Denver, Colorado is known for being a city of pioneers. Today, its nickname remains “The Mile-High City” because the elevation of its downtown is over 5,280 feet. It was also the capital of Colorado from 1858 to 1862. A little-known fact is that Denver was at one time known as the “Gateway” to the Rocky Mountains or “The Queen City of the Plains.” Here is what Denver is Known for:
The Great Depression
The Great Depression was the most severe economic downturn in the history of the United States. It started in 1929 and lasted until about 1939. During this time, millions of Americans lost their jobs, had lost almost everything that they owned. Many were homeless and hungry as well as suffered from disease and despair. Denver has several memorials to honor those who lived through this period in what is now known as “The Great Depression.”
By 1929, a coal strike crippled the city’s economy and ravaged it with unemployment. The Great Depression was on its way to Colorado. Not only did Denver suffer from the Great Depression; it was a focal point of The Dust Bowl that caused many to migrate from Colorado to California to find work.
The Dust Bowl was caused by Colorado’s dry climate, which brought devastating winds. These winds blew dirt from the dry Great Plains states, causing dust storms. The dust storms drove millions of farmers from their homes and destroyed crops. Many of them left for California or migrated to other places where work was available. Denver has several memorials that remind people of this difficult time in Colorado’s history.
World War II and After
World War II lasted from 1939 to 1945. It was fought in many parts of the world, including the entire Pacific Ocean and Asia. World War II was also known as “The Great War.” Almost every family in America had someone in their family who was a part of this war, either fighting on the front lines or helping with the war effort back home. During this time, America had many jobs available for people. The men were needed for fighting and for help at home to build planes, tanks, bombs, and ships.
After World War II, Denver was recognized as an important city in America. Its economy continued to grow, and it became home to many large companies with well-paying jobs. Most people had high incomes and lived comfortable lives. They were able to buy nice houses in good neighborhoods with good schools nearby. Most of these schools were built during the time of the Great Depression or World War II. During this period, Denver had its first development plan, which was called “A Plan for Tomorrow. ” This plan was developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Denver is a Cultural City with a Highly Educated Population
Denver has always had a large percentage of its population attending college, and many of the people who work in Denver’s big companies are well educated. Denver is sometimes called, “The Harvard of the West,” because it is home to two great universities: the University of Denver and Colorado University. It has two other colleges as well as technical schools and several private, religious colleges. Many businesses that have been started in Colorado were created by graduates from these schools.
Denver is One Mile High
The “mile high” part of Denver’s name comes from the fact that Denver is 5,280 feet above sea level. It is almost exactly one mile (1,609 meters) above sea level. The elevation of Denver is 5,280 feet above sea level. This attitude makes it the highest major city in North America.
Downtown Boom and Suburban Growth
During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Denver began to grow at a very fast pace. The city’s population grew by almost a third, from about 660,000 people in 1960 to more than 900,000 people by the year 1975. Downtown Denver became very crowded and expensive. Many of the original neighborhoods became rundown and dangerous. At that same time, many suburban communities began to develop on the edge of the city.
Many people moved out of downtown because it had become too expensive and crowded. The suburbs offered many of the same privileges that they had enjoyed in the city; they also offered a lot more space to enjoy. The new neighborhoods had golf courses, waterways, and people who moved out to live there because they liked the suburban “country life.” At this time, Denver’s population was made up of both urbanites and suburbanites.
Denver is Surrounded by Mountains But There is No Mountain in Denver
Denver lies on the high plains in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. Although it is called “The Mile-High City,” there is no mountain inside the city. The highest point in Denver is Mt. Evans, which is located on the border of Jefferson County, and goes directly through Idaho Springs and Idaho City. Mt. Evans is 14,264 feet above sea level.
In the days of the Blackfoot and Arapaho, the mountains of Colorado served as a barrier to prevent their enemies from invading. It was also where their people hunted and trapped animals for food. These mountains are still a source of pride for Coloradoans. The foothills that surround Denver’s downtown are also very important in many ways. They provide water to many communities and they preserve open space in the city.