New Mexico, one of the Mountain states, located in the southwestern United States. A land of plains, plateaus, and mountains, New Mexico is famed for the great variety and magnificent colors of its scenery. Much of the land is used for livestock grazing. Manufacturing and other urban-based economic activities are carried on in only a few cities. Tourists, attracted not only by the scenic beauty of New Mexico’s deserts and mountains but also by the rich Native American and Spanish cultures that distinguish the state, have become an important part of the state’s economy.
The state’s small population is composed of Native Americans, people of Spanish descent, whose ancestors entered what is now New Mexico in the 16th century, and the so-called Anglo-Americans. Together these groups constitute a multicultural society unlike that of any other state. Much of New Mexico is reminiscent of an earlier time. Examples are its Native American festivities, its adobe villages, and its many remnants of pre-Columbian and Spanish architecture.
However, New Mexico also played a role in the development of the atomic age. With the explosion of the first atomic bomb at the Trinity site at White Sands Proving Grounds in 1945, New Mexico became an important center for nuclear research and development. The region north of Mexico was named Nuevo Mexico by a Spanish explorer in the 1560s. The name was translated and applied to the United States territory organized in 1850 and later to the state when it became the 47th member of the Union on January 6, 1912. New Mexico is called the Land of Enchantment. Santa Fe is the capital of New Mexico. Albuquerque is the largest city. © "United States" © Emmanuel Buchot and Encarta
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