TLW's Coloradoscope™ (Colorado Historyscope)
By T.L. Winslow (TLW), the Historyscoper™
© Copyright by T.L. Winslow. All Rights Reserved.
Original Pub. Date: Sept. 29, 2017. Last Update: June 13, 2018.
Westerners are not only known as history ignoramuses, but double dumbass history ignoramuses when it comes to Colorado and Colorado history. Since I'm the one-and-only Historyscoper (tm), let me quickly bring you up to speed before you dive into my Master Historyscope.
Colorado (Sp. "red", "ruddy") (named after the Colorado River) (pop. 5.5M), "the Switzerland of America" encompasses most of the Southern Rocky Mountains along with the NE portion of the Colo. Plateau and the W edge of the Great Plains, known as the Rocky Mountain Front; it contains 55 mountain peaks over 4K meters tall (13,123 ft.) and 117 peaks over 3K meters tall (9,843 ft.), incl. 53 fourteeners; the tallest is 1,440-ft. (4,401.2m) Mount Elbert in San Isabel Nat. Forest 12 mi. SW of Leadville, 2nd highest in the continental U.S. after 1,405-ft. (4,421m) Mount Whitney in Calif. The Denver-Boulder Axis of Evil contains the seat of the state govt. under the grip of an ever-more liberal political power that has the more conservative rural parts of the state under its octopus grip, spawning secession movements in Northern Colo. et al.
Might as well face it you're addicted to land? On Apr. 30, 1803 (Sat.) after the English refuse it, the 100M acre, $15M (15 cents an acre) Louisiana Purchase, negotiated by U.S. minister to France Robert R. Livingston, and surveyed by British-born Am. geologist George William Featherstonhaugh (1780-1866) extends the U.S. from the Mississippi to the crest of the Rockies and prepares it for further expansion to the Pacific; on Oct. 20 the U.S. Senate ratifies it, and on Dec. 20 ownership of the territory is formally transferred from France to the U.S. in ceremonies held in Jackson Square in New Orleans (originally Plaza d'Armas); the largest state to be purchased (4th largest of the 50 states) is Montana; French privateer Jean Lafitte (1776-1854) (d. 1823?) establishes his own Kingdom of Baritaria in the swamps and bayous around New Orleans, claiming to command 3K men; too bad, aborigines aren't told they have to register ownership of their lands, allowing the federal govt. to claim them, incl. the La. Bayou, where oil cos. later make billions.
In 1805 N.J.-born Lt. Zebulon Montgomery Pike (1779-1813) explores Minnesota, and negotiates a treaty with the Sioux (Dakota) ceding 100K acres, incl. most of Mineapolis and St. Paul at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers; on July 15, 1806 he leaves St. Louis to explore New Mexico looking for the sources of the Arkansas River; on Nov. 15 he sights 14,109 ft. (4,267m) pink granite Pikes Peak (El Capitan to the Spanish, which he calls Highest Peak because it's higher thany any peak in the U.S. to the E) in S Colo. (64 mi. S of Denver), but fails in an attempt to climb it, declaring that it will never be climbed (the Utes probably did it all the time to get eagle feathers?), then makes a roundabout return by way of Santa Fe after Spanish soldiers capture his party; his accounts are pub. before those of Lewis and Clark, creating the myth that the Am. West is a "Great American Desert" unfit for human habitation (and hence the place to banish Indian tribes to); in summer 1820 Vt.-born botanist Edwin P. James (1797-1861) becomes the first to climb it while working for explorer Stephen Harriman Long (1784-1864) on his expedition "from the Mississippi to the Rocky Mountains", discovering the health benefits of the mineral waters in Manitou Springs, Colo., and making the first ascent of 13,3K ft. (4,054m) James Peak.
On June 6, 1820 an expedition led by Maj. Stephen Harriman Long (1784-1864) goes W from the Missouri River into Neb., and along the Platte River, sighting 14,259-ft. Longs (not Long's) Peak near Estes Park, Colo. (northernmost of the 54 "fourteeners" in the Colo. Rocky Mts.) on June 13; when he returns, Long reports that the entire area between the Missouri River and the Rocky Mts. is unsuitable for farming, despite seeing fields of corn, beans, and pumpkin being cultivated by Pawnees, causing the Great Plains to become known as the "Great American Desert" for the next 50 years; by the 20th cent. it contains the largest irrigated area on Earth.
In 1833 180' x 135' x 15' adobe brick Bent's Fort (begun 1828) is built in Otero County, SE Colo. along the Santa Fe Trail by St. Louis, Mo.-born William Wells Bent (1809-69) and Ceran de Hault de Lassus de St. Vrain (1802-70) to trade with Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho Plains Indians and trappers for buffalo robes, becoming the only privately-owned fort in the Am. West, and the only major permanent white settlement on the Santa Fe Trail between Missouri and the Mexican settlements, becoming a major trading center and rendezvous point for fur trappers; it is abandoned in 1849 during a cholera epidemic among Plains Indians, and burned in 1852 by Bent, who builds a new stone fort in Big Timbers near modern-day Lamar, Colo., which in 1860 becomes Ft. Wise, renamed Fort Lyon in 1862, and replaced in 1867 by a new Fort Lyon near modern-day Las Animas, Colo.; Bent's Old Fort is designated a nat. historic site on June 3, 1960, and reconstructed in 1976.
In 1837 Fort St. Vrain 7 mi. N of modern-day Fort Vasquez, Colo. at the confluence of St. Vrain Creek and the South Platte River is built by the co. owned by William Bent and Ceran St. Vrain as a fur trading post, going on to employ James Beckwourth, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau (son of Sacagawea) et al.
I fooled around and fell in love, yes I did? In 1840 mass slaughter of the 36M buffalo (bison) in the U.S. begins at the rate of 1M-2M a year under a U.S. govt. policy to "settle the vexed Indian question"; by 1875 only 5.5M remain, down to 541 in 1889 and 300 in 1900; in 1875 Gen. Philip Sheridan tells the Tex. legislature that whites should "kill, skin and sell until the buffaloes are exterminated. Then your prairie can be covered with speckled cattle and the festive cowboy - the forerunner of an advanced civilization."
