dotsero Cutoff places Colorado on direct transcontinental railroad route.
Colorado legislature authorizes monthly old age pension of $ 45.00 funded through sales and use taxes.
The Dependent Children Act forces county participation in the welfare program to ensure the state continues to receive federal funding.
Colorado voters approve the first tax on individual and corporate income, with revenues to fund public schools.
43,000 Coloradans employed by Works Progress Administration through 1943 on public works projects.
The pioneer bore of the Moffat Tunnel is used to bring water from the Western Slope Fraser River to Denver.
Gov. Edwin Johnson orders National Guard to set up a blockade to prevent Mexican laborers from entering the state. The blockade lasts for ten days.
The Highland-Bavarian Corporation built a ski lodge on Castle Creek near Aspen.
The Pikes Peak Ski Club installed the first rope tow in Colorado at Glen Cove.
South Denver’s Bonnie Brae Park is designed by landscape architect Saco de Boer.
Ray H. Talbot, Democrat, serves as governor January 3rd until January 12nd.
Governor Teller Ammons, Democrat, takes office January 12th.
222,000 acres are returned to Southern Utes.
A rope tow is installed at the Berthoud Pass ski area.
Six million tourists visit Colorado.
Thirty million acres returned to Ute Mountain Utes.
U.S. Farm Security Administration resettles dust bowl farmers from eastern Colorado to San Luis Valley, Grand Junction, and Delta areas.
Construction begins on Colorado-Big Thompson Project, which provided for the construction of western slope reservoirs, at Granby and Shadow Mountain Lake, transport of water under the continental divide to electrical generating plants at Estes Park, and finally to eastern plains farms.
Lowry Air base opens on the site of the Agnes Memorial Sanatorium.
Governor Ralph L. Carr is inaugurated January 10th.
Colorado’s first ski lift, made from mining tram parts, is installed at the Pioneer Ski area by the Gunnison Ski Club.
Colorado population is 1,123,296.
Fifteen radio stations serve the state.
Denver establishes Winter Park Ski area as one of its Mountain Parks.
Ralph Carr begins second term as governor.
The United States enters World War II.
Tourists spend $61 million in Colorado.
139,000 Coloradans, or 1/8 th of the population, enter WW II; 2700 of these will die.
Denver recruiting offices are swamped by over 2000 enlistments during one month.
Establishment of war time military bases, scientific and industrial installations changes the character of Colorado following the war.
Gold and silver mining is restricted during the war years by Gold Limitation Order L-280.
Exploration for minerals necessary to the war effort increases in Colorado during the war years. Molybdenum replaces gold as the state’s most valuable mineral.
Coal production increases to meet war needs.
The Rangeley and eastern Colorado oil fields experience a huge increase in production to meet war needs.
Denver Ordnance Plant produces ammunition for WW II.
Shwayder Brothers, Inc. retools during WWII to manufacture war materials such as foot lockers, ammunition boxes, and grenades.
Macon Reservoir is constructed.
Fremont Station observatory is established near Climax to observe solar flares which could disrupt radio transmissions.
Amache is established by the federal government as a camp for Japanese Americans relocated from their homes on the West Coast. The peak population of the camp was 7500.
More than 100,000 Japanese Americans are relocated from the coast to internments camps in the U.S. interior.
Camp Hale is established in the mountains near Leadville to train ski troops of the Tenth Mountain Division.
Vanadium mining begins on Western Slope.
Agriculture industry has greatest production in Colorado history between 1941 and 1945. Land values in Colorado skyrocket.
Buckley Field is established near Denver to train airmen.
Pueblo Ordnance Depot is set up to store and ship munitions produced by CF& I and other producers.
Pueblo Army Airbase established to train airmen.
La Junta Army Air Field established.
Camp Carson, which became the largest army post in the state, was established. Camp Carson trained the 89th, 71st, and the 104th divisions.
Peterson Field is established near Colorado Springs at the town’s former airport.
