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The People's Republic of Boulder
by Stormy on September 30, 2001

It has been said that if a trend did not start in California, it must have come from Boulder, but this city has a lot more to offer than simple trends.

Europeans first came to the Boulder Valley in 1858 to prospect for gold. Back then this area was still a part of the Nebraska Territory. The present day Baseline Road in Boulder runs along the 40th parallel and back in those days was the dividing line between Nebraska and Kansas Territories. The Colorado Territory was created in 1861 and Boulder City was incorporated in 1871. When Colorado was granted statehood in 1876, the University of Colorado also opened in Boulder. The mining of gold, silver and coal continued to be the main industries in the Boulder economy until World War II when technological development brought in by the growing prominence of the University of Colorado attracted a different type of industry. Today Boulder is the home of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. Other high technology companies with a significant presence in Boulder include IBM, Ball Aerospace, Level 3 Communications, Amgen and Lockheed Martin. A lot of innovative technology start-ups call Boulder home as well and many have strong relationships with the University of Colorado. The people of Boulder pride themselves in their community, surrounded by a greenbelt of parks, trails and lakes and isolating Boulder's urban area from other neighboring communities. The Colorado Music Festival and the Colorado Shakespeare Festival invade the city every summer. In the early 1980s the television situation comedy, "Mork and Mindy" brought Boulder to a national spotlight. Other significant events include the annual Conference of World Affairs, the Bolder Boulder marathon and the Kinetics Race. The University of Colorado manages two significant museums, the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History and the University of Colorado Heritage Center Museum. Today Boulder's population is just short of 100,000 people. During the school year it will swell by over 25,000 students. Student tourism is a major economic force in Boulder. The liberal lean of Boulder's residents has earned the city the nicknames The Berkeley of the Rockies and The People's Republic of Boulder.

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