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5 Fun Facts About February 21 In New Mexico History

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

1. In 1862, the Civil War Battle of Valverde took place near the town of Belen. Confederate forces, led by General Henry Hopkins Sibley, attacked Union troops under Major Charles P. Stone. Although the Confederates won the battle, they were unable to capture Fort Craig and ultimately lost the campaign for control of New Mexico Territory.

2. On February 21, 1878, notorious outlaw and gunslinger John Wesley Hardin was captured in Pensacola, Florida. Hardin had killed dozens of people throughout the American West, including at least one in New Mexico. After serving 17 years in prison for murder, he was pardoned and began practicing law.

3. The Navajo Nation officially declared its independence from the United States on February 21, 2013, citing violations of treaties and the federal government's failure to address issues like unemployment and environmental degradation.

4. In 1915, the New Mexico State Fair Association was formed to promote agriculture, livestock, and the economy of the state. The first New Mexico State Fair was held in October of that year and has since become an annual event, featuring agriculture and livestock exhibits, rides, concerts, and more.

5. On February 21, 1868, the New Mexico territorial legislature passed a law granting suffrage to "male citizens of the United States" who had resided in the territory for at least six months, regardless of race or ethnicity. This made New Mexico one of the first jurisdictions in the United States to extend voting rights to people of color.
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