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5 Fun Facts About June 20 In New Mexico History

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

1. On June 20, 1951, the New Mexico State Penitentiary experienced one of the deadliest prison riots in U.S. history. The riot lasted for 36 hours and resulted in the deaths of 33 inmates and one guard.

2. The first successful test flight of a SpaceShipOne prototype spacecraft took place on June 21, 2004, at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. The spacecraft was designed by aerospace engineer Burt Rutan, who was born in Portland, Oregon, but grew up in New Mexico and graduated from Rio Grande High School in Albuquerque.

3. New Mexico's Bisti Wilderness, located in the northwest corner of the state near the town of Farmington, is known for its unique rock formations and fossil beds. On June 20, 2012, a team of researchers discovered an ancient dinosaur eggshell fragment at the site that was estimated to be 70 million years old.

4. On June 20, 1989, New Mexico's Space Shuttle Challenger Center was dedicated at the Albuquerque International Sunport. The center honors the memory of the crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger, which exploded during its launch on January 28, 1986.

5. In 1924, the Santa Fe Railroad completed construction of a 16-mile-long tunnel through Glorieta Pass in northern New Mexico. The tunnel was built to replace the original narrow-gauge track that had been constructed in the late 1800s. Today, the tunnel is a popular destination for hikers and mountain bikers, and is considered one of the most scenic train tunnels in the world.
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