State of New Mexico - NM

New Mexico (Spanish: Nuevo México) is a southwestern state in the United States of America. Over its relatively long history it has also been occupied by Native American populations and has been part of the Spanish viceroyalty of New Spain, a province of Mexico and a U.S. territory. Among U.S. states, New Mexico has simultaneously the highest percentage of Hispanic Americans (some recent immigrants and others descendants of Spanish colonists) and the second-highest percentage of Native Americans (mostly Navajo and Pueblo peoples). As a result, the demographics and culture of the state are unique for their strong Spanish, Mexican, and U.S. Amerindian cultural influences.

Further information: List of New Mexico counties
Digitally colored elevation map of NMThe eastern border of New Mexico lies along 103° W with Oklahoma, and 3 miles (5 km) west of 103° W with Texas. Texas also lies south of most of New Mexico, although the southwestern boot-heel borders the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonora. The western border with Arizona runs along 109° W. The 37° N parallel forms the northern boundary with Colorado. The states of New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah come together at the Four Corners in the northwestern corner of New Mexico.

The landscape ranges from wide, rose-colored deserts to broken mesas to high, snow-capped peaks. Despite New Mexico's arid image, heavily forested mountain wildernesses cover a significant portion of the state. Part of the Rocky Mountains, the broken, north-south oriented Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) range flanks both sides of the Rio Grande from the rugged, pastoral north through the center of the state.

Cacti, yuccas, creosote bush, sagebrush, and desert grasses cover the broad, semiarid plains that cover the southern portion of the state.

The Federal government protects millions of acres of beautiful New Mexico as national forests including:

Carson National Forest
Cibola National Forest (headquartered in Albuquerque)
Lincoln National Forest
Santa Fe National Forest (headquartered in Santa Fe)
Other protected lands include the following national monuments:

Aztec Ruins National Monument at Aztec
Bandelier National Monument in Los Alamos
Capulin Volcano National Monument near Capulin
Carlsbad Caverns National Park near Carlsbad
Chaco Culture National Historical Park at Nageezi
El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail
El Malpais National Monument in Grants
El Morro National Monument in Ramah
Fort Union National Monument at Watrous
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument near Silver City
Old Spanish National Historic Trail
Pecos National Historical Park in Pecos
Petroglyph National Monument near Albuquerque
Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument at Mountainair
Santa Fe National Historic Trail
White Sands National Monument near Alamogordo
Visitors also frequent the surviving native pueblos of New Mexico. Tourists visiting these sites bring significant monies to the state. Other areas of geographical and scenic interest include Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument and the Valles Caldera National Preserve. The Gila Wilderness lies in the southwest of the state.

Delaware Basin

Main article: History of New Mexico
The first inhabitants of New Mexico were Native Americans of the Clovis culture. By the time of European contact in the 1500s, the region was settled by the villages of the Pueblo peoples.

Francisco Vasquez de Coronado assembled an enormous expedition at Compostela in 1540–1542 to explore and find the mystical Seven Golden Cities of Cibola as described by Cabeza de Vaca who had just arrived from his eight-year ordeal traveling from Florida to Mexico. Coronado's men found several mud baked pueblos in 1541, but found no rich cities of gold. Further widespread expeditions found no fabulous cities anywhere in the Southwest or Great Plains. A dispirited and now poor Coronado and his men began their journey back to Mexico leaving New Mexico behind.

Over 50 years after Coronado, Juan de Oñate founded the San Juan colony on the Rio Grande in 1598, the first permanent European settlement in the future state of New Mexico. Oñate pioneered the grandly named El Camino Real, "The Royal Road", as a 700 mile (1,100 km) trail from the rest of New Spain to his remote colony. Oñate was made the first governor of the new Province of New Mexico. The Native Americans at Acoma revolted against this Spanish encroachment but faced severe suppression.

