Happy Nevada Day weekend! Monday marks the 152nd Anniversary of Nevada’s admission to the Union. While most states don’t have special holidays celebrating their respective admissions to the Union, most states also don’t have such a compelling story regarding their admission. Indeed citizens of other States often laugh and ridicule Nevada for celebrating the date of our statehood (clients have asked why offices are “closed for Halloween”), yet little do they know the role that Nevada’s admission to the Union had in saving our country. Briefly recapped:

Nevada was admitted to the Union on October 31, 1864 during the midst of the American Civil War. October 31, 1864 also happened to be 8 days before the 1864 Presidential Election, which pitted the incumbent “Honest” Abraham Lincoln (remember him) against Democratic challenger George B. McClellan. McClellan was a former Union General who had often clashed with Lincoln about war strategy and whom Lincoln ultimately fired. Still bearing this grudge against Lincoln, he ran as the Democratic nominee for President on a party platform that encouraged an immediate end to the Civil War and some form of peace treaty with the Confederate States.  McClellan was a popular candidate, especially among veterans and a war-weary populace. Lincoln, of course, was determined to see a Union victory and the 1864 Republican party platform promised “not to compromise with Rebels”(the Southern ones, not the UNLV basketball team) and sought to “terminate and forever prohibit the existence of Slavery within the limits of the jurisdiction of the United States”. With the stakes set as they were, Nevada’s admission to the Union on October 31, 1864 (Nevada was a pro-Lincoln state) allowed Lincoln to gain an extra three Electoral votes in the 1864 Presidential Election, and the rest, they say, is history. This story is the reason why Nevada is known as the “Battle Born State”, with the phrase “Battle Born” also adopted by The Killers as the name of their fourth album.

A quick disclaimer, of course- I am not a Nevada history expert, and in the above represents the generally held version of events. Speaking of elections, for those of you prone to “fact-checking” here is an interesting fact v. fiction article that explores the events surrounding Nevada’s statehood in further detail.

If all of this history is making your head explode on a Friday, here’s a few happenings around town that should help you celebrate Nevada Day weekend:

-Tonight at The Bunkhouse Saloon local favorites Rusty Maples will have a party and concert to celebrate the release of their new album “Detach”. You can preview 5 of the tracks here courtesy of punksinvegas.com.  And speaking of the Killers, their bassist Mark Stoermer will be opening the show with his band The Hownds, along with Vegas bands We Are Pancakes and Failure Machine. Doors open at 8 and tickets are $8adv/$10door available at Bunkhousedowntown.com. This should be an incredible night of music and a great way to celebrate Nevada Day.

-Another local favorite Jesse Pino has released the second single off his upcoming EP “Signal Received”. The track is entitled “Hearts Collide”, it is incredible, and you can listen and download it here.

-Yet another local favorite, Michael Louis Austin, has started streaming his live acoustic performances via his Facebook page. You can check them out at and you may even catch yours truly drinking beer and singing along to his recent performance at World of Beer.

-Speaking of Facebook, an interesting recent development is the creation of a website and Facebook page entitled “Las Vegas Music Scene”. The site promises to promote shows, new music, and other news, and is taking submissions from local artists. I look forward to great things from this website.

-Finally, the PBR World Finals festivities kick off this Saturday and run through Sunday November 6th. I’ll be providing coverage again this year so send me your questions or requests. A full schedule of events can be found here.

If there’s anything else going on that I’ve missed feel free to hit me up, otherwise have a safe and Happy Nevada Day weekend!