Net Air Base made its headquarters near Colorado Springs in an old TB sanatorium.
The Rocky Mountain Arsenal is established northeast of Denver to produce poison gas and incendiary bombs.
The Red Mountain Ski area opens near Glenwood Springs.
Colorado painter Ethel Magafan completes a New Deal Project, Horse Corral, for the South Broadway Post Office.
Governor John C. Vivian, Republican, takes office January 12.
Denver Municipal Airport renamed in honor of Mayor Benjamin Stapleton.
Camp Hale closes.
Vivian begins second term as governor.
In July Amache Japanese Relocation Camp is closed.
Denver Federal Center established on the site of the Remington Arms Plant.
Colorado experiences a population and business boom in the late 40s.
Fried Pfeiffer, Tenth Mountain Division veteran, Walter Peace, Chicago industrialist, and partners formed the Aspen Skiing Corporation.
The Heron Engineering Company of Denver begins to build ski lifts.
A blizzard on the eastern plains November 2 – 6 kills thirteen people and strands thousands of cattle without food.
Governor William Lee Knous, Democrat, takes office January 12th and serves until April 15, 1950.
Emily Griffith is murdered in mountain cabin.
James Qing Newton, Jr. replaces Benjamin Stapleton as Denver’s mayor.
Colorado enacts Sabin public health laws.
University of Colorado football team joins the “Big Six” football conference that included Nebraska and Oklahoma.
A two cent gasoline tax increase funds the construction of the Valley Highway, completed in 1958.
Westminster’s first newspaper, the Westminster Journal begins publication.
A chair lift is built on Emerald Mountain at the Howelsen Hill Ski area.
First water flows through the new Alva B. Adams Tunnel.
Bonny Reservoir constructed.
Panola Irrigation Project constructed.
U.S. Atomic Energy Commission sparks a uranium rush on the Western Slope when it began a program to encourage uranium exploration.
Aspen Music Festival begins.
A rope tow is installed in downtown Breckenridge.
Bears Stadium is completed.
In April the Veterans Administration opens a medical center in Grand Junction.
Rangeley becomes an oil field boomtown as oil production exceeds other Colorado areas, and pipelines connect Colorado fields with Salt Lake City.
Colorado population is 1,325, 089.
Governor Walter W. Johnson, Democrat, takes office April 15, 1950.
Tourism becomes Colorado’s third ranking industry.
An enlarged Cherry Creek Dam is completed.
Suburban Denver communities develop as new industries are established outside Denver city limits.
Governor Daniel I.J. Thornton, Republican, takes office January 9th.
14,000 civilians in Denver are federal employees.
The Atomic energy Commission’s Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant opens north of Denver to process plutonium “triggers.”
The Veterans Hospital in Denver is completed.
December 29 – 31st, the Colorado mountains experience snowfalls of six to eight feet.
The Arapahoe Basin Ski area installs the first “poma” lift in the U.S.
Denver Coliseum is dedicated.
Track star and Denver native Jerome Baffle is the first Coloradan to win an Olympic gold medal.
Boulder – Denver Turnpike completed.
Frank Zybach of Strasburg patents Center Pivot automated irrigation system.
First television signal broadcast in Denver by KFEL.
November 1 st, Denver’s KLZ began television broadcasting on Channel 7 as a CBS affiliate.
Edwin “Big Ed” Johnson elected governor.
Camp Carson is elevated to permanent base, Fort Carson.
Colorado’s hottest summer temperature, 114 degrees, is recorded at Sedgwick July 11.
The Thornton Tribune begins publication and continues until 1963.
The Hidden Valley Ski area opens in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Governor Edwin C. Johnson, Democrat, begins term on January 11th.
White Buffalo Council established to promote Native American unity.
Denver Boot invented, patented and first used in Denver to immobilize automobiles.
November 1st, John Gilbert Graham puts a bomb in his mother’s suitcase and sends her aboard a United Airline flight from Denver. Forty-four people are killed when the bomb explodes eleven minutes into the flight.
