"There's a NEW Mexico?!??"
- Homer Simpson
New Mexico has a long and colorful history:
- The first inhabitants of New Mexico were the paleolithic Clovis Culture. These efficient hunters are often credited/blamed with the extinction of the North American Megafauna.
- Numerous Native American tribes have existed in New Mexico for thousands of years. In particular the Pueblo People, Navajo, Apache and Ute.
- The Conquistadors, lead by Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, arrived in 1540.
- It became part of Mexico in 1821, following the Mexican War of Independence.
- When the Republic of Texas ceded from Mexico in 1836, it claimed about half of New mexico, everything East of the Rio Grande.
- After the Mexican-American War, New Mexico became part of the United States, some of the territory coming from Mexico in 1848, and some coming from Texas in 1850.
- The Lincoln County War of the 1780s made Billy The Kid famous.
- New Mexico became a US State in 1912.
- During World War II, the first atomic bombs were tested at the Trinity Site.
- The UFO incident at Roswell, New Mexico in 1947.
- The ghostly tale of La Llorona often leads back to New Mexico. La Llorona is Spanish for Weeping Woman - the tale goes that a beautiful woman of long black hair and a flowing white gown wanders the river banks at night wailing for her dead children, whom she killed. She will find any children who are out alone at night and take them into the river to drown them as she did her own. This story is told to children as a warning not only to beware of the dangers of the river, but also to keep them safely indoors at night. 
- In 1999 the government started the WIPP project (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant) near Carlsbad, New Mexico. The goal is to take our nations' dirty 'nuke' laundry and bury it.
- Stella Liebeck, the woman who burned herself with McDonald's coffee in 1992, was a resident of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Yet despite all that, for some reason many Americans forget that New Mexico even exists. New Mexico Magazine has a regular column called "One Of Our 50 is Missing", where readers write in with their experiences concerning times when people refused to believe them that NM is a part of the US.
Sites to see in New Mexico:
- Alamogordo, New Mexico, - home of Holloman Air Force Base
- Albuquerque, New Mexico - the largest city in the state, home to Kirtland Airforce Base
- Balloon Fiesta - every year hundreds of hot air balloons are set a drift from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and lots of other cities around the state, all during a 9-day period in October.
- Carlsbad Caverns
- Chaco Canyon
- Dulce Base - though, if it exists, the government won't let you see it
- Espanola, New Mexico - is the Lowrider Capitol of the World
- Los Alamos, New Mexico - home of Los Alamos National Labs
- Roswell, New Mexico
- Santa Fe, New Mexico - the State Capitol
- Space Port America - near Truth or Consequences (also called T or C), it is expected to be a Space tourism launch site, with 2-hour space flights, costing $200,000 each (to begin with) and beginning in 2011 - run by Virgin Galactic.
- Wagon Wheel, New Mexico - a tiny little "off the maps" town, which always creeped me out for reasons I can't explain
- White Sands National Monument and White Sands Missile Range
For more information, see also:
- Timeline of New Mexico History from 25000 B.C. to 1998
- New Mexico statistics, population, size, state symbols, etc
- Weird Al's Song "Albuquerque"
- Bugs Bunny never turns left at Albuquerque
Game and Story Use
- New Mexico is a natural setting for The Western.
- With all those Military Holdings and UFO incidents, this is a natural place for a government conspiracy game.
- Are the balloons part of a celebration, or mass spy work? Balloons can only travel along the air currents and with all that military zoning, wouldn't you think twice about allowing a statewide balloon fiesta go on?
- There are lots of national ghost stories, so why not look for ones close to home or at least close to where the game is taking place - like La Llorona (also called the Ditch Witch).
- If your game system has flaws / hindrances / disadvantages, you could take "One Of Our 50 Is Missing" as a flaw. The character was born in New Mexico, and hits all sorts of bureaucratic troubles as Government Agencies, Corporations, and the like constantly confuse your country of origin. "For the last time, I don't need to speak to the Mexican Embassy, as I'm a natural-born citizen of the United States! I don't need a green card, and you can't deport me! Now can I please get my automobile registration updated." Obviously, this will rarely be a problem if the character remains in New Mexico, except perhaps when doing business over the phone or internet. But wander more than one State in any direction, and you're asking for trouble. :)