Today is the official observance of Nevada Day, although the Day itself is October 31. Nevada Day is actually a pretty big deal in these parts. It commemorates the day in 1864 that Nevada was admitted to the Union as the 36th state despite the then-raging American Civil War. This is the reason our state flag has the words "Battle Born" on it. Most Nevadans believe that Nevada's statehood was pushed forward during the war in order to somehow safeguard Union access to Comstock Lode silver that was pouring out of Virginia City, just over the Virginia Range from Reno. This is not true; the Federal government would have had much better direct control over access to Comstock silver while Nevada was still part of a Federal territory. Statehood was really rushed through just prior to the elections of 1864 in order to help Abraham Lincoln and the Republican Party keep control of Congress. But whatever the reason the important thing is that the Greatest of All The States is turning 142 years old this Tuesday.