Denver Urban Renewal Authority begins work on Skyline Renewal project, designed to rebuild the core city of Denver.
Glen L. Martin Company locates Titan intercontinental ballistic missile plant in Littleton.
Ball Brothers manufacture rocket control and other sensing devices in Boulder.
Upper Colorado River Project authorized by U.S. Congress to provide equitable apportionment of water in the Colorado river System to Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado.
Governor Stephen L.R. McNichols takes office January 8th.
Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales becomes the first Mexican American district leader in Denver’s Democratic Party.
Colorado Springs is designated by federal government as site for the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) at Ent Air Force base.
Legislators end Colorado’s prohibition of interracial marriage.
Steve McNichols is re-elected to four-year term as governor.
U.S. Air Force Academy is built near Colorado Springs.
Valley Highway, an eleven mile freeway through Denver, is completed.
First class graduates from United States Air force Academy in Colorado Springs.
Continental Airline brings first commercial jet service into Denver.
Colorado gold rush celebrated as “Rush to the Rockies” Centennial.
Technology and telecommunications industries settle in the Front Range area.
Colorado population is 1,753,99.7
Ski boom begins.
The Glen L. Martin builds the first of 167 Titan missiles.
Walter Cheesman/ Boettcher home at Eighth Ave. and Logan St. in Denver given to state as executive mansion.
Vail Ski area opens with the first gondola in Colorado.
John A. Love is elected governor.
Frying Pan-Arkansas River trans-montane storage and water diversion project is begun to provide Western Slope water to eastern plains.
Through 1965, injection of poisonous wastes into a deep well at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal results in earthquakes and hundreds of tremors around the Denver area.
Peter Seibert, Tenth Mountain Division veteran, and partners opened Vail ski area on federal land near Vail Pass. The ski area boasted the country’s first gondola.
Hewlett-Packard settles in Colorado Springs.
Governor John A. Love, Republican, takes office January 8 and remains in office until July 16, 1973.
Metropolitan State College is authorized by state legislature.
Blue river is dammed to fill Dillon Reservoir to provide a more stable water supply for Denver.
A June 14 – 18 th storm on the upper reaches of Plum Creek in Douglas and Jefferson Counties results in massive flooding along the South Platte River, causing widespread property damage and loss of life. The damage extends from south of Denver to Sedgwick County.
Denver flood leads to Platte Valley Development Plan.
Preservation movement begins in Denver with the renovation of Larimer Square by visionary developer Dana Crawford.
Crusade for Justice founded by Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales to defend Hispanic rights.
Shwayder Brothers, Inc. is renamed Samsonite Corporation.
Metropolitan State College opens in Denver October 4th.
Love re-elected for second four-year term.
The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 requires an inventory of areas to identify historic places.
NORAD combat operations center opens its headquarters under Cheyenne Mountain west of Colorado Springs.
Denver Rockets become Colorado’s professional American Basketball Association team.
Colorado adopts a new system for selection of judges that replaces election of county, district and supreme court judges.
Boulder voters use a sales tax to buy land for open space conservation.
Skyline urban renewal project approved by Denver to clear downtown area for new business development.
Denver establishes a Landmark Preservation Commission to protect historic buildings and neighborhoods.
National Center for Atmospheric Research established in Boulder.
On April 25th Governor John Love signs legislation sponsored by Richard Lamm that allowed Colorado doctors to perform an abortion if approved by a medical panel in the case that it was necessary to preserve the mother’s life, mental or physical health, if the child was likely to be deformed or retarded, or if the fetus was the result of incest or rape.
Community College of Denver is established.
Denver Rockets renamed Denver Nuggets.
U.S. Representative Wayne Aspinall is instrumental in passage of Colorado River Basin Act to protect Western Slope water resources.
Hungarian Freedom Monument by Zoltan and Steve Popovits installed 1968 in Denver’s Hungarian Freedom Park.
Homage to the Pioneer, a bronze by Susan Pogzeba is installed on the southeast corner of Lincoln St. and Seventh Avenue in Denver.
