Consideration of history in New Mexico usually stops around Socorro and the year 1900, with passing mention of Roswell for aliens, Lincoln and Billy the Kid for murder, and perhaps White Sands for the Trinity atomic bomb test in 1945.
OK, that’s an overstatement. But a brief survey of my four-volume New Mexico history book collection finds them well short of mentions of Clovis, Hobbs, oil, Silver City and more.
The history of New Mexico is taught in the public schools, more often than I thought. Seventh-graders get a year. State history appears in elementary school and high school. How well the history is taught could be another story.
Thinking of our history was spurred by three comments.
For a Smithsonian magazine article, Richard Grant is in Jones County Mississippi, “to breathe in the historical vapors…” The article is “The Raging Rebellion of Jones County.” Historical vapors are well breathed in New Mexico, too.
In a newspaper review of a book about Romania, “Trapped by the New Iron Curtain,” Edward Lucas chides the author, Robert Kaplan, for saying, “I liked having the place to myself.” People complain about New Mexico’s growth, which has reversed the past two years, with the same whine.