In May 1842 after Bent's Fort misses a shipment of hides wanted by the East, causing them to see their chance, Pueblo, Colo. on the N bank of the Arkansas River at its confluence with Fountain Creek in S Colo. on the border of the Louisiana Purchase (modern-day pop. 110K) is founded as Ft. Pueblo (El Pueblo) by Bent's Fort trader George Simpson et al., who build a log fort to protect against hostile Utes, attracting Va.-born part-black mountain man James P. "Jim" Beckwourth (1798-1867), white mountain man Christopher Houston "Kit" Carson (1809-68), et al. while reaching 100 pop., encouraging farming and ranching; in winter 1846 a party of several hundred Mormons from Miss. arrive, and are joined by a group of sick members of the Mormon Battalion incl. women and children, who all leave for the Salt Lake Valley next July; too bad, the 1848 Mexican-Am. War and the 1849 Calif. Gold Rush deplete it, and by 1854 only 15-20 live there.
Make a run for the border? On Jan. 2, 1848 after the All Mexico idea of annexing Mexico by force is toyed with and dumped (making Pres. Polk reluctant to sign a treaty with Mexico yet), with S.C. Sen. John C. Calhoun uttering the soundbyte: "[W]e have never dreamt of incorporating into our Union any but the Caucasian race - the free white race. To incorporate Mexico would be the very first instance of the kind of incorporating an Indian race; for more than half of the Mexicans are Indians, and the other is composed chiefly of mixed tribes", and John O'Sullivan uttering the soundbyte: "There is no growth in Hispanic America... How would it kick the beam against the simple, solid weight of the two hundred and fifty, or three hundred millions - and American millions - destined to gather beneath the flutter of the stripes and stars, in the fast hastening year of the Lord 1945?", formal peace talks between the proud WASP U.S. and defeated BHRC (Brown Hispanic Roman Catholic) Mexico begin at the village of Guadalupe Hidalgo outside Mexico City, where what's left of the Mexican govt. is holed-up, trapped like brown rats by white wolves?; on Feb. 2 after Nicholas P. Trist engages them in brinksmanship, down-on-its-knees Mexico signs the grossly 1-sided dirty-deal Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ceding all of Texas above the Rio Grande, plus New Mexico and Calif. (incl. the Nevada region), a total of 529,189 sq. mi. (half of all Mexican territory, incl. the modern states of Calif., Nevada, Utah, and parts of modern Ariz., N.M., Colo., and Wyo.) (the old Aztec homeland of Aztlan?), giving the U.S. a new Am. Southwest and making it a continental power, with a 1,952-mi. 4-state (Texas, N.M., Ariz., Calif.) border with Mexico, while making "reconquista" a perennial Mexican cause, and becoming the first time that the lily-white U.S. actually doesn't want to absorb a people or steal all of their land, preferring to create a border with them racial underclassers safely on the other side, all nicely color-coded for inferiority or separated by language, religion and culture, or both; the rev.-free U.S. has completed its transformation from a cute little agrarian repub. into a continental giant; in return for the land grab the U.S. agrees to pay Mexico $15M ($300M in 2009 dollars, about enough to buy a major league sports team) and assume the claims of U.S. citizens against Mexico up to a $3.75M limit; the treaty is signed days before news of the Calif. gold strike is received; white supremacist gringo (Anglo) disdain for "inferior" Mexicans is firmly implanted, while the continental U.S. is pretty much rounded out (modulo the Gadsden Purchase in 1853); the messy town of Mesilla on the Camino Real N of El Paso is designated as the border of Mexico, causing native Mexicans on the E side of the Rio Grande River to settle there, but they have to move again in 1854 after the Gadsden Purchase gives it to the U.S.; the El Camino Real becomes an extension of the Santa Fe Trail from Mo., and the gringos begin calling it the Chihuahua Trail; Pres. Polk is actually miffed at the terms, since he is eyeing the growing movement that wants to annex all of Mexico, but his fear of Congress' shenanigans causes him to submit the treaty to them, and they ratify it on Mar. 10, ending the Mexican-Am. War (begun 1846); the last Americans leave Veracruz by the end of July, bringing back with them a new taste for cigars (and Mexican senoritas?), although chewing tobacco is still preferred in the South; the Mexican War costs the U.S. 1,721 KIA, 4,102 wounded, and 11,155 dead of disease (total 13,283), at a total cost of $98M; the first successful offensive U.S. war is also the first reported by modern war correspondents, and the first in which West Point graduates play a major role (Robert E. Lee, U.S. Grant, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, George B. McClellan, George Pickett, George Meade, Braxton Bragg, et al.); "There will be added to the United States an immense empire, the value of which twenty years hence it would be difficult to calculate" (Polk); "Alas, poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States!" (Mexican pres. Porfirio Diaz).
On Jan. 24, 1848 (Wed.) a gold nugget is discovered by Sutter's partner James Wilson Marshall (1810-85) in the tailrace of Sutter's Mill (Sawmill) in Coloma on the Trinity River in the foothills of the Sierras in N Calif. 30 mi. from Sutter's Fort on the South Fork of the American River, launching the Calif. Gold Rush (ends 1855) (300K rush in, 100K+ stay, 28.4M troy oz. of gold at $18.89 an oz. worth $536M by 1859) after a publicity stunt is staged by Sutter's Fort store owner Samuel Brannan (1819-89), a Mormon elder hoping to make a fortune outfitting gold seekers in San Francisco, causing most of the town's 800 residents to head for the gold fields within a few days; Brannan becomes the first millionaire of the gold rush; on Aug. 19 the New York Herald reports the discovery, turning on the 500K pop. crowded in too small a space and plagued by horse manure, wild dogs and pigs, and drunks from cheap whiskey; several lucky early miners make sizeable fortunes fast and easy, the news feeding "gold fever"; on Dec. 5 Pres. Polk confirms the discovery in his Fourth Annual Message, complete with an oyster tin full of gold, starting a nationwide and later a worldwide stampede known as the Forty-Niners, ruining Sutter's land grant with claim jumping, while gold fever is further pumped up by newspaper stories about gold nuggets lining the streets and gold dust so easy to harvest that one could coat oneself with sticky stuff and roll down a hill to collect it; others see the easy riches as proof that the Am. West is God's promised land for whites, and that the U.S. was meant to have Calif. not Indians and beaners; the mining puts mercury in San Francisco Bay, which ends up in fish.
On May 30, 1854 after a push by Ill. Sen. Stephen Douglas to help the North catch up with Pres. Pierce's deal for a southern-route transcontinental railroad, the Missouri Compromise of 1820 is repealed, and the U.S. Kansas-Nebraska Act is passed, creating the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, while permitting a local option on slavery (popular sovereignty) (Tex. Sen. Sam Houston votes against it); both slave owners and free soilers rush in, riots ensue, and the War for Bleeding Kansas begins, trashing the existing political party system, destroying the Whigs and dividing the Dems.
