Brief History of New Mexico

By | May 19, 2022

Population: 2,082.244 thousand people (2011)
Area: 315194.0 sq. km

The state of New Mexico in the United States is nicknamed the Land of Enchantment. Despite the rather arid climate characteristic of semi-deserts, the natural diversity is great: dense forests in the north, deep river canyons, mountainous regions, and plains.

Due to its significant size (the fifth largest state in the United States), the Sangre de Cristo and San Juan mountain ranges of the Rocky Mountains are located in New Mexico. They cross the state in the middle from north to south. The Colorado Plateau and Llano Estacado are to the west and east, respectively. The northeast is occupied by the Great Plains. The Rio Grande and its left tributary the Pecos are the main rivers of the state. They flow in gorges and form canyons. The climate in New Mexico is continental with little rainfall. Seasonal temperature fluctuations are noticeable. The steppes and semi-deserts of the south give way to the forests of the north and the snowy peaks of the mountainous regions.

According to, New Mexico is the traditional home of the Pueblo, Navajo, Apache, and Comanche peoples. Europeans entered here from Mexico in the 1530s. These were the Spanish conquistadors, prowling in search of “golden cities”. The first settlements arose at the end of the 16th century. In 1605, the New Mexico Territory became a province within the colony of New Spain. The Indian population resisted the aggressive policy of Spain. In particular, in 1680, a large-scale pueblo uprising broke out. Northern areas of New Mexico belonging to France, were sold to the United States (1803), and the rest became part of the Mexican Empire. Only in 1850 was all of New Mexico annexed to the United States, and the modern borders were established in 1863. Since 1912 – the 47th state of the USA. New Mexico is known for the first test of an atomic weapon near Alamogordo (1945).

The unique atmospheric conditions of New Mexico have led to a remarkable astroclimate in the region. More than 10 remote observatories are located in the Myhilla area, which are the object of pilgrimage for astronomy lovers. New Mexico is also known for the settlement of Taos Pueblo, a village on a reservation where the Indians built original buildings and preserve ancient customs and ways of life. The architecture of Albuquerque and Santa Fe is notable for its Spanish influence. The small towns and natural landscapes of New Mexico are in demand by filmmakers.


Population: 35.607 thousand people (2007)
Area: 50.2 sq. km
Founded: 1912
City status since: 1912
Time zone: UTC-7
Altitude: 1321 m
Zip code: 88310, 88311

City of Alamogordo, the seat of Otero County, is located in the southwestern part of the country. Translated from Spanish, its name sounds like “Thick Poplar”. Near the city is the former Alamogordo test site, on the territory of which the first nuclear explosion in the history of mankind was carried out in 1945. Not far from the surrounding area are two of the country’s largest military bases. The city grew out of a settlement formed in the summer of 1898 during the laying of a railway line. Its subsequent development was associated with the name of Charles Eddy. The owner of the North Western Railway Company had a strong influence on the appearance of the new settlement. Several irrigation canals were built here, interconnected and forming a single network. Wide streets and avenues also became the real embodiment of his plans. Many of them have received the names of celebrities, others were named after universities and states. Highway 54 passing through the city is now beautifully named “White Sands Boulevard”, formerly known as Pennsylvania Avenue.┬áSee New Mexico counties.

Many administrative buildings were built in the 1930s, which are now classified as historical buildings. In the Pueblo style, a post office was erected, the entrance of which was decorated with frescoes by Peter Hurd. About 97 kilometers from the city’s outskirts is the former Alamogordo test site. After the first atomic explosion, no more nuclear tests were carried out on it. Now it is considered a historical site, open to visitors in April and October on certain days. At the Holomon military base, located near the city, the chimpanzee Ham, the first humanoid to travel into space, was trained. Its flight time was 16.5 minutes. Not far from the outskirts of the city in the spring of 1982, the Columbia shuttle landed, completing its space flight.

The economy of modern Alamogordo is based mainly on trade, services and tourism. Although industrial production is poorly developed here, it still brings income to the city treasury. In the early stages of its development at the end of the 19th century, the settlement developed as a settlement to serve the railway line. Wooden sleepers were made in local workshops. Over time, the economy changed its direction and the tourism sector began to develop here. She especially strengthened her position after the creation in 1934 of the national monument “White Sands”.


Population: 558,000 thousand people (2014)
Time zone: UTC-7, summer UTC-6
Altitude: 1619 m

Albuquerque is an American city in the southwestern part of the state. Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico. The Rio Grande flows through the city. Flowing through the city and the desert, it has an “exotic” appearance and resembles the Nile. The Sandia Mountains rise to the east of Albuquerque.

According to the most common version, the city was named after the statesman of Spain, the Viceroy of Mexico, the Count of Albuquerque. The city was founded in 1706 as a Spanish colonial post. Ranchos de Albuquerque is its original name. The main occupation of the inhabitants of the city at that time was farming, and the city itself was a military post along the Camino-Real road. Albuquerque was also a sheep breeding center. From the date of the founding of the city, the Spaniards had their military garrison here, and in 1821 the Mexicans also placed their own here. From 1846 to 1867, Albuquerque was home to a federal garrison of the American army.

By the beginning of the 20th century, the city already had all modern conveniences. Due to the dry climate, many tuberculosis patients came here in search of treatment. Through the creation of the Kirtland Air Force Base and the Sendia Base, Albuquerque has become a key player in the Atomic Age. By the 1970s, many historic buildings were destroyed. An interesting fact is that in 2007 Albuquerque was included in the list of the fastest growing cities in America.

The modern city retains a large share of the Spanish cultural heritage. One of the attractions of Albuquerque is the city biopark. This is a complex that includes: an aquarium, a zoo and a botanical garden. On the eastern outskirts of the city there is a cable car – one of the most popular attractions. Other places of interest in the city include: the Museum of History and Nuclear Science, a small amusement park (Cliff Amusement Park) and the Petroglyph National Monument. The city is also famous for its annual hot air balloon festival. This event is the most important event of its kind in the world.

Brief History of New Mexico