On Friday at 11:35 a.m., New Mexico will celebrate her 100th birthday as the 47th state. Celebrations throughout the state are planned as this is a major occasion for those of us who are proud to be natives and residents of this beautiful state.
We can but imagine the fun people had at the first celebration in 1912. They had been preparing for that date for many years, and finally President William Howard Taft signed the document that brought us into statehood. According to the report, much noise was made throughout the state on that day, beginning with drivers honking their horns, people cheering in the streets, and hastily prepared parades going through many of our towns. Those people were proud to become a part of this union and wanted to let everyone know of that pride. They held formal dinners and balls in the evening and continued holding various celebrations for several days.
Some similar celebrations are being planned for Friday, beginning with people honking their horns at 11:35 a.m. We can but hope we will hear a little noise in our county.
Where is that wonderful fire whistle we used to have? We still have some sirens that can be heard for a few blocks, and they could be used at that time. A few years ago, we would have a hastily put together parade with a marching band and a line of floats. Now, we can at least wish each other happy 100th birthday at that time.
Many of us heard our parents and grandparents talk about that day and the excitement as people proclaimed our entry as a state. Train whistles were heard in town as were the ward sirens of the time. Special dinners were held at some of the private clubs, and others were held at the public dining rooms. Dances were also held in the evening, and the celebration outshone that held on New Year’s Eve in those days.
Some of us can still feel the excitement of that day because we have felt the pride of living in our state. This woman from Ima is most pleased to have been a resident for more than three-quarters of a century and to have known many of the pioneers who helped to form our state’s constitution and government. Living the history has been great fun and has certainly been a source of pride.
“O, Fair New Mexico” we wish you a very happy 100th, and we hope the next hundred years will see you growing and prospering, but ever remaining a great state in which to be born.
Lynn Moncus is a Tucumcari resident and can be contacted through the Quay County Sun by calling 575-461-1952.