11 Things You Might Not Know About Colorado

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It's August 1, and you know what that means. Your rent is due. Also, Colorado was admitted to the Union 137 years ago today! Let's celebrate with 11 facts about the Centennial State.

1. Yes, it's the Centennial State, because 137 years ago was 1876—100 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

2. Many restaurants claim to have invented the cheeseburger, but it was Colorado resident Louis Ballast of the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In in Denver who named it: He trademarked the term in 1935.

3. At 53 square miles, Denver International Airport is twice the size of Manhattan.

4. Colorado Springs is home to the United States Olympic Committee's flagship training center, but Colorado is the only U.S. state that's ever turned down an Olympic bid. Denver originally won the bid for the 1976 Winter Olympics, but the state's voters later rejected it due to infrastructure costs and environmental concerns. Innsbruck, Austria, ended up hosting.

5. Fast forward a few decades, and Denver's interested in hosting again, perhaps in 2022.

6. In May, Colorado became the first state to fully regulate the recreational use, sale, and consumption of marijuana.

7. In 1982, Stegosaurus stenops was named Colorado's official state fossil. We're not saying the dinosaur would approve of marijuana legalization, but it was an herbivore...

8. The Colorado Alligator Farm in the San Luis Valley is the world's only high-altitude alligator colony at 7,664 feet above sea level.

9. No U.S. President or Vice-President has hailed from Colorado.

10. Trinidad, Colorado is known as the "Sex Change Capital of the World." It's been estimated that Dr. Stanley Biber  performed 65 percent of the world's sex change operations from 1969 to 2003. Dr. Marci Bowers, a transgender surgeon, took over his practice in 2006, but moved it to California in 2010.

11. One thing the natives are still divided about: If they're officially called "Coloradans" or "Coloradoans." Some politically minded citizens prefer the portmanteau "Coloradicals."

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August 1, 2013 - 11:32am
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