Colorado is a state of the United States encompassing most of the southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. It is the 8th largest geographicallyand 21st most populous U.S. state.
The state was named for the Colorado River, which Spanish travelers named the Río Colorado for the ruddy silt the river carried from the mountains. The Territory of Colorado was organized on February 28, 1861, and on August 1, 1876, U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant signed Proclamation 230 admitting Colorado to the Union as the 38th state. Colorado is nicknamed the "Centennial State" because it became a state a century after the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence.