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In Washington, the U.S. Senate begins the process of enabling the statehood of the Nevada Territory

James Rood Doolittle, circa 1864, detail
In the U.S. Senate, Senator James Doolittle of Wisconsin introduced a bill to enable Nevada to prepare for statehood.  This bill passed both houses quickly and President Lincoln signed it on March 21, 1864.  A previous attempt to form a constitution in the state had failed the previous year but this time the people of Nevada voted overwhelmingly to accept the newly drafted constitution in September and the President proclaimed Nevada a state on October 31, 1864.  (By John Osborne) 
Source Citation: 
Russell R. Elliott, History of Nevada (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1987), 84-88.