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5 Fun Facts About March 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 1598, Spanish explorer Juan de Oñate established the first capital of New Mexico, San Gabriel. It would later become the city of Santa Fe.

2. On March 31, 1862, during the Civil War, Union forces led by Colonel Edward Canby engaged Confederate troops in the Battle of Glorieta Pass. The Union victory helped prevent the Confederates from gaining control of New Mexico and the Southwest.

3. The first official New Mexico State Fair was held on March 31, 1938, in Albuquerque. It has since become an annual event, featuring livestock shows, carnival rides, and concerts.

4. On March 31, 1970, the Blue Lake in northern New Mexico was returned to the Taos Pueblo Native Americans after a long legal battle. The lake is considered sacred by the tribe, and its return was a significant victory for Native American rights.

5. In 1982, New Mexico Governor Bruce King signed legislation making the green chile the official state vegetable. The flavorful pepper is a staple of New Mexican cuisine and a source of pride for many residents.
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