New Mexico State Day, Motto, and Nickname
DATE OF ADMISSION TO UNITED STATES
January 6, 1912
RANKING IN STATE ADMISSION
Province of New Mexico
New Mexico Territory
New Mexico began its efforts to gain statehood in 1850 when residents drafted a state constitution, elected officers, and prepared to submit a request to the United States Congress. However, that year Congress passed the Compromise Bill of 1850 and granted New Mexico territorial status instead. The mindset of the voters had changed, and racial tensions and division over the slavery issue had taken a prominent place in the national political arena. Political infighting in Congress thwarted further attempts to gain statehood.
In 1906, an attempt was made at joint statehood with Arizona, but was defeated by voters. New Mexico’s citizens and representatives continued their efforts, and on June 20, 1910, President William H. Taft signed the Enabling Act allowing the territory to convene a constitutional convention. Finally, on January 21, 1911, voters approved a constitution. After more than 50 years of effort toward statehood, New Mexico was proclaimed the 47th state of the Union.
Crescit eundo ("Grows As It Goes")
This unofficial motto first appeared on the territorial seal and coat of arms and was carried forward onto the state seal and coat of arms. Proposed by Territorial Secretary William G. Ritch in 1882, the quotation is taken from the poem De Rerum Natura ("On the Nature of Things") by Lucretius.
"Land of Enchantment," "Otro," "New Andalusia," "Land of Sunshine," "Cactus State," "The Colorful State," "The Sunshine State," "The Outer Space State," "The Spanish State"
"Land of Enchantment" presently appears on New Mexico license plates and refers to the rich multicultural nature of the state’s history and its many natural wonders. Otro, the Spanish word for "other," was used by earlier Spanish inhabitants of New Mexico to describe the territory (as in "the other Mexico"). "New Andalusia" is a reference to a part of southern Spain where culture and beauty mix well.
"Land of Sunshine" appeared on license plates before "Land of Enchantment" and points to the fact that every portion of the state reportedly receives sunshine 70 percent of the time. "The Sunshine State," a nickname shared with Florida, also refers to the amount of sunshine the state experiences.
"The Cactus State" is a reference to the mostly desert lands of the state where many different forms of succulents thrive. "The Colorful State" is a nickname shared with Colorado and a reference to the many different and colorful scenic areas to be found here. "The Outer Space State" is a reference to reported incidents that occurred in Roswell, New Mexico, including the suspected crash and cover-up of a UFO. "The Spanish State" is in reference to New Mexico's rich Spanish and Latino heritage, and the widespread use of the Spanish language.
-World Trade Press