15 Fun and Interesting Denver Trivia Facts
Denver has so much to offer, including a deep and colorful history. Here are 15 fun facts that are interesting pieces of Denver trivia for all proud Denverites to know:
1. The Cheeseburger was trademarked in Denver. Louis Ballast, who operated the Humpty Dumpty Barrel Drive-In in Denver at 2776 North Speer Boulevard (now a Key Bank), received a trademark for the name Cheeseburger in 1935.
2. The 1976 Winter Olympics were originally planned to be held in Denver. However, after the community voted against it (because of the cost, pollution, and population boom it would have created), the city of Denver withdrew its bid, making it the first place to ever turn down hosting the Olympics.
3. The 13th step of the state capitol building in Denver is exactly one mile high above sea level, thus Denver’s nickname of the “Mile High City”. ONE MILE ABOVE SEA LEVEL is etched in the 13th step.
4. The dome of the state capitol building is plated with real 24K gold. However, the real rarity of the Capitol is on the inside – the world’s entire known supply of Colorado Rose Onyx was used on the building’s interior.
5. Fittingly, with our city’s proliferation of breweries, the first permanent structure in Denver was not a hospital, bank, or house – it was a saloon!
6. In Denver’s thin air (1 mile above sea level), golf balls go about 10% farther than they would at sea level.
7. Famed music group Led Zeppelin played their first show in America at the former Denver Auditorium Arena, which was located at the corner of 13th and Champa Streets in downtown Denver. This Arena opened in 1908 and closed in 1990.
8. In 1902, the police at Denver’s Union Station started enforcing a “no kissing” rule on the platforms because it slowed down the trains.
9. William McGaa, one of the first settlers of Denver, named several downtown streets. Wewatta – after his original Sioux wife, and Wazee – after his mistress!
10. When viewed from above, the 400,000 pieces of granite paving on the pedestrian walkway of the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver resembles the skin of a western diamondback rattlesnake.
11. 200 named peaks are visible from Denver. 32 of them tower at 13,000 feet and above.
12. Denver was named after Kansas Territorial Governor James Denver in hopes of gaining political favor. However, by the time the town was named, Governor Denver had retired.
13. The Denver Mint is the single largest producer of coins in the world. You can tell if a coin is made in Denver by a D mark.
14. In Denver, it is unlawful to lend your vacuum cleaner to your neighbor!
15. Denver’s bright blue sky really is bluer than many other cities’. Because of Denver’s elevation, the air has less water vapor than it would at a lower altitude, making for a gorgeous blue sky!
- “25 Fun Facts About Denver YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW”, by Barry Kunselman, PorchLight Real Estate Group, April 7, 2017.
- The Gazette, “Biggest, highest, most… 18 interesting facts about Colorado”, by Doug Fitzgerald, Aug 7, 2020.
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