In 1609, Pedro de Peralta, a later governor of the Province of New Mexico, established the settlement of Santa Fe at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The city, along with most of the settled areas of the state, was abandoned by the Spanish for 12 years (1680-1692) as a result of the successful Pueblo Revolt. After the death of the Pueblo leader Popé, Diego de Vargas restored the area to Spanish rule. While developing Santa Fe as a trade center, the returning settlers founded the old town of Albuquerque in 1706, naming it for the viceroy of New Spain, the Duke of Alburquerque.

Mexican province
As a part of New Spain, the claims for the province of New Mexico passed to independent Mexico following the 1810-1821 Mexican War of Independence. During the brief 26 year period of nominal Mexican control, Mexican authority and investment in New Mexico were weak, as their often conflicted government had little time or interest in a New Mexico that had been poor since the Spanish settlements started. Some Mexican officials, saying they were wary of encroachments by the growing United States, and wanting to reward themselves and their friends, began issuing enormous land grants (usually free) to groups of Mexican families as an incentive to populate the province.

Small trapping parties from the United States had previously reached and stayed in Santa Fe, but the Spanish authorities officially forbade them to trade. Trader William Becknell returned to the United States in November 1821 with news that independent Mexico now welcomed trade through Santa Fe.

William Becknell left Independence, Missouri, for Santa Fe early in 1822 with the first party of traders. The Santa Fe Trail trading company, headed by the brothers Charles Bent and William Bent and Ceran St. Vrain, was one of the most successful in the West. They had their first trading post in the area in 1826, and, by 1833, they had built their adobe fort and trading post called Bent's Fort on the Arkansas River. This fort and trading post, located about 200 miles east of Taos, New Mexico, was the only place settled by whites along the Santa Fe trail before it hit Taos. The Santa Fe National Historic Trail follows the route of the old trail, with many sites marked or restored.

Route of the Old Spanish TrailThe Spanish Trail from Los Angeles, California to Santa Fe, New Mexico was primarily used by Hispanics, white traders and ex-trappers living part of the year in or near Santa Fe. Started in about 1829, the trail was an arduous 2,400 mile round trip pack train sojourn that extended into Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California and back, allowing only one hard round trip per year. The trade consisted primarily of blankets and some trade goods from Santa Fe being traded for horses in California.

The Republic of Texas claimed the mostly vacant territory north and east of the Rio Grande when it successfully seceded from Mexico in 1836. New Mexico authorities captured a group of Texans who embarked an expedition to assert their claim to the province in 1841.

American territory
Following the Mexican-American War and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexico ceded its mostly unsettled northern holdings, today known as the American Southwest and California to the United States of America in exchange for an end to hostilities, the evacuation of Mexico City and many other areas under American control. Mexico also received $15 million cash, plus the assumption of slightly more than $3 million in outstanding Mexican debts.

The Congressional Compromise of 1850 halted a bid for statehood under a proposed antislavery constitution. Texas transferred eastern New Mexico to the federal government, settling a lengthy boundary dispute. Under the compromise, the American government established the New Mexico Territory on September 9, 1850. The territory, which included all of Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Colorado, officially established its capital at Santa Fe in 1851.

The United States acquired the southwestern boot heel of the state and southern Arizona below the Gila river in the mostly desert Gadsden Purchase of 1853. This purchase was desired when it was found that a much easier route for a proposed transcontinental railroad was located slightly south of the Gila river. The Southern Pacific built the second transcontinental railroad though this purchased land in 1881.

During the American Civil War, Confederate troops from Texas briefly occupied southern New Mexico. Union troops re-captured the territory in early 1862. Arizona was split off as a separate territory in 1863.

1867 mapThe railway encouraged the great cattle boom of the 1880s and the development of accompanying cow towns. The cattle barons could not keep out sheepherders, and eventually homesteaders and squatters overwhelmed the cattlemen by fencing in and plowing under the "sea of grass" on which the cattle fed. Conflicting land claims led to bitter quarrels among the original Spanish inhabitants, cattle ranchers, and newer homesteaders. Despite destructive overgrazing, ranching survived and remains a mainstay of the New Mexican economy.

