Monday, March 26, 2012

New Mexico history 1963 - 1972

The 1960's can be remembered as a period of growth and conflict in the U.S. and in New Mexico.
The state grew as an integral part of what President Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex which included the space race.  New communities, such as Rio Rancho, welcomed residents and hippie communes added countercultural elements to an already eclectic state.
New Mexico also experienced turmoil.  Some Hispanics, frustrated by the loss of their land grants, turned to an individual, Reis Lopez Tijerina and his originally peaceful Alianza Federal de Mercedes which was founded in 1963; Lopez Tijerina resorted to increasingly violent measures that ultimately ruined his movement.  Taos Pueblo residents non-violently defended their sacred Blue Lake in the Carson National Forest.
The Vietnam war divided the state:  abroad New Mexicans served in the military and at home, anti-war protesters sometimes turned violent, as when they clashed with opposing factions on Albuquerque's Central Avenue and National Guard troops were sent to the University of New Mexico.  Peace was restored in New Mexico only when peace was restored in the nation and in Southeast Asia.

Taken from the New Mexico Magazine.

Friday, March 16, 2012

New Time Line (1953 - 1962)

New Mexico was very involved in the Cold War which led to an ever-greater federal involvement in the state. The U.S. Government converted four WW II army air bases into Air Force bases (Cannon, Holloman, Walker, and Kirtland) that continued to train crews and test new planes and weapons.  The White Sands Missile Range located in southern New Mexico consisted of 3,200 square miles which allowed for advanced testing of weapons and rockets.
The US created new nuclear weapons, including the hydrogen bomb, at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Sandia National Laboratories.  Grants became known as the "uranium capital" of the nation.
The Cold War heated up into warfare with the Korean conflict of 1950 - 1952.  Nearly 200 New Mexicans lost their lives in this "forgotten war."
Albuquerque's population skyrocketed when newcomers arrived to work in Cold War industries.  Albuquerque's population grew from 35,449 in 1940 to 262,199 in 1960.  Smaller towns, like Los Alamos, Alamogordo and Grants, experienced like growth.  Modern highways, trains, and  commercial airlines brought tourists to New Mexico in record numbers.  Construction for homes, businesses, motels, and restaurants boomed.
Information taken from New Mexico Magazine.