Rulison Project near Grand Valley attempts to release natural gas using nuclear energy. A nuclear explosion on September 10th produces radioactive natural gas.
Jefferson City, later named Lakewood, is incorporated in the suburbs west of Denver.
May 4 – 7 Evergreen measures 9.02 inches of rain, resulting in flooding along the Front Range.
Storage Technology, later Storage Tech, founded in Boulder.
The Regional Transportation District (RTD), a study group, is organized.
Colorado experiences additional high-tech industry growth.
Colorado population is 2,207,259
John Love is re-elected for third term.
Historic Denver, Inc. is established to reverse wholesale destruction of old buildings in Downtown Denver.
The General Assembly passes the Colorado Air Pollution Control Act to deal with the air pollution issue.
The first state public defender begins his term. The Office of State Public Defender is an agency within the judicial department.
The Colorado Court of Appeals is established to relieve the caseload of the Colorado Supreme Court.
May 13 th 1200 National Guard troops clear “Woodstock West Peace and Freedom University” demonstration from the campus of the University of Denver.
One United Bank Center, Denver’s first 50- story high rise, is completed.
Christopher Columbus, Discoverer of America, bronze by William F. Joseph is installed in Denver’s Civic Center Promenade.
Denver Indian Center of Denver Native Americans United is organized.
Denver Botanic Gardens opens.
Denver Art Museum opens.
Denver purchases the Denver Tramway Company.
Citizens for Colorado’s Future rallied opposition to funding games in Colorado. Concerns for the environment cause Colorado voters reject hosting of 1976 Olympics.
Denver exceeds federal carbon monoxide standards 154 times during the year.
Patricia Schroeder elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and represents Colorado for the next two decades.
In June McGraw Hill Broadcasting Inc. purchases Denver’s KLZ and changed its call letters to KMGH.
Record setting rain falsl in Denver in June.
The Family by Edgar Britton is installed at the main entrance of Denver Health Medical Center.
Governor John Love resigns to become President Richard Nixon’s Energy czar.
Lieutenant Governor John D. Vanderhoof becomes governor July 16th.
Women are allowed to work in Colorado mines.
First bore of the Eisenhower Tunnel is built beneath the Continental Divide sixty miles west of Denver, making it easier to reach western Colorado.
Federal funding financed the failed Rio Blanco project to use nuclear energy to increase natural gas production.
Denver’s population is 507, 700. Denver Metropolitan population is 1,355, 000.
Court-ordered school busing to achieve racial balance in Denver Public Schools begins.
Colorado voters passed the Poundstone Amendment to prevent Denver from continuing to annex surrounding communities. It requires voter approval for the area to be annexed and approval of the county that would lose area.
Richard Lamm is elected governor.
The Denver rockets are renamed the Denver Nuggets.
Carbon monoxide levels in Denver reach 70 parts per million, a level at which the governor could halt all traffic and industry in the area.
George Brown, first Black lieutenant governor, is elected.
Voters pass constitutional amendment that outlaws underground nuclear detonation without prior voter approval.
St. Vrain nuclear electric generating plant becomes operational.
Governor Richard D. Lamm, Democrat, takes office January 14th and remains in office until 1987.
Tourist spending reaches over $700 million.
Untitled by Robert Mangold is installed in Denver’s Civic Center on the north side of the park.
Downtown Denver experiences building boom.
Chatfield Dam and Reservoir completed to protect population from South Platte River floods.
Colorado celebrates its centennial as a state.
July 31st, the Big Thompson River floods Larimer County killing 145 people.
Auraria Higher Education Center, a cooperative effort among higher education facilities, is established.
Interstate 225 completed.
Winter of 1976—77 is so dry that Colorado ski resorts suffer a financial disaster.
Actress Claudine Longet kills her lover, Olympic skier Vladimir Sabich, in Aspen.
Severe drought emphasizes Colorado’s dependence on reservoirs and water projects.
