Uncovering America's Heritage... Coin by Coin
Whee! I love horses! And Nevada's quarter has three of them! That's really why I chose the Nevada quarter as February's Coin of the Month. But when I was learning about Nevada, I found out there's a link between February and Nevada: the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
You see, part of Nevada used to belong to Mexico. The land was given to the United States when this treaty was signed in February...February 2, 1848, to be exact. (We know February 2nd as Groundhog Day, but I'm sure Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog, wasn't born yet.)
The United States and Mexico needed a peace treaty. They were at war over the border between Texas and Mexico. Leaders signed the treaty in a Mexican city called Guadalupe Hidalgo. Mexican land that was given to the United States in the treaty is today California, Arizona, New Mexico, and part of Colorado, Nevada, Texas, and Utah.
Way before all this happened, while the Spanish were moving into Mexico, they brought horses with them. Those were the multiple-great-grandparents of the wild horses that roam the plains of Nevada and other states today.
The horses are protected by law and watched after by the federal government. Since the land can't feed too many horses, some horses are rounded up every year and adopted. But the horses don't let their Spanish horse heritage go to their heads. They just eat grass and look pretty!