Centuries of continued conflict with the Apache and the Navajo plagued the territory. The Long Walk of the Navajo in 1864, also called the Long Walk to Bosque Redondo, harshly repressed the Navajo but did put an end to their raiding. The Navajo returned to most of their lands in 1868. Sporadic Apache raiding continued until Apache chief Geronimo finally surrendered in 1886.

Albuquerque, the largest city in New Mexico, on the upper Rio Grande, was incorporated in 1889.

Congress admitted New Mexico as the 47th state in the Union on January 6, 1912. The admission of the neighboring State of Arizona on February 14, 1912 completed the contiguous 48 states.

The United States government built the Los Alamos Research Center in 1943 amid the Second World War. Top-secret personnel there developed the atomic bomb, first detonated at Trinity site in the desert on the White Sands Proving Grounds between Socorro and Alamogordo on July 16, 1945.

Albuquerque expanded rapidly after the war. High-altitude experiments near Roswell in 1947 reputedly led to persistent but unproven suspicions that the government captured and concealed extraterrestrial corpses and equipment. The state quickly emerged as a leader in nuclear, solar, and geothermal energy research and development. The Sandia National Laboratories, founded in 1949, carried out nuclear research and special weapons development at Kirtland Air Force Base south of Albuquerque and at Livermore, California.

Located in the remote Chihuahuan Desert the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is located 26 miles southeast of Carlsbad. Here nuclear wastes are buried deep in carved out salt formation disposal rooms mined 2,150 feet underground in a 2,000-foot thick salt formation that has been stable for more than 200 million years. WIPP began operations on March 26, 1999.

Further information: List of people from New Mexico, List of cities in New Mexico, and New Mexico locations by per capita income
Historical populations
year Population


1850 61,547
1860 87,034
1870 91,874
1880 119,565
1890 160,282
1900 195,310
1910 327,301
1920 360,350
1930 423,317
1940 531,818
1950 681,187
1960 951,023
1970 1,016,000
1980 1,302,894
1990 1,515,069
2000 1,819,046
New Mexico Population Density MapAs of 2005, New Mexico has an estimated population of 1,928,384, which is an increase of 25,378, or 1.3%, from the prior year and an increase of 109,338, or 6.0%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 74,397 people (that is 143,617 births minus 69,220 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 37,501 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 27,974 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 9,527 people.

As of 2004, 10% of the residents of the state were foreign-born, and more than 2% of state residents were undocumented.

Demographics of New Mexico (csv)
By race White Black AIAN Asian NHPI
AIAN is American Indian or Alaskan Native - NHPI is Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
2000 (total population) 86.64% 2.48% 10.67% 1.51% 0.19%
2000 (hispanic only) 40.56% 0.49% 1.14% 0.21% 0.08%
2005 (total population) 85.85% 2.85% 10.99% 1.66% 0.20%
2005 (hispanic only) 41.74% 0.69% 1.09% 0.23% 0.09%
Growth 2000-2005 (total population) 5.05% 21.88% 9.19% 16.09% 8.63%
Growth 2000-2005 (non-hispanic only) 1.48% 14.84% 10.16% 15.68% 4.63%
Growth 2000-2005 (hispanic only) 9.10% 50.54% 1.12% 18.71% 14.27%

New Mexico has the highest percentage of people of Hispanic ancestry of any state, some recent immigrants and others descendants of Spanish colonists. The state also has a large Native American population, second only to Oklahoma. A few Hispanos of colonial ancestry, along with recent Mexican immigrants, are present in most of the state, especially northern, central, and northeastern New Mexico. Mexican immigrants, legal or illegal, are prominent in southern parts of the state. The northwestern corner of the state is primarily occupied by Native Americans, of which Navajos and Pueblos are the largest tribes. As a result, the demographics and culture of the state are unique for their strong American, Colonial Spanish, Mexican, and Native American cultural influences.

According to the U.S. Census, the five largest ancestry groups in New Mexico are: Spanish (24%), Mexican (18.1%), German (9.9%), Native American (9.5%), and English (7.6%). Many are mixtures of all of these groups and more. Note: The accuracy of these figures is disputed. See for further information.

