Tuesday, February 21, 2012

New Time Line - (1943 - 1952) New Mexico History

New Mexicans were active in the armed services during World War II, with nearly 50,000 serving and 2,256 suffering casualties;  New Mexicans received seven Medals of Honor during the war.  Navajo Code Talkers devised a secret military code that was used to help win battles in the Pacific.  New Mexico native Bill Mauldin and Albuquerque resident Ernie Pyle won Pulitzer Prizes for their coverage of the war.  On the home front, Army air bases were built in Hobbs, Carlsbad, Clovis, Roswell, Alamogordo, Albuquerque, and other towns.
The biggest contribution from New Mexico in World War II was a secret scientific community organized on the remote Pajarito Plateau which developed the world's first atomic weapons.  J. Robert Oppenheimer, a physicist and General Leslie Groves, along with other scientists of the Manhattan Project worked long hours to develop a bomb that was finally tested at the Trinity Test Site, southeast of Socorro, in mid-July 1945.  Other bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, which caused mass destruction and led to the surrender of Japan one month after the Trinity blast.
It is arguable that New Mexico contributed greatly to the United States' final victory in World War II.  Perhaps more so than any other state of its size in the Union.  After the War, both the U.S. and New Mexico entered into a boom period thanks to returning service men who sought college educations and purchased homes.  Of course, New Mexico residents also contributed to the post-war baby boom.
Taken from the New Mexico Magazine.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

As I mentioned last month, I am posting interesting facts about New Mexico on our Facebook page in order to generate interest in New Mexico and Tucumcari Ranch Supply.  Last month I talked about the period from 1923 through 1932 with facts taken from the New Mexico Magazine article.  During February I want to talk about the period from 1933 through 1942.
The Great Depression didn't leave New Mexico unaffected and by 1933, the worst year of the prolonged crisis, 25% of New Mexico's skilled workers were unemployed and more than half of the unskilled workers in rural New Mexico were unemployed.  Drought conditions made the situation even worse for farmers and ranchers living in the northeastern section of the state.  Windstorms blew fine dust everywhere, burying crops, choking livestock and limiting tourism for the state.  The above conditions inspired John Steinbeck's book, Grapes of Wrath, and caused thousands of people in New Mexico's Dust Bowl region to abandon their homes and move west.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected US President in 1932, with help from New Mexican voters. He proposed a New Deal to assist the economy.  New Mexico acquired more New Deal money per capita than any other state in the union.  The Works Project Administration (WPA) hired unemployed workers to build roads, schools, post offices, buildings, etc. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) worked to conserve the state's natural resources.  If New Mexico hadn't received New Deal funds, it would have taken the state decades to complete these improvements by itself.
Local New Deal construction projects included Conchas Dam, the Quay County Courthouse and several school buildings.  Most of these facilities are still standing today and are currently in use.