Jul 31, 2011 to Feb 26, 2012

Part of The Museum's "Celebrating the New Mexico Centennial" programming, this exhibition relates some of the major events taking place in Albuquerque around the time New Mexico became a state, including the 1908 National Irrigation Conference, the first aeroplane flights at the Territorial Fairgrounds, presidential visits to Albuquerque, and the ratification of the New Mexico State Constitution at the Alvarado Hotel. The exhibition will also feature examples of New Mexico's official emblems including the state cookie (biscochito), state neckwear (bolo tie) and state symbol (Zia sun symbol).

New Mexico became a Territory of the United States on September 9, 1850, but then suffered a series of unsuccessful bids for statehood. Between the 1850s and 1910, Albuquerque worked to improve its “shoot-‘em-up” frontier image by cleaning up New Town, entertaining dignitaries including Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, and ultimately hosting a delegation of representatives working to ratify the State Constitution at the Alvarado Hotel. The constitution was ratified on January 12, 1911, and approved by 31,742 voters on January 21.  After delays back in Washington, D.C. our new constitution was finally adopted on November 21, 1911. President Taft – who promised to finish the task Roosevelt vowed to support – finally signed the proclamation on January 6, 1912, making New Mexico the 47th State of the Union, stating, “I am glad to give you life. I hope you will be healthy.”

Come relive the stories of major events that took place in our city just before New Mexico became a state.

IMAGE: Delegates to the New Mexico Constitutional Convention, 1912.
Gift of the Albuquerque Statehood Commemoration Committee. PC1973.13.1


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