Colorado History

Ten Reasons Why Colorado Is Coolorado

Colorado celebrated its 140th birthday on August 1. Because it was admitted to the Union on the hundredth anniversary of this country’s declaration of independence, it was quickly nicknamed the Centennial State. But to us, it’s always been Coolorado, the coolest state around, and the thousands of people moving here every month clearly agree.

But what, exactly, makes Colorado so hot? As both a primer for newcomers and a refresher course for natives, we’re sharing more than a hundred cool things about Colorado. Here are the first ten: fascinating facts about Coolorado.


10. Colorado became the 38th state of the Union on August 1, 1876, the centennial year of the signing of the Declaration of Independence — making this the Centennial State.

9. Colorado was the first state to give women the right to vote, in 1893.

8. Colorado was the first state to legalize abortion. Young legislator Richard Lamm pushed the bill through a Republican-controlled legislature in 1967.

7. Colorado is the birthplace of the Libertarian Party, America’s third-largest political party, which was founded here in 1971.

6. Colorado has more unaffiliated voters than voters affiliated with either party. As of the end of June, the state had 1,003,628 active unaffiliated voters; 988,410 registered Republicans and 980,352 registered Democrats — and the ranks of independents are growing.

Keep reading for five more fascinating facts about Colorado.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun