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5 Fun Facts About January 31 In New Mexico History

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

1. In 1912, New Mexico became the 47th state in the United States. It was the first state to have a Hispanic governor, Octaviano Larrazolo, who served from 1919 to 1921.

2. On January 31, 1940, the first flight of a research rocket took place at White Sands Missile Range. Known as WAC Corporal, the rocket reached an altitude of 80 miles and paved the way for future rocket development.

3. New Mexico's first prison riot occurred on January 31, 1980, at the New Mexico State Penitentiary in Santa Fe. The riot lasted for 36 hours, resulting in the deaths of 33 inmates and the destruction of much of the prison.

4. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the largest hot air balloon festival in the world, begins on the first Saturday of October each year. The festival has been held annually since 1972 and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to Albuquerque each year.

5. The town of Las Cruces, located in southern New Mexico, was founded in 1849 and is the second-largest city in the state. It is known for its historic downtown area and its proximity to the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.
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