Friday, June 4, 2010

Did You Know THAT About Denver?

In preparation for the Annual Meeting, Lauren E. Schroeder of O'Quinn Law Library decided to put together a list of tidbits about Denver. It was published in the Summer 2010 issue of the ALL-SIS Newsletter, and is reprinted with permission below.

Did You Know That About Denver?
Lauren E. Schroeder
University of Houston Law Center, O’Quinn Law Library

As this year’s Annual Meeting draws ever closer, I decided to put together a myriad of little tidbits about the host city. I hope you’ll find the list informative and interesting (or at least potentially useful to any Jeopardy aspirations you may have), so in no particular order:

* The 105th meridian west of Greenwich, which serves as the reference point for the Mountain Time Zone, goes through Denver’s Union Station.

* In addition to having the city named for him, U.S. Representative and territorial governor James William Denver is also the inspiration behind the Denver omelet, which usually contains ingredients such as ham, onions, and green peppers.

* The precursor to today’s United Way was formed in Denver in 1887. Called the Charity Organizations Society, it was created by religious leaders to coordinate local services to the population and to raise funds for several agencies.

* In 1970, Denver was chosen as the host city for the 1976 Olympic Winter Games. However, due to fears of taxes being increased, the citizens voted against it in 1972, giving Denver the distinction of being the only city to ever turn down hosting the Olympics after being selected.

* Denver is at the midpoint of a 10 year plan to end homelessness, called Denver’s Road Home. Its successes include: creating more than 1,500 new housing units, helping more than 3,000 people find jobs, and providing assistance to several thousand families in order to keep them from becoming homeless.

* For the chocoholics in our midst: Russell Stover Candies began producing its chocolates in Denver in 1923.

* Quiznos was founded in Denver in 1981, and continues to be headquartered there.

* Denver has the second-largest performing arts complex in the nation (behind Lincoln Center), and it is the largest housed under one roof.

* Got beer? Denver is number one in the nation for beer production per capita, and second overall in terms of the number of breweries. But you might want to go easy on the alcohol, since the high altitude can increase its effects quickly.

* Animal Planet’s “Emergency Vets” television show (1998-2002) was filmed in Denver’s Alameda East Veterinary Hospital, and several of the featured vets are still there.

* Denver is the second-oldest sister city in the U.S., establishing an officially-approved relationship with Brest, France in 1948.

* Denver resident Margaret “Molly” Brown of Titanic fame also earned the Legion of Honor for her relief efforts in France during World War I.

* Denver’s Botanic Gardens were featured in the book “1001 Gardens You Must See Before You Die” (edited by Rae Spencer-Jones, Barron’s, 2007).

* According to the U.S. Census website, approximately 7,600 people are employed in legal occupations, 14,800 people work in education, training, and library occupations, and there are about 1,000 law offices in Denver.

* It is one of only two U.S. cities with 8 professional sports teams: the Colorado Rockies (baseball), Colorado Rapids (soccer), Denver Broncos (football), Denver Outlaws and Colorado Mammoth (lacrosse), Denver Nuggets (basketball), Colorado Crush arena football), and Colorado Avalanche (hockey).
* It has the nation’s largest Cinco de Mayo celebration.

* There are more than 300 days of sunshine per year, so bring your sunscreen!

* Denver’s U.S. Mint was founded in 1863 as an assay office, became a working mint in 1904, and its current output can be over 50 million coins a day.

* It has the third-highest percentage of college graduates in the country, with 35.5% of its population having at least a Bachelor’s degree.

* Denver has the largest public parks system of any city in the U.S. – there are 205 parks within the city limits.

* It has the first stand-alone nonprofit invertebrate zoo in the nation – its Butterfly Pavilion is home to over 1,200 free-flying butterflies, as well as other insects.

* Denver’s first public library opened in 1889 in a wing of Denver High School, described as a “center of public happiness” by City Librarian John Cotton Dana, and moved to its own building (funded by Andrew Carnegie) in 1910.

Sources Consulted:

Alameda East Veterinary Hospital:
Butterfly Pavilion:
Census Bureau:
Colorado’s official tourism site:
Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce:
Denver Performing Arts Complex:
Denver Public Library:
Denver Sister Cities International:
Denver Tourist & Vacation Information:
Denver’s Road Home:
Molly Brown House Museum:
Russell Stover:
United States Mint:
United Way:

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