7.2% of New Mexico's population was reported as under 5 years of age, 28% under 18, and 11.7% were 65 or older. Females make up approximately 50.8% of the population.

New Mexico is commonly thought to have Spanish as an official language alongside English, due to the widespread usage of Spanish in the state. Although the original state constitution of 1912 provided for a temporarily bilingual government, New Mexico has no official language. Nevertheless, the state government publishes election ballots and a driver's manual in both languages, and, in 1995, New Mexico adopted a "State Bilingual Song", titled "New Mexico-Mi Lindo Nuevo México". [1]

New Mexico has the highest percentage of Roman Catholics of any Western U.S state. Like many other states in the region, New Mexico has a higher-than-average percentage of people who claim no religion in comparison to other U.S. states.

Christian – 81%
Roman Catholic – 41%
Protestant – 35%
Baptist – 10%
Presbyterian – 4%
Pentecostal – 3%
Other Protestant or general Protestant – 18%
LDS (Mormon) – 4%
Other Christian – 1%
Other Religions – 1%
Non-Religious – 19%
Within the Catholic church, New Mexico belongs to the Ecclesiastical Province of Santa Fe. New Mexico has three dioceses, one of which is an archdiocese:

Archdiocese of Santa Fe
Diocese of Gallup
Diocese of Las Cruces

The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that New Mexico's total state product in 2003 was $57 billion. Per capital personal income in 2003 was $24,995, 48th in the nation. [2]

New Mexico Industries by 2004 Taxable Gross Receipts (000s)
Retail Trade 12,287,061
Construction 5,039,555
Other Services (excluding Public Administration) 4,939,187
Professional, Scientific and Technology Services 3,708,527
Accommodation and Food Services 2,438,460
Wholesale Trade 2,146,066
Health Care and Social Assistance 1,897,471
Utilities 1,654,483
Mining and Oil and Gas Extraction 1,238,211
Manufacturing 926,372
Information and Cultural Industries 849,902
Unclassified Establishments 725,405
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing 544,739
Finance and Insurance 254,223
Transportation and Warehousing 221,457
Public Administration 159,013
Educational Services 125,649
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation 124,017
Admin & Support, Waste Management & Remediation 73,062
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting 71,853
Management of Companies and Enterprises 48,714


Totals 39,473,429
Source: State of New Mexico Department of Labor [3]
Cattle and dairy products top the list of major animal products of New Mexico. Cattle, sheep, and other livestock graze most of the arable land of the state throughout the year.
Limited, scientifically controlled dryland farming prospers alongside cattle ranching. Major crops include hay, nursery stock, pecans, and chile peppers. Hay and sorghum top the list of major dryland crops. Farmers also produce onions, potatoes, and dairy products. New Mexico specialty crops include piñon nuts, pinto beans, and chiles.
The Carlsbad and Fort Sumner reclamation projects on the Pecos River and the nearby Tucumcari project provide adequate water for limited irrigation in those areas of the desert and semiarid portions of the state where scant rainfall evaporates rapidly, generally leaving insufficient water supplies for large-scale irrigation.. Located upstream of Las Cruces, the Elephant Butte Reservoir provides a major irrigation source for the extensive farming along the Rio Grande. Other irrigation projects use the Colorado River basin and the San Juan River.
Lumber mills in Albuquerque process pinewood, the chief commercial wood of the rich timber economy of northern New Mexico.
Mineral extraction: New Mexicans derive much of their income from mineral extraction. Even before European exploration, Native Americans mined turquoise for making jewelry. [4]. After the Spanish introduced refined silver alloys they were incorporated into the Indian jewelry designs. New Mexico produces uranium ore, manganese ore, potash, salt, perlite, copper ore, beryllium, and tin concentrates. Natural gas, petroleum, and coal are also found in smaller quantities.
Industrial output, centered around Albuquerque, includes electric equipment; petroleum and coal products; food processing; printing and publishing; and stone, glass, and clay products. Defense-related industries include ordnance. Important high-technology industries include lasers, data processing, and solar energy.
Federal government spending is a major driver of the New Mexico economy. The federal government spends 2 dollars on New Mexico for every dollar of tax revenue collected from the state. This rate of return is higher than any other state in the Union. [5]. The federal government also a major employer in New Mexico providing more than a quarter of the state's jobs. Many of the federal jobs relate to the military; the state hosts three air force bases (Kirtland Air Force Base, Holloman Air Force Base, and Cannon Air Force Base); a testing range (White Sands Missile Range); an army proving ground and maneuver range (Fort Bliss Military Reservation - McGregor Range);national observatories; and the technology labs of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). SNL conducts electronic and industrial research next to Kirtland AFB, on the southeast side of Albuquerque. These installations also include the missile and spacecraft proving grounds at White Sands. In addition to the military employers, other federal agencies such as the National Park Service, the United States Forest Service, and the United States Bureau of Land Management are a big part of the states rural employment base.
Virgin Galactic, the first company to develop commercial flights into space, has decided to put its world headquarters and mission control in southern New Mexico (25 miles or 40 km south of Truth or Consequences).
Tourism provides many service jobs. For top attractions see: Tourism.
Private service economy in urban New Mexico, especially in Albuquerque, has boomed in recent decades. Since the end of World War II, the city has gained an ever-growing number of retirees, especially among armed forces veterans and government workers. It is also increasingly gaining notice as a health conscious community, and contains many hospitals and a high per capita number of massage and alternative therapists. The warm, semiarid climate has contributed to the exploding population of Albuquerque, attracting new industries to New Mexico. By contrast, many heavily Native American and Hispanic rural communities remain economically underdeveloped.

