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5 Fun Facts About July 16 In New Mexico History

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

1. On July 16, 1945, the world's first atomic bomb was tested in Alamogordo, New Mexico. The top-secret project, known as the Manhattan Project, was led by physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer and had been in development since 1939.

2. In 1881, on July 16, Sheriff Pat Garrett shot and killed infamous outlaw Billy the Kid near Fort Sumner, New Mexico. The 21-year-old Kid had escaped from jail and was on the run after killing two deputies.

3. July 16, 1928, marks the opening of the Santa Fe Opera in northern New Mexico. The opera house was built on a former ranch and has since become renowned for its stunning views of the surrounding mountains and its world-class performances.

4. In 1969, on July 16, the Apollo 11 spacecraft launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins to the moon. The mission would culminate in the first ever moon landing four days later.

5. On July 16, 1920, the first commercial flight in New Mexico took off from Albuquerque's West Mesa Airport. The flight was operated by Western Air Express, which would eventually become Delta Air Lines. Today, Albuquerque is a major transportation hub and is served by several airlines.
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