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5 Fun Facts About December 20 In New Mexico History

---Learn Every Day: NM Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history nm To: 618-270-4005---

1. In 1806, explorer Zebulon Pike and his party arrived at the Taos Pueblo, where they were welcomed by the Native American inhabitants. Pike was on a mission to explore the southwestern United States and map out the region for future settlement and development.

2. On December 20, 1862, a Confederate army under General Henry Hopkins Sibley marched into New Mexico and captured the Union garrison at Fort Fillmore. This marked the beginning of the New Mexico Campaign, which lasted until 1863 and ended in a Union victory.

3. In 1912, New Mexico was admitted to the Union as the 47th state. The state's unique blend of cultures and landscapes has helped make it a favorite destination for tourists from around the world.

4. On December 20, 1966, a tragic plane crash occurred in northern New Mexico that claimed the lives of four members of the rock band The Bar-Kays. The group had been scheduled to play at a show in Salt Lake City, but their plane crashed into a mountain during takeoff from the airport in Las Vegas, NM.

5. In 2004, President George W. Bush signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005, which included provisions for the construction of a new federal courthouse in Albuquerque. The courthouse, which opened in 2010, is considered one of the most technologically advanced and environmentally friendly buildings of its kind.
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