A 62-year-long quest for statehood ended on January 6, 1912.
On January 6, 1912, New Mexico became a state, followed 39 days later by Arizona. A 62-year-long quest for statehood—the longest in U.S. history—had finally ended.
What may seem today like a foregone conclusion about statehood was nothing of the kind at the turn of the 20th century. Fearing higher taxes, powerful railroad and mining interests lobbied hard against admission, while cattle barons fought to keep their free access to public lands. Citizens of both territories also didn’t appear particularly interested in statehood. Read more »