In the Lake Valley, miners discovered silver in veins that were so pure that the metal could be sawn in blocks rather than dug up using traditional methods.
The father of modern missile researcher Robert Goddard of Massachusetts, known as a crackpot, came to New Mexico in 1930 to test missile models. From these modest beginnings, the aerospace industry has become one of the leading industries in New Mexico.
To test the latest rockets, White Sands Missile Range was created on the same land where the first atomic bomb exploded.
After the Second World War, Los Alamos and Albuquerque had many new laboratories. Hundreds of highly educated scientists and engineers have moved to the state. New Mexico soon had a higher percentage of people with Ph.Ds than any other state.
1 out of 4 workers in New Mexico works directly for the federal government. State and local governments are also important employers.
Public education hardly existed in New Mexico until the late 19th century. As late as 1888 there was no public school or grammar school in the whole area.
Two important aspects of Mexico's economy are scientific research such as nuclear research at
Sandia National Laboratories and the extraction of natural resources such as oil, natural gas, uranium, potash, copper, coal, zinc, gold and silver.
New Mexico has far more sheep and cattle than humans. There are only about 12 people per square mile.
As the climate in New Mexico is so dry, 3/4 of the roads are unpaved. The streets are not washed away.
During the height of the so-called lawless era of the late 1800s, when Lew Wallace served as territorial governor, he wrote the popular historical novel
Ben-Hur. First published in 1880, it was filmed in 1959 in a movie starring Charleton Heston.
Saint Paul's United Methodist Church in Las Cruces has 7 bell ensembles.
The world famous Santa Fe Opera has an open-air theater outside the capital in the foothills of the Sangre de Christo mountains.
The city of Deming is known for its annual duck race.
Cimarron was once known as the "cowboy capital of the world". Some of the most famous names of the Old West, such as
Kit Carson and "Buffalo Bill" Cody lived there. A quote from the Las Vegas Gazette shows how lawless Cimarron was. "Everything is quiet in Cimarron, nobody was killed in 3 days."
Roswell, the fourth largest city in the States, was founded in 1869, when a professional player set up a lone business on the cattle track.
Moon Rocks can be found at the International Space Hall of Fame in Alamogordo.
Tens of thousands of bats live in the Carlsbad Caverns. The largest chamber of the Carlsbad Caverns is more than 10 football fields long and about 22 stories high.
Taos Pueblo is 3 km north of the city of Taos. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the United States. People still live in some of the 900-year-old buildings.
New Mexico's largest city Albuquerque was founded in 1706 as a Spanish farming community. It was named after a province in Spain.
The capital of New Mexico, Santa Fe, is the terminus of the 100-mile
Santa Fe Trail.
The city of truth or consequences was once called hot springs. In 1950, the city changed its name to the title of a popular radio quiz program.
The city of Gallup is called "Indian Capital of the World" and serves as a trading center for more than 20 different Indian groups. Every August it is the site of the Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial
New Mexico was named in the sixteenth century by Spanish explorers hoping to find gold and wealth equivalent to the Mexican Aztec treasures.
Indians have been living in New Mexico for about twenty thousand years. The Pueblo, Apache, Comanche, Navajo and Ute peoples were in the New Mexico area when Spanish settlers arrived in the 17th century.
Ten thousand year old arrowheads have been found on the same desert area where space rockets are being tested today. The new Mexican history ranges from arrows to atoms and has adopted Indian, Spanish and Anglo-American cultures. Only a few states can claim such an unmistakable past.
Santa Fe is the highest capital in the United States at 7,000 feet above sea level.
The province, which was once the Spanish New Mexico, encompassed all of present-day New Mexico, most of Colorado and Arizona, as well as parts of Utah, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Wyoming. The original American territory of New Mexico, created by Congress in 1850, encompassed all of New Mexico and Arizona as well as parts of Colorado, Nevada, and Utah. The boundaries of today's New Mexico were drawn by Congress in 1863, but New Mexico became a state only in 1912.
Las Cruces makes the world's largest enchilada on the first weekend of October at the "Whole Enchilada Fiesta".
Lakes and rivers make up only 0.002% of the total area of the state. The lowest water-to-land ratio of all 50 states. Most lakes in New Mexico are artificial reservoirs. A dam on the Rio Grande formed the
Elephant Butte Reservoir, the largest lake in the state.
The Rio Grande is New Mexico's longest river and spans the entire length of New Mexico.
The world's first atomic bomb exploded on July 16, 1945, on the White Sands Testing Range near Alamogordo. North of the impact point, a small poster marks the area known as Trinity Site. The bomb was designed and manufactured in Los Alamos.
White Sands National Monument is a desert, not of sand, but of bright white gypsum crystals.
Hatch is known as the "Green Chile Capital of the World".
New Mexico is home to the Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron.
Grants was once called the "carrot estate of the country" until the process of cellophane packaging began and California took over the title. More recently, Grants was known as the "uranium capital of the world" and produced most of the country's uranium supply during the period after World War II and the Cold War.
New Mexico is one of the four corner states. Bound at the same point with Colorado, Utah and Arizona.
The Palace of Governors in Santa Fe, built in 1610, is one of America's oldest public buildings.
More than 25,000 Anasazi sites have been identified by archaeologists in New Mexico. The Anasazi, an amazing civilization that were the ancestors of the Pueblo, were about 1300 years old. Its great classical period lasted from 1100-1300 AD.
The state of New Mexico shares an international border with the country of Mexico.
1/4 of New Mexico is forested, and the state has 7 National Forests, including the nation's largest, the 3.3 million acre Gila National Forest, which includes the Gila Wilderness.
The largest fire in the history of the state was lit on May 4, 2000, at the National Park Service's Bandelier National Monument, when controlled burning served to clear dry bushes and prevent future wild fires that had spiraled out of control due to strong winds. 25,000 people, including all residents of Los Alamos, had to leave their homes.
In 1950, the little boy who became the National Fire Safety symbol was found smokey the bear caught in a tree when his home in the Lincoln National Forest was destroyed by fire. In honor of Smokey, the Mexican legislator in 1963 chose the black bear as the official state animal.
The word "pueblo" is used to describe a group of people, a city or a style of architecture. There are 19 Pueblo groups speaking 4 different languages. The Pueblo people in the southwest have lived longer in the same place than any other culture in the nation.
The Navajo, the nation's largest Native American Group, has a reserve of 14 million acres.
To a certain extent, the Indian reservations of New Mexico act as states within a state in which tribal law can replace state law.
The state constitution of New Mexico officially states that New Mexico is a bilingual state, and every third family in New Mexico speaks Spanish at home.
In some remote villages, such as Truchas, Chimayo and Coyote in central Mexico, some descendants of Spanish conquistadors still speak a 16th-century Spanish form that is not used anywhere else in the world.
The Palace of Governors in Santa Fe is the oldest government building in the United States.
New Mexico Fast Facts & TriviaGene Wright
New Mexico Fast Facts & Trivia