My turn: Happy birthday, New Mexico

The state of New Mexico turns 100 on Friday.

Here's some trivia:

  • President William Howard Taft signed the declaration of statehood at 1:35 p.m. on Jan. 6, 1912, in his private office at the White House. The Santa Fe New Mexican reported about two dozen people witnessed the event, half of them from New Mexico Territory.

"Well, it is all over," Taft said after signing his name on two documents. "I am glad to give you life. I hope you will be healthy."

  • New Mexico was the 47th state, beating Arizona by a month. Alaska and Hawaii achieved statehood in 1959.
  • New Mexico was named by 16th century Spanish explorers who hoped to find gold and wealth equal to Mexico's Aztec treasures, according to the website 50states.com
  • Portales and Clovis were already established before New Mexico reached statehood. Portales was incorporated in 1909, and people were living in the community more than a decade before that. Clovis was created by the railroad in 1907.
  • Actor/comedian Danny Thomas – star of "Make Room for Daddy" and founder of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital — was born the same day New Mexico became a state.
  • Also in 1912 …

… The Titanic sank in the Atlantic Ocean.

… Aviator Wilbur Wright died.

… Girl Scouts of the United States of America was founded in Savannah, Ga.

So happy birthday to the Girl Scouts, too.

David Stevens writes about regional history on his blog: highplainsyesterdays.freedomblogging.com/

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