On Dec. 25, 1854 the Fort Pueblo Masacre sees a hunting party of 50 pissed-off Muache Ute warriors led by Chief Tierra Blanca who were given woolen coats infected with smallpox in Oct. fed Taos Lightning by a white trader in Pueblo, Colo., causing them to go on the warpath and wipe out the settlement, killing 15 mainly native Mexican settlers except two Mexican women, two infants, and a mute man named Romaldo, who tells the story with sign language, after which the fort is abandoned, and acting N.M. Gov. William S. Messervy calls for genocide of the entire Jicarilla tribe, with the soundbyte: "The best interest of this territory and the highest dictates of humanity demanded their extinction"; in 1857 new gringos from St. Louis rebuild it and call it Fountain, from the mineral springs at Manitou Spring NW of Colo. Springs; it is incorporated in 1870, gets the railroad in 1872, and in 1881 becomes a steel town with its own blast furnace.
On Aug. 25, 1855 the Kan. Territorial Legislature creates the huge Arapahoe County covering the W part of Kan. Territory, named after the Arapaho Nation (until Jan. 29, 1861).
On Aug. 24, 1857 the Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Co. fails; after a decade of prosperity fueled by Calif. gold, the reduction in demand for U.S. grain caused by the end of the Crimean War combined with overspeculation in U.S. railroads, and the Dem. Tariff of 1857 of Mar. 3 (which sets rates at their lowest level since 1816), the Panic of 1857 hits the U.S. and Europe; the depression that follows (ends 1859) intensifies sectional differences as the South prospers with cotton while blocking tariff protection and free public lands wanted by the North; the South also gets an idea that King Cotton is Dick Almighty and that their slave labor system is superior to the up-and-down Northern free labor system; the panic makes the East ripe for the Colo. Gold Rush.
On Jan. 17, 1858 the city of Canon (Cañon) City, Colo. in Fremont County on the Arkansas River in SC Colo. (modern-day pop. 16K), named for the nearby Royal Gorge of the Arkansas River is laid out for Pikes Peak Gold Rush miners by people who never live there, after which in late 1859 a new party jumps their claim, putting up the first bldg. in Feb. 1860 as a commercial center for mining in South Park and the Upper Arkansas River; is founded as a commercial city for Pikes Peak Gold Rush miners, it is incorporated on Apr. 3, 1872: a gringo journalist leaves the tilde out of the Spanish word for canyon and it takes decades to put it back in; in 1861 the town sends two cos. of volunteers to serve with the 2nd Colo. Infantry, fighting in N.M., Okla., and Mo. until 1865; in 1862 A.M. Cassaday strikes oil 6 mi. N of town, becoming the first commerical oil well W of the Mississippi River; after gold is discovered in Cripple Creek in 1891, several smelters are built; it goes on to become the home of nine state and four federal prisons, incl. the Colo. Territorial Correctional Faciity (1871), with a Welcome sign reading "Corrections Capitol of the World"; it also calls itself the climate capital of Colo.
On May 23, 1858 a party from Ga. led by William Greeneberry "Green" Russell (1818-77) arrive at the head of Cherry Creek in Colo. near the South Platte River at the W edge of the Great Plains on the 150-mi. Front Range of the Rocky Mts., and come up empty, going on to prospect on all the streams N to the Cache la Poudre River, returning in early July to the Platte River and camping in Little Dry Creek S of modern-day Denver, discovering gold and taking 20 oz. (several hundred dollars' worth), after which old trader John Cantrell returns to Kansas City with the good news backed up by samples, causing newspapers to start the Colo. (Pike's Peak) Gold Rush, during which 50K migrate within a year and 100K+ migrate by the time of the creation of Colo. Territory on Feb. 28, 1861, with the motto "Pike's Peak or Bust", although no gold is discovered within 50 mi. of it; meanwhile in Oct.-Nov. a party from Lawrence, Kan. that arrived near Pueblo on July 4 settles on the Platte River N of Denver, building 20-30 log cabins, which they call Montana City; on Oct. 29 as a large number of prospectors that heard of the Russell discovery begin settling on both sides of Cherry Creek, founding the villages of St. Charles and Auraria, Kan. settler William H. Larimer Jr. opens the first store in Denver (St. Charles) to service miners working in placer mines, which peter-out by 1860, causing tens of thousands to return home; on Nov. 6 an election is held, and H.J. Graham is selected to travel to Washington, D.C. to talk Congress into organizing a new territory in vain, while A.J. Smith is sent to the Kan. Territorial legislature to do ditto, and they bite, establishing Arapahoe County in the W part of Kan. Territory to the crest of the Rocky Mts.; Southern Arapaho chief Little Raven (Crow) (Hosa) (Oh-has-tee) (1810-89) welcomes the paleface settlers to the Denver gold camp, causing them to name Arapahoe St.; on Nov. 22 the mile-high (5,280 ft. elev.) city of Denver, Colo. (modern. pop. 500K), named after Kansas Gov. James William "Jim" Denver (1817-92) is founded by land speculator "General" William H. Larimer Jr. (1809-75) from Leavenworth, Kan., who founds the Denver Land Co., and calls Colo. "the most picturesque country in the world, with fine air, good water, and everything to make a man happy and live to a good old age"; the Indian tribes are pushed S into the Arkansas River Valley; the real Denver visits Denver in 1875 and 1882 and receives little attention?
On Oct. 17, 1858 a group of gold prospectors from Fort St. Vrain 30 mi. to the E led by Capt. Thomas Aikens camp in Red Rocks on Boulder Creek in modern-day Settler's Park at the mouth of Boulder Canyon in Boulder Valley in Arapaho territory near the camp of Southern Arapaho chief Niwot (Left Hand) (1825-64) in Valmont Butte, who rides to their camp to warn them to leave, but allegedly changes his mind after being wined, dined, and liquored-up, then having a dream of a flood washing his people away but letting the whites survive, welcoming them after uttering Niwot's Curse of the Boulder Valley: "People seeing the beauty of this valley will want to stay, and their staying will be the undoing of the beauty"; he actually only let them build cabins to live in for the winter, and after gold is discovered Aikens reneges on his promise, forming the Boulder City Town Co.?
In Dec. 1858 Highland, Colo. is founded by William Larimer Jr. in North Denver on high ground on the W side of the South Platte River Valley overlooking Auraria and Denver, with a bridge built on 15th St. across the Platte River to connect it to them, permanently isolating it from Denver's wildlife-filled river, railroad yards, and smog; in 1875 Owen Le Fevre et al. petitions Arapahoe County to establish a village govt., and in 1885 after annexing Potter Highland and Highland Park the city of Highlands is incorporated, with most of the pop. consisting of Repub. Protestants, incl. many Freemasons, who build the beautiful Highlands Masonic Temple at 36th Ave. and Federal Blvd.; Highland is annexed by Denver in 1896; the streets running N from Federal Blvd. are named after U.S. Civil War Union gens., incl. Grove, Hooker, Irving, Julian, King, Lowell, Meade; TLW lives at 23rd Ave. and Hoooker St. in Highland in 1982-2010.
