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State history is yours for the learning on Nevada Day

Today’s observance of Nevada Day offers the opportunity to see a simulated underground mine along with mining exhibits as well as a chance to get free admission to the Atomic Testing Museum.

Nevada Day celebrates the day that Nevada became a state in 1864.

Some of the most important chapters in Nevada’s modern history revolve around the atomic testing that was conducted at the Nevada Test Site, about 75 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

Admission is free today to the Atomic Testing Museum, open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 755 E. Flamingo Road. The museum has exhibits, memorabilia and historical footage from the nation’s nuclear weapons testing program during the Cold War.

Regular admission of $12 for adults, with discounts for seniors, youths and military personnel with identification, will resume Saturday, a museum spokesman said.

Also today, the 4,500-square-foot simulated mine and its accompanying exhibits will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at McCaw Elementary School, 57 Lynn Lane, off Basic Road across the street from the Henderson City Hall and Civic Center.

Access to the McCaw mining program normally is available only to third-, fourth- and fifth-grade Clark County School District students through pre-arranged tours.

Hot dogs, doughnuts and coffee will be given away.

Mining is the second-largest industry in Nevada in terms of revenue to the state and the largest industry in rural Nevada. It provides more than 70,500 direct and indirect jobs throughout the state and contributes more than $100 million each year to state and local taxes, officials said. Though called the Silver State, Nevada is the fifth-largest gold producer in the world behind South Africa, Australia, China and Peru. In addition, Nevada produces many other minerals and ores.

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