In 2017, National Day Calendar® began celebrating each state in the order they entered the union starting the week of Independence Day and ending with Hawaii. We highlight a small part of each states’ history, foods and the people who make up the state. Many states have their own state celebrations, and National Day Calendar’s observances in no way replace them. There’s so much more to explore, we can’t help but celebrate our beautiful country even more!
NATIONAL COLORADO DAY
April 12 recognizes the 38th state on National Colorado Day.
The first of the Four Corner States, Colorado is dominated by the Rocky Mountains. Prehistoric Colorado comes to life in the Florissant Fossil Beds. Discover one of the most abundant deposits of fossils in the world while taking in the beauty of the Rocky Mountains.
With plentiful wildlife and natural resources, the state makes a ready home. A city once thrived along the cliffs of Mesa Verde, populated by Ancient Pueblo.
Spanish first explored Colorado seeking streets paved with gold. After Colorado became a U.S. territory, Lieutenant Zebulon Pike explored the range of the newly acquired land. A summit he predicted would never be scaled bears his name today. Gold would be discovered setting off a fever in the mountains. A silver boom would soon follow.
Known as the Centennial State, Colorado entered the union in 1876.
Rocky Mountain National Park provides breathtaking views, trails, skiing, camping and so much more. For the thrill seekers, Colorado hears your call. With an elevation higher than any other state, Colorado counts 53 mountain peaks that reach 14,000 feet or more making the state’s rugged landscape attractive for hikers and rock climbers. Known as 14ers in the mountaineering world, these peaks are on a climbing to-do list.
Not only does Colorado have phenomenal skiing and snowboarding, but because the state has the tallest dunes in North America, sand boarding is also the best in the nation.
Space and technology play a pivotal role in Colorado. From the mysteries deep in the mountain at Colorado Springs to the 21st Space Wing. Of course, there is no lack of historical figures in the state. From the unsinkable Molly Brown to Buffalo Bill there is something for vintage enthusiasts and those who prefer to visit the old homestead days.
Colorado also stakes claim to the creation of the creamy and delicious root beer float! Those white frosty peaks of ice cream in churning dark root beer seem appropriate somehow for the Rocky Mountain State.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Join National Day Calendar® as we explore the summits and valleys of Colorado. Take a hike over a rocky trail or visit the bustling capital city. Discover out of the way places and share your favorites by using #NationalColoradoDay to post on social media.
Florence Sabin - Physician - (November 9, 1871 - October 3, 1953)
As the first woman to graduate from Johns Hopkins Medical School, Florence Sabin went on to become the school’s first female professor. Sabin built her career reputation on research into the role of white blood cells, tuberculosis, and immunology.
Paul Whiteman - Bandleader - (March 28, 1890 - December 29, 1967)
Bandleader, Paul Whiteman, produced numerous jazz recordings and was often billed as the “King of Jazz.”
Mary Cronin - Mountaineer - (April 1, 1893 - March 22, 1982)
In 1921, Mary Cronin became the first woman to climb all 58 of the fourteen-thousand-foot peaks in Colorado. Known as 14ers, North Carbonate Peak was renamed Cronin Peak in 2005.
Marguerite Roberts - Screenwriter - (September 21, 1905 - February 17, 1989)
One of the highest paid screenwriters during the 1930s, Marguerite Roberts wrote several westerns. One, True Grit, was John Wayne’s only Oscar win. Roberts was blacklisted for nine years for refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947.
Dalton Trumbo - Screenwriter - (December 9, 1905 - September 10, 1976)
Award-winning screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo, was blacklisted for refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee along with other members of Hollywood. Spartacus and Roman Holiday are two of his most noted scripts.
Mary McDonough Coyle Chase - Journalist - (February 25, 1906 - October 20, 1981)
Journalist, author and playwright, Mary McDonough Coyle Chase became best known for her imaginary characters. Her play Harvey starred Jimmy Stewart when it came to the big screen in 1950.
Willard Libby - Chemist - ( December 17, 1908 - September 8, 1980)
Williard Libby developed the technique for determining the age of organic artifacts called carbon dating. In 1960, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Chemistry his contributions to archaeology, geology, geophysics and other sciences.
Douglas Fairbanks - Actor - (December 9, 1909 - May 7, 2000)
Best known for his roles as Zorro, Robin Hood, and a musketeer, Douglas Fairbanks played debonair characters during the silent age of film. He was both a founding member of United Artists and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Ruth Handler - Businesswoman - (November 4, 1916 - April 27, 2002)
In 1959, Ruth Handler designed a doll that she would name after her daughter. Barbie™ would become one of Mattel’s best-selling toys, and she would take on many roles, too. From astronaut to teacher, cowgirl and cartoon character, Barbie and her counterpart Ken would become a household mainstay.
Robert J Seiwald - Chemist - (March 26, 1925-)
Robert Seiwald along with Joseph H. Burkhalter receive credit for helping synthesize the compound used today for rapid and accurate diagnosis of infectious diseases. Fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) earned them a place in The National Inventors Hall of Fame.
M. Scott Carpenter - Naval Officer - (May 1, 1925 - October 10, 2013)
A pioneer in space exploration, Scott Carpenter became the second American to orbit the Earth. Carpenter left the surface of land behind by being both an astronaut and aquanaut.
Norman Brinker - Businessman - (June 3, 1931 - June 9, 2009)
Once the owner of Chili’s, Norman Brinker developed numerous restaurant concepts including the salad bar.
Kenneth Kesey - Author - (September 17, 1935 - November 10, 2001)
Inspired by his experience during a U.S. Army study, Ken Kesey wrote the novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. He later wrote a second work, Sometimes a Great Notion. Both were adapted to film, the former earning five Academy Awards.
Marilyn Ferguson - Author - (April 5, 1938 - October 19, 2008)
Musician and composer, Larry Dunn, is best known for his role as sound engineer and playing keyboard for Earth, Wind & Fire. Together, they won six Grammy Awards in the 70s and 80s and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.
Larry Dunn - Keyboardist - (June 19, 1953 -)
Francesca Woodman - Photographer - (April 3, 1958 - January 19, 1981)
Johnny Spillane - Skier - (November 24, 1980)
Nordic combined skier, Johnny Spillane is a three-time Olympic silver medalist. The event includes ski jumping and cross-country skiing.
National Ice Core Lab – Denver
The samples of glacial ice core samples are stored for scientific research.
Tiny Town and Railroad – Morrison
Morrison’s railroad town is a miniature adventure.
Mike the Headless Chicken Sculpture – Fruita
The town of Fruita and their Headless Chicken Sculpture named Mike hold an annual festival.