On Jan. 15, 1859 gold is discovered in Gold Hill above Left Hand Canyon, and on Mar. 7 it becomes the first mining district and permanent mining camp in Colo., causing the Boulder City Town Co. to be organized on Feb. 10 by A.A. Brookfield and 56 shareholders, who plat the the town of Boulder, Colo. 25 mi. NW of Denver on the Front Range of the Rockies near the Flatirons into 4,044 lots at $1K each, becoming the only city in the U.S. to derive its water supply from a glacier, the Arapaho Glacier; in 1872 after the pop. dwindles, telluium is discovered in Gold Hill, causing the pop. to return to the 1K level.
In spring 1859 South Golden Rd. from Denver, Colo. W through the bed of modern-day Sloan Lake to Golden, Colo. is founded for gold prospectors headed to the Rockies; in 1861-3 Sloan Lake mysteriopusly appears on dry land owned by homesteader Thomas F. Sloan, causing South Golden Rd. to be moved to 15th St., which later becomes Colfax Ave.
On Apr. 23, 1859 Ohio-born William Newton Byers (1831-1903), who arrived in Denver, Colo. from Omaha, Neb. (which he co-founded) with printing equipment from the defunct Bellevue Gazette pub. the first issue of the Rocky Mountain News (first newspaper in the territory) out of a room above Dick Wooten's Saloon on the banks of Cherry Creek; it comes out 20 min. ahead of the rival Cherry Creek Pioneer and is delivered by oxcart; in Aug. 1860 it goes from weekly to daily; in July 1870 it goes from an evening to a morning newspaper; in 1926 it is acquired by the E.W. Scripps Co., competing with the evening The Denver Post, and almost going bankrupt when new editor Jack Foster changes it from a broadsheet to tabloid format; Foster's wife Frances Foster founds Molly Mayfield, the first advice column in the U.S. in 2001 it merges with The Denver Post to form the Denver Newspaper Agency; on Jan. 23, 2007 it is redesigned into a smaller mag.-style format with more color; it pub. its last issue on Feb. 27, 2009.
On May 6, 1859 Ga. prospector John H. Gregory (1820-64) discovers the first gold lode in Black Hawk, Colo. in the mountains W of Denver in Gilpin County N of Idaho Springs, becoming known as the Gregory Lode in Gregory Gulch; in the next 2 mo. more veins are discovered, causing 10K prospectors to flock in by next year, founding Mountain City, which later becomes Central City, Colo., "the richest square mile on Earth"; Chinese workers are hired to work the placer deposits in Gregory Gulch but forbidden to work in the hard rock mines, most returning to China; in 1863 an unsuccessful attempt is made to form a hard rock miners' union; by 1900 the town is down to 3,114 pop., and a few hundred by the 1950s; the nearby town of Black Hawk becomes known as "the City of Mills" after Montgomery, N.Y.-born future U.S. Sen. (R-Colo.) (1879-85) Nathaniel Peter Hill (1832-1900) builds the first successful ore smelter there in 1868, and the Colo. Central Railroad extends its line there in 1872; both towns are revived with the introduction of casino gambling in 1991, with dinky Black Hawk outgrowing dinky Central City because the 8.4-mi. parkway from I-70 (from Denver) to Central City passes through it, after which in 2004 a highway going straight to Central City is built, but fails to change gamblers' habits.
On June 16, 1859 the town of Golden, Colo. is founded along Clear Creek at the base of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains 12 W of Denver, named after Ga.-born prospector Thomas L. "Tom" Golden, whose partner George Andrew Jackson of Mo. made a major strike on Chicago Creek near modern-day Idaho Springs on Jan. 7; it becomes the capital of the provisional Territory of Jefferson in 1860-1, and of the official Territory of Colo. in 1862-7, when it is moved to Denver; Ill.-born William Austin Hamilton Loveland (1826-94) builds Golden's first storefront, helping establish it as the territorial capital by offering his bldgs. to the legislate and senate, building the town's first brick storefront in 1863 for his Loveland Block, which becomes the oldest commercial brick bldg. in Colo. to survive to modern times; in 1864 after purchasing the right-of-way in the canyon W of Golden, he co-founds the Colo. Central Railroad (Colo., Clear Creek and Pacific Railway), connecting it to the transcontinental railroad in Wyo., which fails to stop the rival Denver Pacific Railway from completing a line from Denver to Cheyenne, Wyo., finishing its own line in 1877, after which in 1866 the town of Loveland, Colo. in Larimer County is founded along its route.
On Aug. 13, 1859 Colorado Springs, Colo. (originally Colorado City) on the Colo. Front Range at the confluence of Fountain and Camp Creeks (modern-day pop. 465K/712K) is formally organized, serving as the capital of Colo. Territory from Nov. 5, 1861 to Aug. 14, 1862, when the capital is moved 70 mi. N to Denver; in Aug. surveyors M.S. Beach and Rufus Cable discover Garden of the Gods rock formation near Colorado Springs, with Beach suggesting that it would make a great place for a beer garden, and Cable replying "Beer garden! Why, it is a fit place for the gods to assemble"; it becomes a U.S. nat. park in 1909, and is designated a nat. natural landmark in 1971.
On Oct. 29, 1859 after moving from Omaha, Neb. to Central City to prospect for gold, Chillicothe, Ohio-born Dem. Neb. Rep. (since 1857) Robert Williamson Steele (1820-1901) is nominated as provisional gov. of the proposed Territory of Jefferson, opening the first session of the provisional territorial legislature on Nov. 7, getting into a pissing contest with officials of Kansas Territory, who refuse to recognize it; on Nov. 6, 1860 Repub. candidate Abraham Lincoln wins the U.S. pres. election, making Steele a pariah; on Jan. 26, 1861 the Territory of Colo. is proclaimed by the U.S. Congress, and signed into law on Jan. 28 by Pres. Buchanan, and on June 6 Steele issues a proclamation disbanding the Territory of Jefferson and calling for loyalty to the U.S.
