In 1859 Nevada was an area that was not well known among settlers. Following Henry Comstock’s discovery of gold in 1859, with his Comstock Lode producing over a billion dollars from silver and gold mining, settlers flocked to Nevada. Within two years it became a territory. Nevada then became a state on October 31, 1864.
The first mention of a grand celebration of Nevada’s admission was in a journalist’s diary in 1873. After that the Pioneer society held a banquet on October 31, 1889. The state of Nevada officially recognized its birthday when Governor Roswell Colcord signed a bill in 1891 making October 31 a judicial holiday when no court business would be transacted on that day. In 1933 the state legislature passed a bill to designate October 31 as Nevada Day, a discretionary state holiday.
In 1948 October 31 fell on a Sunday for the first time since the Nevada Day parade was held (in 1938) so the day was held on the following Monday instead. The law on this holiday was amended in the following year so if October 31 fell on a Sunday then Nevada Day state holiday was held on the following Monday. In 1971, the law governing holidays was amended to designate Friday as the state holiday when October 31 falls on a Saturday.
On November 3, 1998, Nevada voters advised the 1999 legislature that they wanted to celebrate Nevada Day on the last Friday of October beginning in 2000. The legislature eventually complied. Since then, Nevada Day has been celebrated on the last Friday of October. Nevada Day is October 31 but is to be observed on the last Friday in October.