Monday, January 18, 2016

6 things you ought to know about New Mexico

1. New Mexico has the highest percentage of Hispanics of any US state and the second highest percentage of Native Americans after Alaska

2. Oddly enough, New Mexico has had its name longer than Mexico has. Early explorers first called the area New Mexico because they believed the population to be like the people of the Aztec empire (also called the Mexica empire). The nation of Mexico wasn't called that until the 1800s. The city of Santa Fe was established around 1608, but there appear to have been human communities in the state for the past 11,000 years

3. The state has very little surface water; the landscape includes mesas, deserts, and snowy mountains. The climate is mostly arid or semi-arid, with only 13.9 inches of precipitation per year. A major oil discovery in 1928 made Lea County (and by extension, much of the state) more prosperous

4. The state bird is the greater roadrunner, but the state mammal is not the coyote. It's the black bear
5. Both Confederate and Union forces claimed ownership and territorial rights over New Mexico. The Battle of Glorieta Pass, fought southwest of Santa Fe, decisively broke Confederate power in 1862

6. In 2015, over 51% of the population was born in New Mexico. Almost 29% speak Spanish at home, while about 4% speak Navajo. In 2008, the state officially adopted a Navajo textbook for use in public schools. The state flag reflects the heritage of the state's people, with the gold and scarlet colors of the flag reflecting the royal standards of Spain, and the sun symbol of one of the ancient peoples of the area, the Zia (a tribe related to the Pueblo