New Mexico

New Mexico Timeline

1200s - 1500s
  • (1200's - 1500's) Pueblo Indians established villages along the Rio Grande and its tributaries
  • (1536) Cabeza de Vaca, Estevan the Moor, and others began rumors of the Seven Cities of Cibola (Gold)
  • (1540) Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, while searching for that gold, discovered the Grand Canyon
  • (1598) Juan de Onate established San Juan de los Caballeros as the capital
  • (1600) San Gabriel founded as the second capital
  • (1601) Colonists deserted San Gabriel
  • (1609) Governor Pedro de Peralta established new capital at Santa Fe
  • (1626) Spanish Inquisition established
  • (1641) Governor Luis de Rosas assassinated
  • (1680) Pueblo Indians forced colonists and Spaniards to retreat to Mexico
1700s - 1800s
  • (1706) Villa de Albuquerque founded
  • (1743) trappers reached Santa Fe
  • (1807) Zebulon Pike led first Anglo-American expedition to New Mexico
  • (1821) Mexico declared independence from Spain; Santa Fe Trail opened
  • (1828) Gold discovered in Ortiz Mountains
  • (1837) Governor Albino Perez and top officials assassinated in revolt against Mexican taxation
  • (1846) Mexican-American War began; Stephen Watts Kearny annexed New Mexico to U.S.
  • (1848) Mexican-American War ended; Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo signed
  • (1850) New Mexico designated a territory; denied statehood
  • (1854) Gadsden Purchase added 45,000 square miles to territory
  • (1861) Confederates invaded New Mexico; Territory lost northern-most section; Territories of Arizona and Colorado created
  • (1863-1864) The Long Walk - Navajos and Apaches relocated to Bosque Redondo
  • (1868) Navajos and Apaches return to homelands
  • (1878) Railroad arrived
  • (1881) Billy the Kid shot
  • (1886) Geronimo surrenders; Indian uprisings ceased
  • (1898) Thomas Alva Edison produced first motion picture in New Mexico
  • (1910) New Mexico Constitution drafted
  • (1912) New Mexico became 47th state


  • (1916) Francisco "Pancho" Villa attacked Columbus, New Mexico
  • (1920) Women won the right to vote
  • (1922) Oil discovered on Navajo Reservation
  • (1942) New Mexico soldiers forced to endure World War II Bataan Death March
  • (1945) World's first atomic bomb detonated at Trinity bomb site southern New Mexico
  • (1947) Alleged crash of UFO near Roswell
  • (1948) Native Americans won right to vote in elections
  • (1950) Uranium discovered
  • (1980) Deadliest prison riot in U. S. occurred at New Mexico State Penitentiary
  • (1982) Space shuttle Columbia landed at Holloman Air Force Base
  • (1998) New Mexico celebrated cuartocentenario, 400th anniversary of its founding
  • (2000) Valles Caldera National Preserve established
  • (2005) 11.65% of state's employment was derived directly or indirectly from military spending
  • (2008) New Mexico had highest poverty rate in US
  • (2009) Death penalty abolished
  • (2010) Runway opened at world's first spaceport in New Mexico
  • (2010) Governor Richardson announced he would not pardon Billy the Kid
  • (2011) Wildfire forced officials to close Los Alamos National Labratory, voluntary evacuation issued for residents
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CoronadoPueblosGadsen PurchaseGeronimoSanta Fe TrailPie TownZebulon PikeStephen Watts KearneyTrinity Nuclear Test