New Mexico Facts

Novelist D H. Lawrence wrote:

…I believe that visiting New Mexico was by far the most impressive experience in the outside world I ever had. This definitely has changed me forever…

…The very moment I was seeing the brilliant, proud morning shining high over the deserts of  Santa Fe, there was something that made my soul stand still…

…I have never experienced something of greater beauty than New Mexico, and it seems every day itself is tremendous out there…

The ‘Seven Cities of Gold’, oh so fabled, were never discovered by early explorers in New Mexico, but the find of the prehistoric Pueblo peoples’ cities reached mythical proportions. The state has much more to offer due to its ancient history, but these communities were in fact America’s oldest ‘cooperative apartments’.

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New Mexico, governed from America’s oldest capital, is also the state where America’s atomic age became reality.

Every year, this great land of sunshine welcomes millions of visitors from all over the world to marvel at the beautiful deserts or cultural assets, to experience the state’s grand opera, to travel on the nation’s oldest highway, to marvel at the one-of-a-kind sights of Taos Pueblo, or to come to one of the Indian festivals that are held all across the state.

New Mexico’s remarkable attraction for artists, authors, and musicians have been evident for a long period of time.

Quick Facts about New Mexico

– New Mexico has the oldest U.S. capital city, Santa Fe.
– The state flower, the Yucca, is America’s only commercially valuable one.
– The state leads the nation in potash production.
– Leads the nation in the production of dry ice from carbon dioxide wells.
– New Mexico is the birthplace of the American livestock industry.

The Pueblo People belong to prehistoric America’s most studied and most remarkable people. The Pueblo people established interesting communities of stone masonry and the Pueblo ‘Skyscrapers’ are famous for contributing distinctively to interesting architecture across the world. The Pueblo developed high-standing weaving skills, created complex irrigation systems, and were the first to domesticate turkeys.

The Pueblo were fabricating tools, and the jewelry they produced features the finest silverwork with turquoise elements. The Pueblo people’s golden age seems to be around 950 to 1200 A.D., and the state of New Mexico boasts numerous fascinating ruins dating from their hay days.

Francisco Vasquez de Coronado’s great expedition first visited the region of what is now New Mexico in 1540, and Juan de Oñate y Salazar, a Spanish conquistador and explorer established San Juan at the pueblo of Yugcuingge on July 11th, 1598.

This was New Mexico’s first European permanent settlement. Santa Fe was established in 1610 by Pedro de Peralta, who also functioned as New Mexico Governor in the period 1610 – 1613. At that time the area was a province of New Spain.

The Franciscan Fathers had set up more than 40 missions by 1626, and had already converted more than 34,000 Indians to their religion, but the Spanish were treating the Indians so harshly that they started to revolt against the tyranny, led by Tewa medicine man Pope.

The Indians captured Santa Fe in 1680, and ruled the city until 1692, when it was recaptured by new Spanish Governor Don Diego de Vagas. Albuquerque was established in 1706, and the town was named for the Duke of Albuquerque from Badajoz, Spain.

William Becknell pioneered the Santa Fe Trail, bringing in the first wagon loads full of merchandise into Santa Fe in 1822. By pioneering the Santa Fe Trail, he enabled that all sorts of goods could be brought in from the Northeast, and trade with other states started to take off. Union military forces were bringing the New Mexico territory under U.S. control in the 1846 Mexican War.

The Plains Indians and the settlers carried on their warfare for almost 50 years, but when in 1886 Geronimo, the famed Indian leader, surrendered, the hostilities ended. In 1862, at the time of the Civil War, Santa Fe was captured by Confederate troops, but Henry Sibley, a U.S. general, gained control of the capital city again on April 8th of that year. In 1912, on January 6th, New Mexico became the 47th U.S. state.

More than 17.000 New Mexicans took part in World War I, and over 500 had lost their lives. In 1945, on July 16th, Alamogordo was the site where the first atomic test explosion took place, and the atomic age was born.

During the years 1940 – 1982, New Mexico’s population increased by nearly 300 percent, but that has since slowed down, though still today, Albuquerque is considered among the nation’s best places to live.