The Front Blog

Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Datebook: January 6 – New Mexico Becomes 47th State 100 Years Ago

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After much contention, largely over the issue of whether or not to permit Indian slavery, statehood was granted to New Mexico on January 6, 1912, becoming the 47th state. The issue was that members of Congress maintained that territories could not restrict slavery under the Missouri Compromise, while others insisted that older Mexican legal traditions (which forbade slavery) took precedence. New Mexico is uniquely cultural, with the second-highest Native American percentage in the country (after Alaska), mostly comprised of Navajo and Pueblo peoples. It also has the highest percentage of Hispanics. Thus, the state flag is represented by red and gold colors, which pay homage to Spain, as well as the Zia symbol – an ancient Native American symbol for the sun. New Mexico is politically diverse, often considered a “swing state.” One quarter is forested, and includes the nation’s largest National Forest: Gila National Forest at 3.3 million acres. The official state animal is the black bear, named after discovering Smokey the Bear.  Tourists come for the food and the annual hot air balloon festival. Government spending has benefited New Mexico in the form of three Air Force bases, and research laboratories. The first atomic bombs were made and tested at White Sands. And, of course, Roswell is the home of an alleged 1947 UFO crash site.

It’s Friday, January 6

The Graves County High School Choir hosts a silent auction tonight in the high school commons area before and during the Mayfield-Graves County basketball game. Proceeds from the silent auction will help buy choral risers, tuxedos, new sheet music, and a piano. Items up for auction include a signed Swamp People t-shirt, UK basketball game tickets, and more.

The Lower Town Arts and Music Festival seeks applications from local and regional musicians of all genres interested in performing in this year’s festival. All musicians should apply by February 15 at 5PM. Find application materials at

Market House Theater holds open auditions for “The Adventures of Nate the Great” on Monday and Tuesday at 5PM in the studio theater classroom. All of the characters in this kids’ detective play are elementary school age. Performances are February 23 through 27th, with three morning school matinees. For more information, contact Market House Theater between noon and 5.

Visit us online at, where you can find more community events.

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