Personal income tax rates for New Mexico range from 1.7% to 5.3%, within 4 income brackets.
New Mexico does not have a sales tax. Instead, it has a 5% gross receipts tax. In almost every case, the business passes along the tax to the consumer, so that the gross receipts tax resembles a sales tax. The combined gross receipts tax rate varies throughout the state from 5.125% to 7.8125%. The total rate is a combination of all rates imposed by the state, counties and municipalities. Beginning Jan. 1, 2005, New Mexicans no longer pay taxes on most food purchases; however, there are exceptions to this program. Also beginning Jan. 1, 2005, the state eliminated the tax on certain medical services.
In general, taxes are not assessed on personal property. Personal household effects, licensed vehicles, registered aircraft, certain personal property warehoused in the state and business personal property that is not depreciated for federal income tax purposes are exempt from the property tax.
Property tax rates vary substantially and depend on the type of property and its location. The state does not assess tax on intangible personal property. There is no inheritance tax, but an inheritance may be reflected in a taxpayer's modified gross income and taxed that way.

Largest employers
(Not ranked by size)

College of Santa Fe
Boy Scouts of America
U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
Mesa Air Group
Navajo Nation
Los Alamos National Laboratory
PNM Resources and PNM Electric & Gas Services
Presbyterian Health Plan
Sandia National Laboratories
University of New Mexico
New Mexico State Government
Albertson's Supermarket
Kmart Corporation
U.S. Postal Service
Navajo Refining Company
U.S. National Park Service (NPS)
Allsup's Convenience Stores
Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)
Lockheed Engineering and Sciences
New Mexico State University
Lovelace Healthcare
Pepsi Bottling
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
U.S. Army (Fort Bliss)
Source: Economic Research & Analysis Bureau New Mexico Department of Labor [6]


Passenger trains
The New Mexico Rail Runner Express is a commuter rail system serving the metropolitan area of Albuquerque, New Mexico. It began operation on July 14, 2006. The system is in Phase I of planed development, operating on an existing BNSF Railway right of way from Belen to Bernalillo. Phase II, scheduled to open in 2008, will extend the line northward to Santa Fe.

Amtrak's Southwest Chief passes through daily at stations in Gallup, Albuquerque, Lamy, Las Vegas, and Raton, offering connections to Los Angeles, Flagstaff, Kansas City, and Chicago. The only true transcontinental train in the United States, The Sunset Limited makes stops three times a week in Lordsburg, and Deming.

