Nevada's name comes from the Spanish word "nevado," which means "snowy." The first Europeans to settle in the region were Spanish, and the name was inspired by the nearby snow-capped mountains.
The Spanish first came to the area in 1775 as missionaries and fur traders. In 1825, the Hudson Bay Company arrived and explored the area. The United States gained the Nevada territory in 1850 by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. However, according to the Nevada Legislature website, the first settlements were not established in Nevada until 1851. It became a U.S. territory on March 2, 1861. On Oct. 31, 1864, it became the 36th state.