New Mexico


Some members of the Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca expedition wander from Texas to the Pacific through the Southwest.

The Vasquez de Coronado expedition goes to New Mexico and other areas of the Southwest in search of gold and fabulous and mythical cities.

Camino Real, the principal supply line between Mexico and New Mexico, is established.

Don Juan de Onate leads the first formal and administrative expedition into New Mexico, establishing it officially as a territory of Spanish domain.

Don Pedro de Peralta, the new governor of New Mexico, begins his tenure in New Mexico and establishes Santa Fe as its capital, with the Palace of the Governors as his residence. Franciscans begin early missionary projects in New Mexico.

Pueblo Native Americans led by Pope rebel against Spanish rule and evict Spanish administrators, missionaries, and settlers from New Mexico.

Don Diego de Vargas is appointed governor and leads expeditions to New Mexico to reestablish Spanish rule. Santa Fe is retaken by the Spanish, and colonial rule is set permanently in New Mexico. Albuquerque is founded as a villa.

Wars of independence in Mexico. In 1821 Mexico is officially recognized as an independent country from Spain, and New Mexico passes from Spanish to Mexican control.

1837 Padre Jose Antonio Martinez establishes the first printing press and newspaper in New Mexico.

1846-1848 The war between the United States and Mexico causes vast portions of Mexico’s north to pass to U.S. control; New Mexico becomes a U.S. territory.

1853 The Catholic Church establishes Santa Fe as a diocese. For the first time in over three centuries New Mexico’s Catholic Church is run from Santa Fe, and not Guadalajara or Durango (Mexico).

1878-1890s The railroad is introduced in New Mexico, linking the territory to much broader trade networks.

1888-1889 The University of New Mexico and the New Mexico State University are founded, the latter as a land-grant institution and agricultural college.

1912 After much debate and many years of racist objections, New Mexico is admitted to the Union as a U.S. State.

1953 The Museum of International Folk Art is established.

1977 La Compania de Teatro de Albuquerque is founded.

1980 A deadly riot in the New Mexico State Penitentiary in Santa Fe exposes institutional corruption and ethnic tensions.

1998 Patricia Madrid becomes not only the first woman but the first Latina attorney general of New Mexico.

2005 Latinos again become ethnic majority in New Mexico.

New Mexico Photo Gallery

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