Colorado became the thirty-eighth state of the United States in 1876. Its nickname is the Centennial State, because it became a part of the country one hundred years after the revolution. Its name comes from a Spanish phrase meaning the color red. Early Spanish explorers in the area were impressed with the many red-colored canyons and thus called the area Colorado. People were living in the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings, in the state’s southwestern corner, around 1200. When gold was discovered in 1858, the local phrase became “Pike’s Peak or Bust.” It is the eighth largest state and the 21st most populous state. Denver is the state capital, and tourism is one of the most important economic factors. Children could visit an Internet site at: Colorado.