Colorado Miner by George Carlson is installed in Denver’s Washington Park.
Governor Richard Lamm re-elected.
Nancy Dick, first woman lieutenant governor, elected.
Denver Broncos go to Super Bowl in New Orleans.
Over 200 protesters arrested for demonstrating against Rocky Flats production of plutonium triggers for hydrogen bombs.
United States Olympic Committee establishes headquarters in Colorado Springs.
Winter of 1978 – 79 Wolf Creek Pass accumulates 838 inches or over 69 feet of snow.
Denver Center for the Performing Arts opens in Denver.
Twenty million tons of coal produced, easily surpassing the 1918 record of twelve and a half million tons.
Colorado population is 2,888,834
Rachel Noel is the first African American woman elected to University of Colorado Board of Regents.
Colorado Lottery begins, with half of the revenue promised to support outdoor conservation projects.
Exxon begins its Colony Project to extract petroleum from Western Slope oil shale fields.
The Times Mirror Co. purchases the Denver Post from the Bonfils family for $95 million. The Rocky Mountain News leads in daily circulation.
In March the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) threatens to cut Colorado highway funding unless the state acts to curb air pollution.
10,000 acres burn in forest fire in White River National Forest.
Pollution caused by automobiles becomes a serious problem for Denver.
Poma USA, a ski lift company, settles in Grand Junction.
The world’s first high speed quad lift is installed in Breckenridge.
The fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet visits Denver.
Richard Lamm is re-elected as Colorado governor
As national recession hits Colorado, economy slumps as it had not since 1930s.
On “Black Sunday” May 2nd, Colorado’s economic structure is shaken when the oil shale giant Exxon announces the closure of its oil shale development fields in Rio Blanco, Mesa, and Garfield counties. The Western Slope is severely impacted as thousands lose their jobs.
Cathy Donohoe is the first woman to be elected as president of the Denver City Council.
On December 24th, a blizzard slams metro Denver with 24 –36 inches of snow. Golden Gate Canyon had a 48 inch snow total.
Cuchara Valley Ski area opens.
Supreme Court rules that nontributary ground water is not subject to appropriations.
Federico Pena becomes first Hispanic Mayor of Denver.
U.S. Senator from Colorado Gary Hart makes an unsuccessful run for Democratic nomination for presidency.
Colorado voters approve a constitutional amendment that prohibited state funds to be used for abortions for poor women.
May 23rd the Wheeler Opera House reopens after renovation in Aspen.
Talk show host Alan Berg is murdered outside his home.
The Frying Pan – Arkansas Project to transfer water from the western slope is completed.
Colorado’s coldest temperature on record, -61degrees, is recorded at Maybell February 2.
Roy Romer is elected governor.
J. Francis Stafford is appointed as the new Roman Catholic archbishop of the Denver archdiocese. He succeeds Archbishop James. V. Casey.
Governor Roy Romer, Democrat, takes office January 14 and holds office until 1999.
The Denver Post is purchased from Times Mirror for $95 million by MediaNews Group owners William Dean Singleton and Richard B. Scudder.
The Denver Dry Goods Company is acquired by the May Company, which also owns Colorado’s May D & F stores.
Colorado’s Silverado Savings and Loan becomes symbol of Savings & Loan crisis after its collapse. Silverado costs U.S. taxpayers $1 billion and results in investigations of Neil Bush who was on the Board of Directors. The F.D.I.C. brings a civil action against Bush which is settled out of court with Bush paying $50,000 as part of the settlement.
Boulder passes an ordinance that protects homosexuals from discrimination.
Berthoud Pass Ski area closes when a double chair lift fails.
The E.P.A. denies a permit for the proposed Two Forks Dam in the South Platte Canyon.
Fort St. Vrain nuclear plant converts to a natural gas powered power plant.
Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument is created.
University of Colorado Professor Thomas Cech wins the Nobel Prize for chemistry.
February 1 – 7 World Cup Ski races at Vail are delayed due to heavy snow and low temperatures.
