Fun Facts About Denver

Banners advertising the Democratic National Convention line Denver's 16th Street Mall on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2008. AP Photo/Ed Andrieski

  • Located one mile above sea-level, Denver is nicknamed the "Mile High City".

  • Denver is the capitol of Colorado and turns 150 years old this fall.

  • City lore tells us that the first permanent structure in Denver was a saloon.

  • The last time Denver hosted the Democratic National Convention was in 1908.

  • According to the U.S. Census (2007), Colorado is the 8th fastest growing state in the nation. Denver's population grew to 588,349 in July 2007, which made it the 26th largest city in the U.S. In addition, Denver has the 10th largest downtown area in the U.S.

  • Denver's median income per household is $40,900; the national median income is $48,201. (U.S. Census, 2006)

  • In 2005, voters passed a measure making Denver the first major U.S. city to legalize marijuana use in private for legal adults when it is less than an ounce. But city officials continue to enforce superseding state laws which stipulate that a marijuana offense of an ounce or less is considered a Class 2 petty offense in Colorado.

  • Denver's Invesco Field (Obama's acceptance speech venue) is home to the Denver Broncos. The Broncos appeared in the Super Bowl six times, winning back to back championships in 1998 and 1999.

  • Other Colorado sports teams include the MLB's Colorado Rockies, the NHL's Colorado Avalanches and the NBA's Denver Rockets.

  • Denver is home to such companies as Molson Coors, Vodafone, United Launch Alliance, and Western Union.

  • Denver has one of the highest per-capita vehicle ownership rates in the nation, making gas prices a major concern here.

  • Denver's Mayor is John Hickenlooper, a Democrat.

  • Colorado's Governor Bill Ritter is a Democrat. Senator Ken Salazar is a Democrat. Senator Wayne Allard is a Republican.

  • Senator Allard is retiring this year, paving the way for a competitive race between Democrat Mark Udall and Republican Bob Schaffer.

  • If Democrats can pick up the open Senate seat, and retain their House seats, they would hold the Governorship, both Senate seats and four out of seven House seats, further adding to the notion that Colorado is trending more and more Democratic.

    Denver 1908: It Was 100 Years Ago Today …

    The last time Denver hosted the Democratic convention:

  • The presumptive nominee, William Jennings Bryan, did not attend the convention which was customary at the time. He stayed home on his Nebraska farm cutting alfalfa. He sent his brother and stayed in constant contact by telegraph.

  • Bryan accepted the nomination by telephone. The phone was placed near amplifiers so that the delegates could listen - at the going rate of $3.25 a minute for telephone calls at the time.

  • Only three states (Colorado, Utah and Wyoming) permitted women to vote.

  • Of the 1,008 delegates in Denver, five were women - two from Colorado, two from Utah and one from Wyoming.

  • Denver was a 50-year-old city of 210,000 people.

  • To lure the Democrats to Denver, the city plunked down $50,000 - at a time when a loaf of bread cost a nickel - to help cover convention costs.

  • The biggest concerns heading into the July convention were weather and pickpockets, Denver police added 16 officers and hired Pinkerton detectives to handle the 30,000 visitors, including the families of delegates, lobbyists and salesmen looking for business.

  • At the direction of Mayor Robert Speer, police turned a blind eye to the city's red light district centered on Market Street in what is now trendy Lower Downtown. Madams updated a discrete, pocket-sized guidebook boasting of their "female boarders" and offering the "comforts of home."

  • Snow was brought from the mountains and dumped outside the convention to show delegates that it was possible to have a midsummer snowball fight. Residents wore buttons proclaiming, "I live in Denver - Ask Me."

  • Denver had a street car system. Horses and wagons filled the streets along with trendy electric cars.

    Source: Associated Press, via interview with Colorado state historian Bill Convery
    • CBSNews

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