New Mexico November 05, 2019
7 Moments Everyone Born In New Mexico Will Always Remember
When most people talk about New Mexico’s history, they tend to focus on the centuries-old events. However, today we’re going to look at some occurrences many of you may probably remember reading in the paper or seeing in person. How many of these events do you remember?
1. KOB-TV was one of the first stations to air in the region (1948).
Did you know this was one of the first TV stations to be established between California and the Mississippi? On November 29,1948, KOB-TV started operations, making it the oldest station in the state and one of the oldest in the western states.
2. The first green chile cheeseburger was marketed (1952).
Talk about delicious!
3. One of the longest aerial trams opened at Sandia Peak (1966).
The very first passengers aboard the Sandia Peak Tramway boarded the tram on May 7, 1966, slowly ascending more than 7,700 feet. Since its construction, the tramway is the longest aerial tram in the country and one of the longest in the world.
4. The blizzard that blanketed the state (1967).
Taking place in the days leading up to Christmas, New Mexico’s deadliest snowstorm covered much of the state in more than five feet of snow. Residents in rural communities and on reservations were stranded for days as they waited for the snow to melt and road conditions to return to normal. In severe cases, many required assistance from the National Guard and Air Force, who airdropped emergency kits, livestock feed, and other necessary supplies outside homes.
5. The very first Balloon Fiesta (1972).
Watching the sky become speckled with colorful balloons is an annual treat for viewers and balloonists alike. The first Balloon Fiesta and inaugural balloon race took place in 1972 with just 13 hot air balloons outside the Coronado Center Shopping Mall in Albuquerque. This has since grown into the largest international balloon convention!
6. The largest radioactive spill took place near Church Rock (1979).
Occurring just months after the Three Mile Island incident in Pennsylvania, the Church Rock uranium mill spill became the largest radioactive spill in the country. The spill took place when a uranium disposal pond breached its dam on some private land between Gallup and Church Rock on the Navajo Nation. It released 1,000 tons of radioactive waste and 94 million gallons of acidic, radioactive slurry into the Puerco River and groundwater sources.
7. The deadliest prison riot took place at the New Mexico State Penitentiary (1980).
Stemming from overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, and no separation between non-violent and repeat violent offenders, the deadliest prison riot took place on February 2 and 3 in 1980. During the grisly 36 hours, 33 people were killed — some brutally murdered, mutilated, or incinerated — but some estimate that number to be higher based on the extreme violence that took place.
If you want to see how history left its mark on New Mexico, then you may want to check out some of the state’s incredible historical landmarks. Read more in
11 Historical Landmarks You Absolutely Must Visit In New Mexico.