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 here developed the atomic bomb, first detonated at Trinity site in the desert on the White Sands Proving Grounds vaguely near Alamogordo on July 16, 1945.
Albuquerque expanded rapidly after the war. High-altitude experiments near Roswell in 1947 reputedly led to persistent (unproven) claims by a few 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.
In 1947, a craft of unknown origin crashed at or near Rosewell, New Mexico. Allegedly, in 1949, another craft of unknown origin crashed near this city.
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 then 200 million years. WIPP began operations on March 26, 1999.
New Mexico's largest cities are Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Rancho and Roswell.
Santa Fe is the highest capital city in the United States at 7,000 feed above sea level.
Lakes and Rivers make up only .002% of the states total surface area. The lowest water-to-land ratio of all 50 states. Most of New Mexico's lakes are man-made reservoirs. A dam on the Rio Grande formed the Elephant Butte Reservoir the state's largest lake.
The Rio Grande is New Mexico's longest river and runs the entire length of New Mexico.
White Sands National Monument is a desert, not of sand, but of gleaming white gypsum crystals.
New Mexico is one of the four corner states. Bordering at the same point with Colorado, Utah and Arizona.
The Palace of Governors in Santa Fe is the oldest Government Building in the United States.
Tens of thousands of bats live in the Carlsbad Caverns. The largest chamber of Carlsbad Caverns is more than 10 football fields long and about 22 stories high.
On the same desert ground where today's space age missiles are tested, ten-thousand-year-old arrowheads have been found.
Official State Symbols:
Flower : The yucca flower.
Bird: The chaparral, commonly called roadrunner.
Tree: The nut pine or pinon tree.
Fish: The native cutthroat trout.
Animal: The native black bear.
Vegetable: The chili and the pinto bean.
Gem: The turquoise stone.
Grass: The blue gamma grass.
Fossil: The coelophysis was a very small, early, fast-moving dinosaur, a carnivore from the late Triassic period.
Cookie: The bizcochito.
Insect: The tarantula hawk wasp.
Question: Red or green?
Nickname: The Land of Enchantment.
Butterfly: The Sandia hairstreak.
Reptile: The whiptail lizard.
Amphibian: The spade foot toad.