name comes from the Spanish word meaning "snow clad"--a
reference to the snow-covered peaks of the Sierra Nevada.
discovery of the Comstock Lode, a massive deposit of silver, in
1859 brought many fortune seekers.
Statehood followed shortly
afterwards in 1864, when Nevada was admitted as the 36th state.
Nevada is in a mountain region that includes semiarid grasslands
and sandy deserts, and is the most arid (dry) state in the nation.
Like oases in the desert, Nevada's two main cities--Las Vegas and
Reno--attract fortune seekers from around the world hoping to
strike it rich in the many casinos located there.
The capital is
Carson City, and the state flower is the sagebrush.