National New Mexico Day is celebrated each year on June 14. This day is observed to pay tribute to the state of New Mexico and its people. The state of New Mexico may be sparsely populated and more desert than land, but it is one of the most educated states in the U.S. National New Mexico Day celebrates the state and its accomplishments. Not many would know that New Mexico met all statehood criteria, decades before it was finally awarded statehood in the U.S.
History of National New Mexico Day
The state of New Mexico was declared as a state on January 6, 1912. It was the 47th state of the country.
Spanish travelers passed through the area, which is now referred to as New Mexico, way back in the 16th century. It is said that they encountered well-preserved remains from the times of the Pueblo civilization that existed around the 13th century. There were rumors that these areas have hidden treasures and that led to many explorers undertaking expeditions to the state of New Mexico in around 1540.
It was only in 1609 that Pedro de Peralta was made the governor of the land, which started being referred to as the Kingdom and Provinces of New Mexico at that time. It was only a year later that Santa Fe was announced as the capital city of this newfound state.
Spanish people kept coming and going in the area of New Mexico every few decades, and it was only after Mexico attained freedom from Spain that New Mexico also became a separate state. However, in 1821, New Mexico merged with Mexico and became a Mexican province.
After the Mexican-American War, which started in 1846, was won by the U.S. in 1848, the state of New Mexico was handed over to the U.S. with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. However, an internal civil war continued.
Only after 1886 did the bloodshed stop. Soon afterward, many people from the nearby regions began settling in the state. The state proved prosperous for ranches and animal husbandry. Finally, in 1912, New Mexico was declared as an official state of the United States.
June 14 is used to remember the struggles of the people who built the great state of New Mexico and to uphold its sanctity. On this day, we relive important moments in the history of New Mexico and pay tribute to the land and its indigenous people.
National New Mexico Day timeline
Led by the great Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, the first Spanish expedition begins in New Mexico.
Pedro de Peralta becomes the first governor of the region of New Mexico.
After gaining independence from Spain, New Mexico becomes a state under the jurisdiction of Mexico.
New Mexico becomes the 47th state of the United States of America.
National New Mexico Day FAQs
What is the New Mexico motto?
New Mexico’s official motto is “Crescit Eundo.” When you translate that from Latin, it means, “It grows as it goes.” However, many find the motto of New Mexico nonsensical when they hear it for the first time.
What is the nickname of New Mexico?
New Mexico is also referred to as the Land of Enchantment. The state has some of the most amazing natural beauty and people who are very welcoming, which makes the nickname very suitable.
What is unique to New Mexico?
The caverns near Carlsbad are considered one of the most unique physical features of the great state of New Mexico. These caverns are among some of the most remarkable natural rock formations found across the world. The second thing which is unique to New Mexico is the extensive gypsum sand dunes. These are mostly found at the White Sands National Monument, which is located in the south-central part of the great state of New Mexico. These sand dunes were formed by the erosion caused due to the constant wind and water passing by.
How To Celebrate National New Mexico Day
New Mexico is known as a wine country. It has been in production there from as early as 1629. On National New Mexico Day it’s sort of a tradition to enjoy New Mexican wine. You can even throw a potluck dinner with friends and family, and enjoy some New Mexican wine in the process.
Study the Wilderness Act
Not many would know that the Wilderness Act originated in New Mexico. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Act and turned it into law in September 1964. Since then, the entire country benefits from the Act. On National New Mexico Day, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to learn more about the Wilderness Act. Go online and study it in detail.
Dance the La Marcha de los Novios
Learn the La Marcha de los Novios, which was declared as New Mexico’s official state dance. Invite friends and family to join in the fun!
5 Things You Didn’t Know About New Mexico
Highest state capital
At 7,199 feet above the normal sea level, New Mexico’s Santa Fe is the highest state capital in the United States.
It was only in 1912 that New Mexico was declared as a state despite meeting all the statehood criteria for decades.
75% of the roads in the state of New Mexico are still unpaved to date.
More cows than people
New Mexico has fewer than 20 people per square mile but it has over 13,500 ranches — thus it has more cows than people.
UFO museum and research center
In the city of Roswell, there has been an International UFO Museum and Research Center since 1992 — it’s the only UFO museum in the world.
Why National New Mexico Day Is Important
First atom bomb
The world’s very first atom bomb was tested on July 16, 1945, on the deserted sands of Jornada del Muerto, which is located in the south-central part of New Mexico. That site is currently located on the White Sands Missile Range. Also, it has been declared a national historic site. National New Mexico Day honors the state for its contribution to the protection of everyone around the world.
World’s largest hot air balloon festival
More than 500 hot air balloons attract thousands of enthusiasts and aficionados every year to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Ever since it started in 1972, it has grown in size. National New Mexico Day pays tribute to the state’s great legacy in starting something that is the largest in not just the U.S. but in the world.
More Ph.D.s than any other state
There are more Ph.D. holders per capita in the state of New Mexico than in any other state of the United States. The government of the state plays a major role in promoting education through various schemes. New Mexico Day pays homage to the great state for its fantastic work in making so many smart people.
National New Mexico Day dates