Első fehér ember a spanyol Escalante misszioniárius 1755-ben járt erre, de az indiánok által is gyéren lakott viztelen sivatagos területet nem tartotta érdemesnek misszió
megalapíitására. Később az északi erdősebb területekent prémvadászok jelentek meg , majd az aranyásók lepték el a területet.
[[Image:Early Locomotive.JPG|thumb|right|250px|Early [[locomotives]], such as this one in [[Ely, Nevada]] played an important role in the early Nevada [[mining]] industry.]]
See [[History of Utah]] (beginning 12,000 BC), [[History of Las Vegas]], and the discovery of the first major U.S. deposit of [[silver ore]] in [[Comstock Lode]] under [[Virginia City, Nevada]] in 1859.
On March 2, 1861, the [[Nevada Territory]] separated from the [[Utah Territory]] and adopted its current name, shortened from ''Sierra Nevada'' ([[Spanish language|Spanish]] for "snowy range"). Eight days prior to the [[U.S. presidential election, 1864|presidential election of 1864]], Nevada became the 36th state in the union. Statehood was rushed to the date of October 31 to help ensure [[Abraham Lincoln]]'s reelection on November 8 and post-Civil War [[United States Republican Party|Republican]] dominance in Congress.<ref>Rocha Guy, [http://dmla.clan.lib.nv.us/docs/nsla/archives/myth/myth12.htm ''Historical Myth a Month: Why Did Nevada Become A State?'']</ref> As Nevada's mining-based economy tied it to the more industrialized [[Union (American Civil War)|Union]], it was viewed as more politically reliable than other Confederate-sympathizing states such as neighboring California. (Citation Needed. This is questionable because California was a state long before this happened)
Nevada achieved its current boundaries on May 5, 1866 when it absorbed the portion of [[Pah-Ute County, Arizona|Pah-Ute County]] in the [[Arizona Territory]] west of the Colorado River, essentially all of present day Nevada south of the [[37th parallel north|37th parallel]]. The transfer was prompted by the discovery of gold in the area, and it was thought by officials that Nevada would be better able to oversee the expected population boom. This area includes most of what is now [[Clark County, Nevada|Clark County]].