Nevada Day is celebrated to encourage folks to understand Nevada’s history and offers a chance to reflect on my homestate's pioneer spirit. (I like to think I'm a pioneer in one way or another).
From NV Sen. Harry Reid:
In 1864, as the Civil War dragged on, many in Congress were in a rush to grant statehood to Nevada and did not want to wait until the next session of Congress. A new state would help swing that year’s president election towards President Lincoln and provide crucial votes for passage of the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery.
On March 21, 1864, in the waning hours of the 38th Congress, Congress passed legislation allowing Nevada to join the Union once voters passed and President Lincoln approved a state constitution. It was not the normal course of business. Typically Congress would get the final word on admission of a new state to the Union, but as the country was in the midst of the Civil War, these were not normal times.
Nevada voters approved a state constitution on October 31, 1864, and President Lincoln proclaimed statehood. Today, we acknowledge Nevada’s unique path to statehood on our state flag with the words “Battle Born.”