In Nov. 1859 Champion, N.Y.-born George Eliphaz Spencer (1836-93) founds the town of Breckenridge, Colo. just W of the Continental Divide in Summit County (modern-day pop. 4.5K), named after U.S. vice pres. #14 John C. Breckinridge of Ky. in hopes of flattering the federal govt. into putting a post office there, which becomes the first between the Continental Divide and Salt Lake City, Utah; too bad, Breckinridge sides with the Confeds., causing the citizens to change the name; Spencer joins the Union Army on Oct. 16, 1862, rising to brig. gen. then becoming a Repub. U.S. Sen. in Ala. in 1868-79; skis (from the Nordic word for sticks) are first used in the state when 10 men in a snowbound mining camp along the Blue River near Breckenridge build their own skis to travel down the valley, where they begin the town of Eldorado West; Breckenridge Ski Resort opens on Dec. 16, 1961.
In 1859 the town of Georgetown on Clear Creek 45 mi. W of Denver (modern-day pop. 1K) is founded on small gold strikes, followed by major silver strikes, incl. the Pelican Mine (in Silver Plume) in 1868 and the Dives Mine in 1869.
In 1859 gold is discovered in California Gulch near the headwaters of the Arkansas River at 10,152 ft. alt. in the Rocky Mts. of Colo., causing the town of Oro (sp. "gold") City to spring up, reaching 5K pop. next year; too bad, the gold runs out and the town is abandoned, but in 1874 silver is discovered there, causing people to return, founding the city of Leadville, Colo. (modern-day pop. 2.6K), which is incorporated on Feb. 18, 1878, becoming the highest incorporated city in the U.S., with a pop. in 1980 of 15K-50K working 30 mines and 30 smelters, producing $136M of silver in 1879-88, peaking at $11.5M in 1881, competing with Roaring Fork Valley in Aspen; in 1883 Irish wit Oscar Wilde gives a lecture at the Tabor Opera House, describing Leadville in his 1906 book "Impressions of America" as "the richest city in the world... [with] the reputation of being the roughest, and every man carries a revolver", describing a sign in a Leadville saloon that read "Please do not shoot the pianist. He is doing his best"; in 1891 gold is discovered in Leadville, and after the silver boom ends in 1893, a new boom in gold, lead, zinc, and copper begins in 1901, eventually producing 2.9M oz. of gold, 240M oz. of silver, 1M tons of lead, 785K tons of zinc, and 53K tons of copper.
In 1859 the town of Julesburg, Colo. AKA Overland City (originally Lodgepole Creek) on the South Platte River in NE Colo. (modern-day pop. 1.2K0 is founded as a Pony Express station and trading post by Jules Beni (-1861), an outlaw who likes to rob stagecoaches, causing the town to become known as "the wickedest city on the plains"; after Beni is suspected by authorities, he is replaced by Carlyle, Ill.-born gunman Joseph Alfred "Jack" Slade (1831-64), who gets in a gunfight with him, is shot several times and survives, then ambushes Beni, ties him to a fence post, shoots off his fingers, puts the gun in his mouth and pulls the trigger, then cuts off his ears, keeping them as souvenirs, going on to kill 26 people; on July 31, 1861 writer Mark Twain and his brother Orion stop in Julesburg for an hour, with Twain calling it "the strangest, strangest, quaintest, funniest frontier town that our untraveled eyes had ever stared at and been astonished with."
In 1859 blue-eyed Christian teetotaler John Wesley Iliff Sr. (1831-78) comes to Denver, Colo. from Ohio Wesleyan U. in Delaware, Ohio, opening a gen. store on Blake St. and trading supplies for livestock from new immigrants, then fattening them on the open range and using the profits to buy land in NE Colo., creating the largest ranch in Colo. history, raising as many as 35K head a year to sell to Union Pacific construction crews, becoming a millionaire known as "the Cattle King of the Plains" and leaving his fortune to found Iliff School of Theology in 1892, basis of the U. of Denver; on June 20, 1859 Polish-born Freemason Fred Z. Salomon (1830-) becomes the first Jewish merchant in Denver - get out of Denver, baby, go?
In 1859 New-York Tribune ed. Horace Greeley visits Colo. to see the Pike's Peak Gold Rush.
The ugly but useful butthole of the Colo. Front Range? In 1859 Commerce City, Colo. in Kansas Territory (modern-day pop. 54K) starts out as a trading post-hotel-ranch on Henderson Island in the South Plate River S of Denver, founded by Kan. Territory pro-slavery politician, Leavenworth Journal ed., and Bleeding Kansas col. John D. "Colonel Jack" Henderson, becoming the first permanent settlement in the South Plate River Valley between Fort St. Vrain in Neb. Territory and Cherry Creek in Kan. Territory; on Jan. 29, 1861 the E side of Kansas Territory becomes the state of Kansas, and on Feb. 28 the W side becomes part of Colo. Territory, which on Nov. 1 creates Arapahoe County, which stretches from modern-day Sheridan Blvd. 160 mi. E to the Kansas border, and from modern-day County Line Rd. 30 mi. N to Parallel 40 deg. North (168th Ave.), wich Denver as the county seat until 1902; in 1876 after Colo. becomes a state on Aug. 1, Riverside Cemetery (the metro Denver area's oldest cemetery) is founded in Commerce City, followed in 1892 by Rose Hill Cemetery, founded by the United Hebrew Cemetery Assoc.; the town of Derby is founded in 1889 along with Irondale, followed by Adams City in 1903; on Apr. 15, 1901 the Colo. legislature splits Arapahoe County into Adams County, a new consolidated City and County of Denver, and South Arapahoe County, which is renamed Arapahoe County on Apr. 11, 1903, with Littleton as the county seat; on Nov. 8, 1904 Brighton, Colo. (incorporated on Sept. 1887 and named for Brighton Beach, N.Y.) becomes the county seat of Adams County; in Dec. 1942 Rocky Mountain Arsenal is founded to the E of Commerce City (closed in 1992); on July 27, 1949 after Amendment 2 legalizing pari-mutuel betting on horses and greyhounds is approved in 1948, Mile High Kennel Club is founded in Commerce City for greyhound racing; on Dec. 18, 1952 Commerce City is incorporated as Commerce Town, changed in 1962 to Commerce City; in 1989 53 sq. mi. of Adams County is transferred to the City and County of Denver for the new Denver Internat. Airport (DIA); on Nov. 15, 2001 the NW corner is transferred to the City and County of Broomfield.
