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Prior to the arrival of European settlers, Colorado, was inhabited by a number of Native American tribes. These included the Apache, who inhabited the eastern plains in the 18th century but then migrated southward into Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. The void left by the migration of the Apache was filled by the Arapaho and Cheyenne, who had both come from the East, however they were both relocated out Colorado in the 1860s. Additionally, the Shoshoni inhabited a number of valleys, including the Yampa River valley, in the North of the state, until the late 19th century, and the Ute were an established tribe in the Rocky Mountains for many centuries but were relocated almost entirely out of the state in the 1880s.
The first Europeans to arrive in the area were Spanish, French and American fur traders, trappers and explorers. The land that would eventually become Colorado, was acquired in part by the 1803 Louisiana Purchase from France, and in part from Mexico by the 1848 Mexican Cession (following the 1846-1848 Mexican-American War).
In 1858, gold was discovered in Colorado, and when news got to the East, large numbers of settlers arrived in the 1859 Colorado Gold Rush. The population exploded in many places, but later fell back down again when the ore ran out, leaving many ghost towns.
Colorado was organized as a U.S. territory on February 28, 1861, and was admitted to the Union as the 38th state on 1876.
In 1970, the 1976 Winter Olympics was awarded to Denver. However, Colorado voted to prohibit public funds from being used to support the games, so the games were instead relocated to Innsbruck in Austria.
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