Interstate Freeways Interstate 10
Interstate 25
Interstate 40
U.S. Routes
East–West Routes
U.S. Route 550
U.S. Route 54
U.S. Route 56
U.S. Route 60
U.S. Route 62
U.S. Route 64
Old Highway 66
(Historic Route 66)
U.S. Route 70
U.S. Route 80
U.S. Route 180
U.S. Route 380
U.S. Route 82
U.S. Route 84
U.S. Routes
North–South Routes
U.S. Route 285
U.S. Route 491

New Mexico highways

[edit] Law and government
The Constitution of 1912, as amended, dictates the form of government in the state.

Governor Bill Richardson and Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish, both Democrats, will face re-election in 2006. Governors serve a term of four years and may seek reelection. For a list of past governors, see List of New Mexico Governors.

Other Constitutional officers, all of whose terms also expire in January 2007, include Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron, Attorney General Patricia A. Madrid, State Auditor Domingo Martinez, State Land Commissioner Pat Lyons, and State Treasurer Douglas Brown. Vigil-Giron, Madrid and Martinez are Democrats. Lyons is a Republican and Brown is a Republican serving as interim State Treasurer following the indictment and resignation of his predecessor, Democrat Robert Vigil.

A state House of Representatives with 70 members and a state Senate with 42 members comprise the state legislature. The Democratic Party generally dominates state politics, and as of 2004 50% of voters were registered Democrats, 33% were registered Republicans, and 17% did not affiliate with either of the two major parties.

New Mexico sent Democrat Jeff Bingaman to the United States Senate until January 2007 and Republican Pete V. Domenici until January 2009. Republicans Steve Pearce and Heather Wilson and Democrat Tom Udall represent the state in the United States House of Representatives.

In national politics, New Mexico has given its electoral votes to all but two Presidential election winners since statehood. In these exceptions, New Mexicans supported Republican President Gerald Ford over Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter in 1976, and Democratic Vice President Al Gore over Texas Governor George W. Bush (by just 366 popular votes) in 2000. No presidential candidate has won an absolute majority in New Mexico since George H. W. Bush in 1988, and no Democrat has done so since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. In the last four elections, New Mexico supported Democrats in 1992, 1996, and 2000. New Mexico was one of only two states to support Al Gore in 2000 and George Bush in 2004 (the other state was Iowa). In 2004, George W. Bush narrowly won the state's electoral votes by a margin of 0.8 percentage points with 49.8% of the vote. Democrat John Kerry won in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, two northwestern Indian counties, and by large margins in the six predominantly Hispano/Spanish counties of Northern New Mexico (Santa Fe, Rio Arriba, Taos, Mora, San Miguel, and Guadalupe).

Major political parties in New Mexico include the Democratic and Republican Parties; minor qualified parties include the Green Party of New Mexico, the Constitution Party, and Libertarian Party.

Important cities and towns
New MexicoNew Mexico's largest cities are Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Rio Rancho, and Roswell.

Further information: List of cities in New Mexico

In addition to the National Guard, New Mexico has a State Defense Force. See Militia and State Defense Force.


Colleges and universities
College of Santa Fe
College of the Southwest
Diné College
Eastern New Mexico University
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
New Mexico Highlands University
New Mexico Military Institute
New Mexico State University
San Juan College
St. John's College, Santa Fe
University of New Mexico
Western New Mexico University

Miscellaneous topics
Welcome to New Mexico Hasta la Vista
[edit] State symbols
State motto "Crescit eundo"
("It Grows as It Goes") 1912
State nicknames "Land of Enchantment"
(Spanish: "Tierra del Encanto" or "Tierra Encantada") 19_?
"The Colorful State" 19_?
"The Spanish State" 19_?
State songs "O Fair New Mexico" 1917
"Asi Es Nuevo México" 1971
"New Mexico-Mi Lindo Nuevo México" 1995
State flower Yucca flower 1927
State tree Two-Needle Piñon pine 1949
State bird Greater roadrunner 1949
State fish Cutthroat trout 1955
State animal black bear 1963
State vegetables chile and frijol 1965
State gem turquoise 1967
State grass blue grama 1973
State fossil coelophysis 1981
State cookie bizcochito 1989
State insect tarantula hawk 1989
State ballad "Land of Enchantment" 1989
State poem A Nuevo México 1991
State question * "Red or Green?" 1999
State ship "USS New Mexico (BB-40)" 1918–1946
"USS New Mexico (SSN-779)" **2006

