Here are 10 Colorado facts that you should know about the “highest state” in the union…
Because of time and space constraints in this video, I couldn’t include all the details of all 10 Colorado facts. So here are a few more details:
While the name Colorado does come from the Spanish words for red-colored (de color rojo), it was the Colorado River that first got its name because of the red sediment washing down from the mountains. The state was then named after the river.
While there are 4 National Parks in Colorado, I left out the number of National Monuments and National Historic Sites also under federal jurisdiction – all added up there are 11 or 13, depending on which list you trust. Altogether, the federal government owns 1/3 of land in the state of Colorado.
Ghost towns! There actually are supposed to be 1,500 ghost towns in this state. A ghost town is a town or settlement that once existed but is no more – and that would include towns that have completely disappeared without a trace. In this 10 Colorado facts video, I decided to go with the number of 641 ghost towns that refers to places that still have abandoned buildings or at least some remnants. I’d like to contrast that with the number of actual inhabited towns and cities in the state, which is only 221. Yes, Colorado has more ghost towns than live towns! Awesome factoid!
In case you’re wondering what “mean elevation” is: it’s basically the average elevation. There are more complicated ways to explain and define it – but let’s just leave it at that for now. In the case of Colorado, the mean elevation and lowest point matter to define it as the “highest state” because if it was just about highest point, Alaska would win since Denali has a higher than any Colorado mountain. Also, marijuana is legal in Alaska.
Claiming that Colorado was first in any marijuana legalization was a bit tricky. Because both Colorado and Washington legalized recreational marijuana in 2012 in theory – and then both allowed the sale through shops in 2014; Colorado just did it a few months earlier. There are claims that medical marijuana was first in Colorado as well (2000) – but then there is California with its policy changes in the 1990s. It got to time-consuming to figure out all the minute details of legislation and timing. So I kept it simple for the video.
In my research for this 10 Colorado facts video, I found out that some “known facts” about Colorado are actually not true. The often repeated phrase “Colorado has 300 sunny days a year” just started as a promotional slogan for a railroad company in 1870 and is not based in fact – although the sun does shine most days in Colorado. Thank the universe!
Also, Colorado currently does not have the most craft breweries and brew pubs per capita in the US. That would be Vermont with 9.4 breweries per 100,000 21+ adults. Colorado comes in third (7.3 breweries per 100,000 21+ adults) – according to the Brewers Association. By the way, Colorado is in second place when it comes to consumption of craft beers…
Last but not least, there are a lot of interesting facts I couldn’t fit in the video. For example, the cheeseburger was supposedly invented in Colorado by Louis Ballast, and the first license plate was put on a car in 1908 in Denver.
All the footage in this video, I took from other 1-minute In A Colorado Minute videos. If you want to check those out, go ahead and explore more of Colorful Colorado (the slogan that used to be on Colorado license plates):