Friday, October 30, 2020

Don José Manuel Gallegos

(Library of Congress) José Manuel Gallegos was born in Spanish colonial Mexico, in the town of Abiquiú, Nuevo México, on October 30, 1815. His people were Hispanos, descendants of early Spanish settlers. ... Suspended from the priesthood for refusing to accept the authority of French religious superior, Bishop Jean Baptiste Lamy (who became the subject of Willa Cather‘s novel, Death Comes for the Archbishop), Gallegos put increasing energy into his political life. He was elected to the New Mexico Territorial House of Representatives in 1860 as the representative from Santa Fe, served as speaker of the House from 1860-62, treasurer of the territory from 1865-66, and superintendent of New Mexico Indian affairs in 1868. He was reelected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a delegate from 1871-73. Continued

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Bill Mauldin

(Wikipedia) William Henry "Bill" Mauldin (October 29, 1921 – January 22, 2003) was an American editorial cartoonist who won two Pulitzer Prizes for his work. He was most famous for his World War II cartoons depicting American soldiers, as represented by the archetypal characters Willie and Joe, two weary and bedraggled infantry troopers who stoically endure the difficulties and dangers of duty in the field.
... Mauldin was born in Mountain Park, New Mexico. His grandfather had been a civilian cavalry scout in the Apache Wars and his father was an artilleryman in World War I. Continued

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

If You Think Today's Politics Are Bad, Check This Out

(Bob Boze Bell) ... During the 1871 election season in Mesilla, N.M. Republicans and Democrats squared off on the town square and after insults were traded, both sides produced guns and started shooting. About 500 shots were fired, with 15 known dead and upwards of 50 wounded. Continued

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Theodore Roosevelt

(Wikipedia) Theodore Roosevelt Jr.* (October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919) was an American statesman, author, explorer, soldier, naturalist, and reformer who served as the 26th President of the United States from 1901 to 1909. As a leader of the Republican Party during this time, he became a driving force for the Progressive Era in the United States in the early 20th century. Continued

*For TR's connection to New Mexico, see this article at

Monday, October 26, 2020

Ray Crawford

(Wikipedia) Ray Crawford (October 26, 1915 – February 1, 1996) was an American fighter ace, test pilot, race-car driver and businessman.
Born in Roswell, New Mexico, Crawford served as a U.S. Army Air Corps fighter pilot and flew the P-38 Lightning in combat over North Africa in 1943. He was tied as the top-ranking fighter ace of the 97th Fighter Squadron with six enemy aircraft confirmed destroyed and one probably destroyed. Rotated home, he eventually became an early jet pilot.
... He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with fourteen Oak Leaf Clusters before separating from active duty as a Captain in February, 1946. Continued

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Yazzie Johnson

(Wikipedia) ... Yazzie Johnson was born October 25, 1946 in Winslow, Arizona. His father, Matthew Johnson, was from Leupp, Arizona and his mother, Marilyn, was from Sanostee, New Mexico, both from the Navajo Nation. Both his parents worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs Inter-Mountain Indian School in Brigham City, Utah where he met Gail Bird at age fourteen.
He was influenced at an early age by one of the teachers at the School, Dooley D. Shorty, who was a silversmith (and had been a Navajo Code Talker in World War II). Johnson enlisted in the U. S. Army in 1966 and served in Germany and Vietnam. He studied at University of California Berkeley and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Continued

Saturday, October 24, 2020

The Transcontinental Telegraph and the End of the Pony Express

(Library of Congress) On October 24, 1861, the first transcontinental telegraph system was completed by Western Union, making it possible to transmit messages rapidly (by mid-nineteenth-century standards) from coast to coast.
This technological advance, pioneered by inventor Samuel F. B. Morse, heralded the end of the Pony Express.
Only two days later, on October 26, the horseback mail service that had previously provided the fastest means of communication between the eastern and western United States officially closed. Continued

"and cultivate their hair like lettuce"

La Boeuf, is that you?
"I also notice that the men of Texas gouge their mounts with great brutal spurs and cultivate their hair like lettuce." - True Grit, Charles Portis (Photo: Library of Congress)

Friday, October 23, 2020

Vern Stephens

(Wikipedia) Vernon Decatur Stephens (October 23, 1920 – November 3, 1968) was an American shortstop in professional baseball who played 15 seasons in the American League for four different teams.
A native of McAlister, New Mexico, Stephens batted and threw right-handed. He was also nicknamed "Pop-up Stephens", "Junior", and "Buster."
One of the strongest-hitting shortstops in major league history, Stephens compiled a .286 batting average with 247 home runs and 1174 RBI in 1720 games. Continued

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Collis P Huntington

(Wikipedia) Collis Potter Huntington (October 22, 1821 – August 13, 1900) was one of the Big Four of western railroading (along with Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins, and Charles Crocker) who built the Central Pacific Railroad as part of the first U.S. transcontinental railroad.
Huntington then helped lead and develop other major interstate lines such as the Southern Pacific Railroad and the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway (C&O), which he was recruited to help complete. Continued

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The 1918 Flu Pandemic

(CDC) The 1918 influenza pandemic was the most severe pandemic in recent history. It was caused by an H1N1 virus with genes of avian origin. Although there is not universal consensus regarding where the virus originated, it spread worldwide during 1918-1919.  In the United States, it was first identified in military personnel in spring 1918.
It is estimated that about 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population became infected with this virus. The number of deaths was estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide with about 675,000 occurring in the United States. Continued

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

James Hinkle

(Wikipedia) James Fielding Hinkle (October 20, 1864 – March 26, 1951) was an American politician and the sixth Governor of New Mexico.
... He served as a member of the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners from 1891 to 1893 and also served as a member of the New Mexico Territorial House of Representatives from 1893 to 1896.
He became a member of the New Mexico Territorial Senate in 1901 and served as a member of the Lincoln County Board of Equalization from 1901 to 1911.
He served as the mayor of Roswell from 1904 to 1906. Continued