Shonto, Arizona is a small town located in northeastern Arizona, close to the Navajo Nation reservation. Since the town's establishment, it has played a significant role in the history of the area. Over the years, various historical events have taken place in and around Shonto, Arizona. Here are seven of them:
1. Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Canyon de Chelly National Monument is located approximately 25 miles northeast of Shonto. The canyon is part of the Navajo Nation and represents one of the longest continuously inhabited areas in North America. The monument contains Anasazi ruins, cliff dwellings, and other archeological remains.
2. Navajo Long Walk
Between 1863 and 1869, Shonto, Arizona, and other surrounding towns were empty as Navajo people were forced to walk to Bosque Redondo, New Mexico. The Navajo Long Walk was a forced march of around 300 miles, and it resulted in many Navajo people dying along the way due to mistreatment and lack of resources.
3. Kit Carson
Kit Carson was an American frontiersman and military leader who played a significant role in the Navajo Long Walk. Carson led the United States Army campaigns against the Navajo and is infamous for commanding the forced march that would ultimately lead to the deaths of many Navajo people.
4. Coal Mining
From the early 1900s to around 1960, coal mining was a big industry in Shonto. Coal production was vital for the area's growth and played an essential role in the town's economy. This industry helped transform Shonto from a small settlement to a mining town.
5. Route 66
Route 66 was established in 1926 and was the primary highway connecting the western and eastern sides of the United States. Shonto was situated along this road, making it a transportation hub in the area. The establishment of Route 66 allowed for trade, tourism, and increased opportunities for the residents of Shonto.
6. Navajo Code Talkers
The Navajo code talkers were instrumental in the United States' efforts during World War II. These men were Navajo soldiers who used their language as a code during battles to communicate with other soldiers. Many of these soldiers were from areas close to Shonto, and their contributions to the war effort will never be forgotten.
7. Uranium Mining
In the 1950s, uranium was discovered in the area surrounding Shonto. Uranium mines popped up in the area and provided significant economic contributions to the region. However, the mining of the uranium also caused significant harm to the environment and the health of the miners.
In conclusion, Shonto, Arizona, and the surrounding areas have played vital roles in the history of the region. These events have continued to shape the town's culture and economy. From the Navajo Long Walk to the establishment of Route 66, Shonto is a town with a rich history.
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