(*)The official state question refers to a question commonly heard at restaurants, where waiters will ask customers "red or green?" in reference to which kind of chile pepper or "chile sauce" the customers want served with their meal. This type of "chile" is usually distinct from salsa, as the chile sauce is much finer and thicker and more commonly served with meals. Natives are more likely to refer to the chile sauce put on their meal as just plain "chile", and not as any form of "salsa" (which is usually reserved by natives in English for the salsa served with chips; everything else is just "chile"). If the diner wants both they can answer with, "Christmas" (or "Navidad" in Spanish), in reference to the two traditional colors of Christmas—Red and Green. However, most natives simply say, "both".

(**)The second USS New Mexico, SSN-779, is scheduled to be constructed.

In 1947, a craft of unknown origin crashed at or near Roswell, New Mexico. Allegedly, in 1949, another craft of unknown origin crashed near this city.
Taos, New Mexico is known for a humming noise. See Taos Hum.

Symbols of the Southwest — a string of chile peppers and a blanched white cow's skull hang in a market near Santa FeWith a Native American population of 134,000 in 1990, New Mexico still ranks as an important center of American Indian culture. Both the Navajo and Apache share Athabaskan origin. The Apache and some Ute live on federal reservations within the state. With 16 million acres (65,000 km²), mostly in neighboring Arizona, the reservation of the Navajo Nation ranks as the largest in the United States. The prehistorically agricultural Pueblo Indians live in pueblos scattered throughout the state, many older than any European settlement.

More than one-third of New Mexicans claim Hispanic origin, the vast majority of whom descend from the original Spanish colonists in the northern portion of the state. Most of the considerably fewer recent Mexican immigrants reside in the southern part of the state.

There are many New Mexicans who also speak a unique dialect of Spanish. New Mexican Spanish has vocabulary often unknown to other Spanish speakers. Because of the historical isolation of New Mexico from other speakers of the Spanish language, the local dialect preserves some late medieval Castillian vocabulary considered archaic elsewhere, adopts numerous Native American words for local features, and contains much Anglicized vocabulary for American concepts and modern inventions.

The presence of various indigenous Native American communities, the long-established Spanish and Mexican influence, and the diversity of Anglo-American settlement in the region, ranging from pioneer farmers and ranchers in the territorial period to military families in later decades, make New Mexico a particularly heterogeneous state.

There are natural history and atomic museums in Albuquerque, which also hosts the famed Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

A large artistic community thrives in Santa Fe. The capital city has museums of Spanish colonial, international folk, Navajo ceremonial, modern Native American, and other modern art. Another museum honors resident Georgia O'Keeffe. Colonies for artists and writers thrive, and the small city teems with art galleries.

Performing arts include the renowned Santa Fe Opera which presents five operas in repertory each July to August, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival held each summer, and the restored Lensic Theater a principal venue for many kinds of performances. The weekend after Labor Day boasts the burning of Zozobra, a fifty-foot marionette, during Fiestas de Santa Fe.

Writer D. H. Lawrence lived near Taos in the 1920s at the D. H. Lawrence Ranch where there is a shrine said to contain his ashes.