The Black Tiger Fire on Sugar Loaf Mountain west of Boulder destroys forty-four homes and results in $10 million damage.
Taking the Heat, a bronze sculpture by Joseph A. Cirpri, is installed outside Denver Fire Station # 1 at West Colfax Ave. and Speer Blvd.
Colorado’s foreign-born Hispano population soars, as Mexicans and Latin Americans move to the state.
Colorado’s population is 3,294,394.
Roy Romer is re-elected as governor.
Colorado voters restrict the governor to two terms.
Colorado voters approve limited stakes gambling in historic Central City, Black Hawk, Cripple Creek and on the Ute Indian Reservations.
July 11th hailstorm strikes from Estes Park to Colorado Springs, causing over $600 million in damage.
Fourteen percent of Colorado’s workforce is employed by government agencies. Colorado has 53,000 federal workers.
Limited-stakes casino gambling begins in Colorado.
Denver passes an ordinance that protects homosexuals from discrimination.
Focus on the Family, an evangelical organization headed by James Dobson, settles in Colorado Springs.
When Legends Run Free, a bronze by Rick Sargent, is installed at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science entrance.
Colorado voters pass a citizen’s initiative to limit the growth of state and local governments with the passage of the TABOR (Taxpayer Bill of Rights) amendment to the state constitution.
Colorado voters restrict a large portion of Colorado Lottery proceeds for Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) for open space and parks.
Colorado voters pass Amendment 2, which banned protections against sexual orientation-based discrimination from becoming law.
Soundwalk, a sound installation by Jim Green, is installed in the sidewalk of Curtis St. between Fifteenth and Sixteenth St.
Pope John Paul II visits Denver for World Youth Day.
Colorado Rockies become the first regional major league baseball team.
Interstate 70 section through Glenwood Canyon is completed.
Colorado Fuel and Iron in bankruptcy proceedings.
Roy Romer re-elected for third term as governor.
Fourteen firefighters die in Storm King Canyon Creek Fire west of Glenwood Springs in July.
Colorado General Assembly refers constitutional amendment to voters that limits future initiatives and amendments to one subject. This is approved by voters.
Lowry Air Force Base in Denver is closed.
Argento Piattino con Pesci by Andrew Libertone is installed in Denver at Sixth Avenue, Speer Blvd., and Lincoln Street.
The Regional Transportation District begins operations of light-rail in Denver.
Coors Field opens in Denver.
Elitch Gardens moves to new location in Denver’s Platte Valley.
Leap of Faith by Patty Ortiz is installed at Speer Blvd. and Elitch Circle.
Denver International Airport opens.
Central Denver Public Library addition designed by Michael Graves, is completed.
In capital cases, Colorado requires a panel of three judges to determine whether a death sentence is given. Previously this decision was made by a jury.
Quebec Nordiques National Hockey League team moves to Colorado to become the Colorado Avalanche.
U.S. Supreme Court rules that Colorado’s anti-gay Amendment 2 is unconstitutional.
Colorado Avalanche wins the Stanley Cup.
On December 26th, the body of murdered child beauty pageant star Jon Benet Ramsey is discovered in her Boulder home.
Bridge of Recycling Fountains by Laura Audrey is installed over the South Platte River at Denver’s Waste Water Management Building.
Mesa Verde National Park suffers lightening strike that burns 4681 acres.
Summit of the Eight, meeting of world leaders, is held in Denver.
Lowry Air Force Base redevelopment construction begins in Denver.
Charles J. Chaput is installed April 7th as Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Denver.
Fitzsimons Army Medical Center is closed.
Twi-Light, by John Powell, a light installation, is installed on the Denver Performing Arts Complex parking garage.
July 28 –29th heavy rains cause extensive flooding in the Fort Collins area and near Sterling.
Maybell reports a record low New Year’s Day temperature of -60 degrees.
The Oklahoma City bombing trials are held in Denver’s Federal Court.
The World Sports Arena, built with El Pomar Foundation funding, opens in Colorado Springs.
