New Mexico’s Stumble to Statehood

Jon Hunner

Sparks, SAR Boardroom

Tuesday, December 13, 2011, 3:00–4:00 pm

President William H. Taft signing the New Mexico Enabling Act, 1910President William H. Taft signing the New Mexico Enabling Act, 1910Courtesy of the Photo Archives, Palace of the Governors, Santa Fe, negative no. 023027.President William H. Taft signing the New Mexico Enabling Act, 1910Courtesy of the Photo Archives, Palace of the Governors, Santa Fe, negative no. 023027.

Why did it take New Mexico 62 years to join the Union? From corrupt politicians to bitter partisan battles, from an inopportune handshake to presidential prerogatives, New Mexico lurched to statehood through prejudice, racism, and national power struggles. Dr. Jon Hunner will illustrate his lecture with photos, political cartoons, and maps in a lively presentation about how New Mexico came close to attaining statehood several times before finally succeeding in 1912. Dr. Hunner is the head of the History Department at New Mexico State University and the director of the Public History Program.

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