In 1859 at the request of the War Dept., U.S. Army Capt. Randolph Barnes Marcy (1812-87) (who accompanied U.S. Brig. Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston on his expedition against the Mormons in Utah in 1857) pub. The Prairie Traveler: A Handbook for Overland Expeditions, with Maps, Illustrations, and Itineraries of the Principal Routes between the Mississippi and the Pacific, giving advice for Am. pioneers on stopping points, mileage, gathering of provisions, and ways to handle Indians and bears on the way to Utah, Ore., and Calif., becoming a bestseller for the rest of the cent.; "Perhaps the single most important work on the conduct of frontier expeditions published under the aegis of the War Department." (Andrew J. Birtle)
80 riders and 400 horses cover for the lack of a telegraph system as Americans have finally stolen the continent from east to west? On Apr. 3, 1860 the Pony Express created by the merger of the Central Overland Calif. and Pikes Peak Express Cos. begins service between St. Joseph, Mo. and Sacramento, Calif. (1,850 mi.) (ends Nov. 20, 1861 after 19-1/2 mo.); horses are ridden at full gallop, and are changed at 157 (192?) relay stations 10 mi. (12 mi.?) apart, and each rider rides 100 mi.; founders are William Hepburn Russell (1812-72), William Bradford Waddell (1807-72), and Alexander Majors (1814-1900); posters read "Wanted: young, skinny, wiry fellows not over eighteen. Must be expert riders, willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred. Wages $25 per week"; the first rider is either Johnny Frye or John William "Billy" Richardson (1850-), who departs St. Jo at exactly 7:15 p.m.; William "Sam" Hamilton becomes the last of 30 men to carry the mail on the westward trip, arriving in Sacramento after midnight on Apr. 14 (about 1 hour less than 10 days total); James Randall picks it up eastbound from San Francisco; when the rider reaches St. Jo, overeager spectators pluck hairs from the horse's tail as souvenirs; meanwhile a steamer carries the mail from Sacramento to San Francisco, and when the Pony Express rider disembarks he is greeted by rockets and a band playing "See, the Conquering Hero Comes"; riders carry their mail in a mochila (saddle mail bag), with 1K or so letters wrapped in water-resistant oiled silk, going from St. Jo to Sacramento via Marysville, Kan., Ft. Kearny, Neb., Julesburg, Colo., Ft. Larami, Wyo., Salt Lake City, Utah, and Friday's Station, Nev.; "Buffalo Bill" Cody is a rider at age 15; the mail costs 10 cents from the East Coast and $5 per half oz. from St. Jo to Sacramento; riders incl. Wild Bill Hickock, and William Frederick Cody, who later becomes Buffalo Bill Cody; the Kansas City Internat. Airport is later built 25 mi. S of St. Jo, "where the Pony Express started and Jesse James ended"; Nicholas, Ky.-born stagecoach tycoon Benjamin "Ben" Holladay (1819-87) buys the Pony Express, establishing the Overland Stage Route over the Overland Trail, starting out with a postal contract for mail service to Salt Lake City and growing to seven routes receiving govt. subsidies of $6M/year until he sells-out to Wells Fargo Express in 1866 for $1.5M.
In 1860 Englewood, Colo. is founded in the area of Little Dry Creek S of Denver under the name Orchard Place by Thomas Skerritt, who ploughs the first road to Denver in 1864; in 1883 the Cherrelyn horsecar path is laid, later hosting the Cherrelyn horse trolley, which connects with Denver's Broadway (until 1908); Englewood is incorporated in 1903, with landowner J.C. Jones as mayor #1; in 1905 Swedish Nat. Sanatorium (later Swedish Medical Center) is founded; in 1849 the city purchases 2.5K acres on the Platte Canyon, creating McLellan Reservoir, giving it water independence from Denver, sparking a building boom; in 1965 Cinderella City Mall is founded on the former city park, opening on Mar. 7, 1968, becoming the largest covered mall W of the Mississippi River; it is demolished in 1999.
In 1860 Denver Gen. Hospital is founded at 11th Ave. and Wazee St. in Denver, Colo., moving to 6th Ave. and Cherokee St. in the Lincoln Park neighborhood in 1873, founding the first nursing school W of the Mississippi River and pioneering the treatment of TB; on Jan. 1, 1997 it becomes a quasi-state agency called Denver Health Medical Center.
In 1860 the first schoolhouse opens in Boulder, Colo.
On Feb. 18, 1861 the Treaty of Ft. Wise (later Ft. Lyons) in SE Colo. between the U.S. govt. and six Southern Cheyenne and fur Southern Arapaho Indian chiefs settles the Indian tribes in SE Colo. near Sand Creek 100 mi. SE of Denver near the Colo.-Kan. border.
On Feb. 28, 1861 the South-free U.S. Congress, itchy to get its hands on gold and other mineral resources creates the Colorado Territory (until Aug. 1, 1876), followed on Mar. 2 by the Dakota Territory (until Nov. 2, 1889), and the Nevada Territory (until Oct. 31, 1864); Colorado was originally to be called Idaho, a word suggested in 1860 by lobbyist George M. Willing, who claims it was an Indian word meaning "gem of the mountains", but is discovered to be a hoax just in time (the original Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith?); Carson City, named by founder Abraham Curry after aging Kit Carson beats out the more populous Virginia City to remain the capital of silver-rich Nevada; meanwhile engineer Philip Deidesheimer (1832-1916) comes up with a better idea to stop silver mine cave-ins in Nev., the Square-Set Method of timbering, based on the honeycomb, beginning in the Ophir mine - the Cartwright boys are wowed?
On Apr. 12, 1861-May 9, 1865 the horrific U.S. Civil War sees the invention of the first modern weapon when N.C.-born agricultural equipment maker Richard Jordan Gatling (1818-1903) patents the 10-barrel hand-cranked hundreds-of-rounds-per-min. Gatling Gun (the first practical machine gun) just in time for use on some Johnny Rebs; it is first used by the Union Army in 1864, but luckily never sees extensive use.
On May 29, 1861 after being appointed by Pres. Lincoln as gov. #1 of Colo. Territory, Wilmington, Del.-born Quaker Repub. William Gilpin (1813-94) arrives in Denver, Colo. to cheering crowds, dealing with Confed. sympathizers, a possible Confed. invasion, and difficulties with the Arapaho and Cheyenne after U.S. Army troops withdraw to fight the war, forming the 1st Regiment Colo. Volunteers; too bad, he pays for it by issuing $375K in drafts on the U.S. Treasury without authorization, causing a recall movement to form in the summer, but the regiment later gains fame and the treasury eventually honors the drafts, but too late to prevent Gilpin being removed next Apr. in favor of John Evans.
On Oct. 24, 1861 the first transcontinental (New York City to Telegraph Hill in San Francisco) Western Union Telegraph Line is completed, beating the pesky Injuns and Confederate sympathizers who tried to stop it; Shoshone chief Sho-kup calls it "wire rope express", adding "Before the white men came to my country, my people were happy and had plenty of game and roots. Now they are no longer happy, and the game has almost disappeared"; on Nov. 20 the Pony Express (begun Apr. 3, 1860) ends service after carrying 3K pieces of mail using 183 (121?) riders and 500 ponies, and only losing one pouch; meanwhile on July 1 the Overland Trail for stagecoaches, operated by the Overland Stage Co. begins service from Atchison, Kan. through Colo., S Wyo., Fort Bridger, and along the Oregon Trail to Salt Lake City, Utah; in 1866 it is acquired by Wells Fargo, who operates it until 1869; the town of Virginia Dale, Colo. 5 mi. from the Wyo. border is a trail stage station managed by Jack Slade (hubby of Virginia Slade), who meets Mark Twain and later turns into the town drunk, getting lynched in Mont. in 1864 - the 2-ton rhino is safely back in captivity?
In 1861 Texas rancher Oliver Loving (1812-67) is detained by Union authorities in Denver, Colo. until Kit Carson and Luxien Maxwell intervene, and he returns to the South, where the Confed. govt. commissions him to drive cattle to Miss. for Confed. troops, hooking up with Charles Goodnight (1836-1929) to pioneer the Goodnight-Loving Trail from W Tex. and N.M. to Colo., becoming one of the first Am. Wild West cattle drives; after the war the defunct rebel govt. stiffs him for $100K-$200K.
In Jan. 1862 Tex. Confeds. led by Maj. Henry Hopkins Sibley (1816-86) (inventor of the tepee-like Sibley Tent and Sibley Stove) march N up the Rio Grande from El Paso in an attempt to capture the gold fields of Colo. Territory followed by Calif. to get around the Union blockade, and capture Valverde, Albuquerque, and Santa Fe, N.M.; the Union makes a stand at Ft. Union, near Las Vegas, N.M., issuing a call for Colo. volunteers; Sibley is court-martialed for cowardice next year but gets off with a censure.
On Mar. 26-28, 1862 after the Confederates capture Albuquerque, N.M. (westernmost battle of the U.S. Civil War), the Battle of Glorieta Pass ("the Gettysburg of the West") on the Santa Fe Trial in New Mexico E of Santa Fe sees Union forces under Gen. Edward Richard Sprigg Canby (1817-73), aided by the 1st Colo. Infantry Regiment (1,342 men) stop Confederate forces under Maj. Henry Hopkins Sibley; "They were regular Demons, in the form of Pike's Peakers from the Denver City gold mines... shooting us down like sheep"; although the battle is a draw, Colo. Col. "Fighting Parson" women and children by the volunteer troops of the First Colo. Infantry, led by Methodist minister (since 1844) Col. John Milton Chivington (1821-94) messes up their supply train, bayoneting 600 horses and mules, causing them to give up their attempt to take Colo. gold fields and return to Tex.; Colo. volunteers cmdr. Col. (later gen.) John Potts Slough (1829-67) (pr. like cow) is so hated by his troops that they try to kill him by firing a howitzer at him?; in 1879 the 1st Colo. Infantry Battalion is born - getting some practice for Indian squaws and children?
On Mar. 31, 1862 Pres. Lincoln appoints his old Ill. neighbor, Waynesville, Ohio-born Northwestern U. and U. of Denver founder John Evans (1814-97) as Colo. gov. #2 (until 1865), going on to stink himself up with the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre and be asked to resign by Pres. Johnson on July 18, 1865.
In 1863 Ohio-born William Newton Byers (1831-1903), founder of the Rocky Mountain News in Denver buys Hot Sulphur Springs, Colo. 95 mi. NW of Denver via a crooked deal with a Minn. Sioux woman with the intention of making it "America's Switzerland", causing the Ute tribe to unsuccessfully sue; meanwhile he and Colo. territorial gov. William Gilpin launch "The Utes Must Go" campaign; too bad, the railroad doesn't arrive until 1928 after the Moffatt Tunnel is built.
On Mar. 3, 1864 Colo. Seminary is founded in the mining camp of Denver, Colo. by Colo. Territory gov. (1862-5) John Evans (1814-97) for the Methodist Church; in 1880 it becomes the U. of Denver, becoming the oldest independent private univ. in the Rocky Mt. region.
Keep those stiches loose and soon you'll have a nice little cover? Just when white-on-white carnage is starting to end, White is Right America finally goes too far even for its own conscience? On Nov. 29, 1864 (a.m.) in Colorful Colo. after a band of Cheyenne and Arapaho leave Ft. Lyons without permission, scaring the pop. of Denver, causing Pres. Lincoln to approve shoot-on-sight orders, after which Gov. Evans issues a proclamation in Aug. ordering "all citizens of Colorado... to go in pursuit of all hostile Indians [and] kill and destroy all enemies of the country", the Sand Creek (Chivington) (Cheyenne Indian) Massacre of the 330-person camp of chiefs Black Kettle (1801-68) (Southern Cheyenne) (115 lodges) and White Antelope (Arapaho) (8 lodges) (9 mi. from modern-day Lamar) along a sluggish trickle of the South Platte shocks the nation with cruelty to native women and children by the volunteer troops of the First Colo. Infantry, led by Methodist minister (since 1844) Col. John Milton Chivington (1821-94), who was ordered to take his 750 soldiers to SE Colo. by Colo. Territorial Gov. (1862-5) John Evans (1814-97) to rid the state of Injuns after the mutilated bodies of a white settler, his wife and two young children are exhibited in Denver; after Chivington tells his men the night before, "Kill and scalp all, little and big; nits make lice; kill every topknot", and "I long to be wading in gore", then right before the attack, "Boys, I won't tell you who you are to kill, but remember our murdered women and children on the Platte; take no prisoners", the white devils kill and mutilate about 150 mostly women, children and elderly, even though they had set up camp at the direction of a U.S. gen. and flew a U.S. flag along with a white flag; some soldiers make trophies out of women's vaginas after cutting off their breasts and suckling them; chief White Antelope is castrated, and his scrotum later used as a tobacco pouch; in the night Jack Smith, half-breed son of squawman John S. Smith is murdered in his father's lodge after Chivington tells his men not to take prisoners; Chivington claims an Indian kill of 500-600, vs. 9 of his men killed and 38 wounded, and lies that most of the women and children escaped, burning the bodies and the camp to cover his tracks; 11 white captives are found in the lodges, and later used to justify the attack; mountain man Jim Beckwourth was the guide used to lead them to the camp, but suffers from arthritis and only watches from a distance; despite an attempted coverup, the Denver papers (beginning a long tradition of biased reporting) calling Chivington a hero, the Congressional Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War along with the U.S. Army hold hearings; Capt. Silas Stillman Soule (1838-65) (a dedicated abolitionist), who refused to order his men to fire on the Indians, testifies against Chillington, er, Chivington, "the Butcher of Sand Creek", and is later murdered; in 1865 the U.S. admits guilt and orders reparations, which a cent. later are still not paid; the whole affair causes Colo. statehood to be delayed until 1876; Chivington avoids an ordered court martial because his officer's commission expires, and is hounded to his death in 1894, claiming "I stand by Sand Creek"; by the end of the decade the way of life of the Am. Plains Indians is kaput, allowing white settlers to flock in and set up shop after the bison are exterminated; on July 18, 1865 Pres. Johnson asks Gov. Evans to resign for attempting a coverup; the scandal causes Colo. statehood to be delayed until 1876; on Aug.2, 2005 Pres. George W. Bush signs a bill restoring some of their remains to the site and creating the Sand Creek Massacre Nat. Historic Site; on Dec. 3, 2014 Colo. Gov. John Hickenloper formally apologizes to the descendants of the massacre in Denver.