New Mexico's top tourist attractions:

Santa Fe
Plaza of Santa Fe
Loretto Chapel
San Miguel Mission
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi
Georgia O'Keeffe Museum/Gallery
El Rancho de las Golondrinas (Spanish Colonial living history museum)
Taos Pueblo, Taos art colony, and Taos Ski Valley
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
White Sands National Monument, the Trinity Site, and Missile Range, Alamogordo
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
Old Town Albuquerque
Petroglyph National Monument, Albuquerque
New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science
Rio Grande Zoological Park
Sandia Peak Tramway
National Atomic Museum
Indian Pueblo Culture Center
Expo New Mexico, formerly the New Mexico State Fairgrounds
Chaco Culture National Historical Park, San Juan Basin
The Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, Chama
Gila Cliff Dwellings, Silver City
The Pinos Altos "ghost town", located near Silver City
Several places, incl. a house and bar are thought by some to be "haunted." A "light" was also seen in the area, now the light no longer exists or it is obscured by powerful lighting from new housing, traffic. This was a gold mining town in the 1800s and early 1900s.
Roswell (UFO Landing Site) and the International UFO Museum, Roswell
Billy the Kid Museum, Fort Sumner
El Malpais National Monument, Acoma Pueblo & Misson, and Laguna Pueblo & Mission
Historic Lincoln, Ruidoso, and Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation
Very Large Array, Datil
Black Jack Ketchum in Clayton
The state also has a number of casinos located on Native American Indian Reservations that attract thousands of visitors each year.

Further reading
Hubert Howe Bancroft. The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft, Vol. XVII. (History of Arizona and New Mexico 1530-1888) (1889); reprint 1962. online edition
Warren Beck. Historical Atlas of New Mexico 1969.
Thomas E. Chavez, An Illustrated History of New Mexico, 267 pages, University of New Mexico Press 2002, ISBN 0-8263-3051-7
Joseph G. Dawdon III. Doniphan's Epic March; The 1st Missouri Volunteers in the Mexican War, Kansas Press [7]
Lynne Marie Getz; Schools of Their Own: The Education of Hispanos in New Mexico, 1850-1940 (1997)
Erlinda Gonzales-Berry, David R. Maciel, editors, The Contested Homeland: A Chicano History of New Mexico, 314 pages - University of New Mexico Press 2000, ISBN 0-8263-2199-2
Nancie L. González; The Spanish-Americans of New Mexico: A Heritage of Pride (1969)
Ramón A. Gutiérrez; When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away: Marriage, Sexuality, and Power in New Mexico, 1500-1846 (1991)
Paul L. Hain; F. Chris Garcia, Gilbert K. St. Clair; New Mexico Government 3rd ed. (1994)
Jack E. Holmes, Politics in New Mexico (1967),
Paul Horgan, Great River, The Rio Grande in North American History, 1038 pages, Wesleyan University Press 1991, 4th Reprint, ISBN 819562513, Pulitzer Prize 1955
Robert W. Kern, Labor in New Mexico: Strikes, Unions, and Social History, 1881-1981, University of New Mexico Press 1983, ISBN 0-8263-0675-6
Howard R. Lamar; The Far Southwest, 1846-1912: A Territorial History (1966, repr 2000)
Robert W. Larson, New Mexico's Quest for Statehood, 1846-1912 (1968)
George I. Sánchez; Forgotten People: A Study of New Mexicans (1940; reprint 1996)
Marc Simmons, New Mexico: An Interpretive History, 221 pages, University of New Mexico Press 1988, ISBN 0-8263-1110-5, good introduction
Ferenc M. Szasz; and Richard W. Etulain; Religion in Modern New Mexico (1997)
David J. Weber, The Mexican Frontier, 1821-1846: The American Southwest under Mexico (1982)

Hubert Howe Bancroft; The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft published in 1883-1890 all 39 volumes are on-line including two volume of History of the North Mexican States and Texas, and all western states plus plus. There is an extensive collection of contemporary (first hand) history at: [8]
Richard Ellis, ed. New Mexico Past and Present: A Historical Reader. 1971. primary sources
Tony Hillerman, The Great Taos Bank Robbery and other Indian Country Affairs, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1973, trade paperback, 147 pages, (ISBN 0-8263-0530-X), stories
Sante Fe Trail: 72 References Kansas Historical Society [9]
David J. Weber; Foreigners in Their Native Land: Historical Roots of the Mexican Americans (1973), primary sources to 1912


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