Denver Colorado is the capital of Colorado. It had that distinction before Colorado was even a state.
Denver is named for James W. Denver. Denver was originally called Denver City. Before formal incorporation, it was called Montana City. Denver today is called the Queen City of the Plains and Queen City of the West. Denver is called the mile high city because the official city elevation is 5,250 feet above sea level.
Denver is located near where the South Platte River merges with Cherry Creek. Denver is the largest city along the Front Range Urban Corridor, where the Rocky Mountains rise up from the Great Plains. Mount Evans is nearby. The city is surrounded by hills and mountains on the north, south and west.
The city covers 155 square miles. It is the largest city in Colorado.
Denver is relatively dry, receiving rain around 60 days a year. It is an inland Continental climate of hot dry summers and cold winters. Summers reach 90 F and even 100 F, winters are routinely 30 F and sometimes drop to zero degrees Fahrenheit. The record cold temperature is −29 F.
Denver has around 650,000 people. It is located in a larger metropolitan area with Aurora and Lakewood; that combined metropolitan area has three million people, spread over ten counties.
A large part of Denver’s economy is based on government and administration; the government in all forms such as the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Department of Agriculture, Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation, the EPA and others combined are one of the largest employers. There are six military bases around Denver, such as Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora. Fort Carson Air Force Base is located in nearby Colorado Springs. It is the home of the Colorado capital building; state government is another large employer.
Education is a major employer, with institutions like the University of Denver and the local school district.
Denver has been a transportation hub for agricultural products raised in the Great Plains. It is the largest city for a five hundred mile radius around it. It is home of Denver International Airport.
Denver used to be the home of a nuclear weapon facility, though that closed in 1989. Defense contractor Lockheed Martin still has plants in Denver.
Denver is an industrial center and distribution hub for its geographic area. Samsonite Luggage was founded there though it has since moved. Large energy and mining companies like Halliburton, Newmont Mining, EnCana and Noble Energy have facilities in Denver. Denver hosts the headquarters of several restaurants like Qdoba Mexican Grill, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Quiznos. Health One runs several hospitals in the area.
Denver is the home of Coors Field, a baseball stadium. It is the site of a botanical garden, aquarium, flight museum, several art museums, zoo and many parks.
Denver was initially founded as a mining town during the Gold Rush in 1858. Denver became a permanent settlement when land was given to the Pike’s Peak Express.
Denver City was incorporated in 1861, nine months after Colorado Territory was created. It was made the county seat at that time. In 1867, it became the territorial capital. It consolidated with the county in 1902.
Mountain Time Zone’s longitudinal reference passes through Denver Union Station.
Denver hosted the Democratic National Convention twice, in 1908 and 2008, exactly one hundred years apart. The 2008 convention is when Barack Obama was nominated for President.
Denver is the only city to turn down the Winter Olympics after being selected to host it.
More than one naval ship has been named the USS Denver.