Oregon Steel renames CF& I Rocky Mountain Steel Mills.
Man and Woman, sculptures by Fernando Botero, are installed in the galleria of the Denver Performing Arts Complex.
William “Bill” Forester Owens, the first Republican governor in 24 years, takes office January 14th.
On April 20th, two students of Jefferson County Columbine High School, kill twelve students and a teacher and wound 23 others, before killing themselves.
Pepsi Center opens in Denver.
The endangered lynx is reintroduced in Colorado.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument is elevated to National Park.
Colorado population is 4,301,261.
Population grows in Denver suburbs: Aurora, 276,393; Westminster, 100,940; Thornton, 82384; Highlands Ranch, 70,931.
Hispanos make up 20% of the Aurora’s population, 30% in Denver, 11% in Colorado Springs, and 44% in Pueblo.
The Bircher Fire burns 23,000 acres of Mesa Verde National Park over ten days, while threatening Ancestral Puebloan ruins.
The Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News, financially troubled rivals, enter into a joint operating agreement to form the Denver Newspaper Agency.
Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium is completed, replacing Denver’s beloved Mile High Stadium.
Stapleton Airport redevelopment construction begins.
Veteran’s Administration Fort Lyon Medical Center, site of historic Fort Lyon, was turned over to Colorado Department of Corrections for use as a prison.
A $1.7billion project to improve Interstate 25 and extend light rail to Denver suburbs, Transportation Expansion Project (T-REX), begins.
September 11, 2001 terrorist arracks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon spark a recession, worsened in Colorado by over building and the dot.com bubble.
Colorado amendment to state constitution to allow medical use of marijuana goes into effect June 1st.
The City and County of Broomfield, Colorado’s sixty-fourth county begins.
William Owens re-elected to second term as Colorado governor.
Colorado’s economy struggles through a recession worsened by conflicting constitutional amendments, such as TABOR and Amendment 23. State government suffers fiscal crises.
The Hayman fire, set by an arsonist, is the largest fire recorded in Colorado.
Colorado experiences severe drought.
The Coal Seam fire, west of Glenwood Springs burns 12,000 acres.
Missionary Ridge fire near Durango burns 70,000 acres. Long fire closes Mesa Verde National Park to visitors.
900 wildfires damage 284,000 acres throughout Colorado.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument by Ed Dwight is installed in Denver City Park.
Denver Public Library opens Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library.
Colorado suffers a large budget deficit crisis as tax revenues shrink due to the TABOR Amendment during an economic downturn and exacerbated by the governor’s recent tax cut. The state doesn’t have enough revenue to continue normal operations and considers selling state buildings.
In March the Front Range is hit with a huge snowstorm which dumps 31.8 inches in Denver.
Kirkland Museum opens in April in Vance Kirkland’s Denver studio.
The Yearling, a steel and fiberglass sculpture by Donald Lipski is installed on the Children’s Lawn of the Denver Public Library.
Dancers by Jonathan Borofsky is installed at the Denver Performing Arts Complex sculpture park on Speer Blvd. and Arapahoe St.
East 2 West Source Point, a marble, bronze and gold leaf sculpture by Larry Kirkland, is installed on the outdoor plaza of the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Building in Denver.
Building Blocks, a stone and marble sculpture by Robert Murase, is installed on the Macintosh Plaza of the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Building in Denver.
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center opens new campus in Aurora at the site of recently closed Fitzsimons Army Medical Center.
Great Sand Dunes National Monument becomes a national park.
Descendants of original Hispanic settlers in San Luis Valley have their traditional rights to graze and gather wood on the 77,000 acre Taylor Ranch affirmed by the Colorado Supreme Court. This ended 44 years of court cases after Jack Taylor purchased the ranch in 1960 and closed the area.
Indeterminate Line, a steel sculpture by Bernar Venet is installed in Denver at the corner of Speer Blvd. and Stout St.
Clyfford Still’s paintings are donated to the City & County of Denver by Still’s widow, Patricia Still.
To allow the state to retain excess revenues to fund state government, Colorado voters pass Referendum C, the first successful attempt to modify the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), passed thirteen years earlier.
I See What You Mean, the big blue bear sculpture by Lawrence Argent, is installed at the main entrance of the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.
Frederick C Hamilton Building, Denver Art Museum addition, designed by Daniel Libeskind, opens on October 6th.
The Ellie Caulkins Opera House opens in the renovated 1908 Denver City Auditorium.
Antique Gold and Aquamarine Chandelier by Dale Chihuly is installed in the Ellie Caulkins Opera House lobby.
August William “Bill” Ritter, Jr. is inaugurated as governor January 9th.
Denver’s Children’s Hospital moves to a new facility at the Fitzsimons campus in Aurora.
One hundred years after their 1908 convention, Democrats hold their second National Convention in Denver. Barack Obama is nominated as the Democratic candidate for president.
Mustang, cast in blue fiberglass by Luis Jimenez, is installed on Pena Blvd. at Denver International Airport.
A tornado rips through Windsor May 22 causing $193 million in damages.
In January, Colorado becomes the first state in the nation where African Americans lead both chambers of the state legislature. Peter Groff, elected Senate President in 2008, is joined by Terrance Carroll as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Senator Peter Groff resigns to join the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C.
March 23rd, Colorado’s oldest newspaper, the Rocky Mountain News, publishes its last issue. The Weekly Register-Call of Central City becomes the oldest surviving Colorado newspaper.
Colorado suffers recession after the sub-prime mortgage market fails, causing widespread failures of investment banks.
The Colorado General Assembly struggles to cut over $800 million from the state budget.
In March Colorado’s unemployment rate reaches 7.5 %, the highest level since May 1987. The number of workers unemployed, 204,800 is the highest since 1976.
In April over 400 soldiers of the 3rd Battalion of the 157th Field Artillery of the Colorado National Guard prepare to leave for Iraq. This is the largest deployment since World War II.
Black Hawk mayor David Spellman purchases the Central City newspaper, the Weekly Register-Call, Colorado’s oldest surviving newspaper.
Denver has 4.86 inches of rain in June, nearly beating the record rainfall total set in 1872.
U.S. Federal Census for Colorado shows population is 5,029,196.
Paleontological excavation at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass, one of Colorado’s richest scientific discoveries, uncovers prehistoric species: a Columbian mammoth, mastodons, an Ice Age bison with a span of horns larger than six feet, a deer and a twelve foot sloth. The sediment in which the bones were found is 30,000 to 50,000 years old.
Colorado cities attempt to control booming growth in their communities of the medical marijuana dispensary.
A Big Thompson River floods threatens Estes Park in June.
The Colorado History Museum is demolished to make way for a new Colorado Supreme Court Complex.
Fourmile Fire west of Boulder destroys 169 homes and causes record property damage.
John Hickenlooper (D) inaugurated January 11th as Colorado Governor.
Charles J. Chaput ends his service Sept. 8th as Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Denver.
The City and County of Denver opens the Clyfford Still Museum November 18th.
Occupy Denver movement protests in Denver Civic Center.
The new History Colorado Center opens April 28th.
The Archaeology of Colorado by E. Steve Cassells. 1997
A Colorado History, 9 th ed. Carl Ubbelohde, Maxine Benson, and
Duane Smith. 2006
Colorado: A History of the Centennial State by Carl Abbott,
Stephen Leonard and Thomas Noel. University Press of
Colorado Yearbook State of Colorado
Denver: Mining Camp to Metropolis by Stephen Leonard and
Thomas Noel. 1990.
Early Settlements of Denver (1599 – 1860) by Nolie Mumey. 1942
History of Denver by Jerome Smiley
The New Encyclopedia of the American West, Howard R.
Lamar, ed. 1998
History Colorado C.W.A. Reference Card Files
Compiled by History Colorado and the Colorado State Archives