In 1864 after Camp Collins in nearby Laporte is destroyed by a flood in June, Fort Collins in N Colo. on the Cache La Poudre River is founded by the U.S. Army to protect travelers on the Overland Trail; it is decommissioned in 1867, and is platted as a town the same year, becoming the county seat in 1868; in 1872 several hundred agricultural settlers arrive, and the town is incorporated in 1873 after the Colo. Agricultural College (later Colo. State U.) is founded in 1870, going on to become known for stone quarrying, sugar beet farming, and sheep slaughtering, with the lambs fed with sugar beet tops, becoming known by the early 1900s as "the lamb feeding capital of the world".
On July 13, 1865 Horace Greeley (1811-72) allegedly pub. an editorial in the New-York Tribune that co-opts John B.L. Soule's 1851 phrase "Go West, young man", addressed to young civil servants in Washington, D.C.; "Washington is not a place to live in. The rents are high, the food is bad, the dust is disgusting and the morals are deplorable. Go West, young man, go West and grow up with the country"; Congregational minister and future U.S. rep. (R-Iowa) (1863-7) Josiah Bushnell Grinnell (1821-91) claims that Greeley coined the phrase in 1833, telling him: "Go West, young man, go West. There is health in the country, and room away from our crowds of idlers and imbeciles"; Greeley disavows being the author of the phrase, which doesn't stop the founders of Greeley, Colo. (1886).
In 1866 the city of Loveland, Colo. in Larimer County S of Fort Collins and 46 mi. N of Denver (modern-day pop. 76K) is founded along the newly constructed line of the Colo. Central Railroad near its crossing of the Big Thompson River, named in honor of its pres. William Austin Hamilton Loveland (1826-94), going on to become known for sugar beets and sour cherries; in 1901 the Great Western Sugar Co. opens a factory there, which closes in 1977; in the late 1920s the Spring Glade Orchard becomes the largest cherry orchard W of the Mississippi River, dwindling under killer freezes and blights until it closes in 1960.
On July 4, 1869 the world's first Rodeo is held in Deer Trail, Colo.
In 1869 Boulder County News begins pub. in Boulder, Colo.; in 1870 the Denver and Boulder Valley Railroad begins operation; in 1870 the pop. is 1,939; in 1871 the town is incorporated; in 1875 the Colo. Banner newspaper begins pub., and Boulder H.S. is founded, becoming the first h.s. in Colo. to graduate a class in 1876.
In Mar. 1870 after obeying Horace Greeley's 1865 exhortation to "Go West, young man" and arriving in Colo. in Oct. 1869, Ohio-born Nathanial "Nathan" Cook Meeker (1817-79) founds the utopian Union Colony, which on Apr. 6, 1886 becomes Greeley, Colo. (modern-day pop. 103K), known for its frequent stench from a slaughterhouse; each of 300 families pays $155 to be part of the initial "joint stock venture"; meanwhile on Dec. 1 after the Colo. Central Railroad lays tracks through it to link Golden, Colo. with Jersey Junction 5 mi. N of Denver, N.Y.-born Benjamin F. Wadsworth and Louis A. Reno (1833-1906) found Arvada, Colo. (modern-day pop. 110K), named after Hiram Arvada Haskin, brother-in-law of settler Mary Wadsworth, wife of Benjamin Wadsworth, who becomes its first postmaster; it incorporates on Aug. 14, 1904.
In 1870 the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad is founded by U.S. Civil War Union Gen. William Jackson Palmer (1836-1909), pioneering narrow gauge tracks and coal-burning engines (based on his earlier trip to Britain), with the mottos "Through the Rockies, not around them" and "Main line through the Rockies", connecting Denver with Salt Lake City, Utah, becoming the highest mainline railway in the U.S. at 10,240-ft. Tennessee Pass in Colo., the mountin portion of the route known for breathtaking scenery, later going through the Moffatt Tunnel and the Royal Gorge; it goes on to operate the Rio Grande Zephyr in 1970-83 (last privately operated intercity passenger train in the U.S.); in 1988 it merges with the Southern Pacific.
In 1871 Longmont, Colo. 31 mi. NNW of Denver, named after Long's Peak is founded by settlers from Chicago, Ill.
In 1871 the Colo. Territorial Correctional Facility in Canon City, Colo. opens, becoming the first prison in Colo., housing Colo.'s death row from the 1890s to the 1990s, when it is moved to the Colo. State Penitentiary; in 2012 after a lawsuit by Aurora Chuck-E-Cheese death row prisoner Nathan Dunlap over lack of outdoor exercise facilities, death row prisoners are housed in the Sterling Correctional Facility; in 2013 Colo. Gov. John Hickenlooper grants Dunlap a temporary reprieve.
On Jan. 4, 1873 after the "Out West" newspaper (founded Mar. 23, 1872) folds, the Colorado Springs Gazette begins pub. in Colorado Springs, Colo.; in 1846 it merges with the "Colorado Springs Evening Telegraph" to form the "Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph"; it is awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1990 and 2014; on Nov. 30, 2012 it is acquired by Clarity Media, a subsidiary of the Anschutz Corp., with a circ. of 64K, 2nd largest in Colo. after "The Denver Post".
In 1873 after fleeing Germany's military draft in 1868 as a ship stowaway, Prussian orphan Adolph Coors Sr. (1847-1929) works his way to Denver, Colo. and founds the Coors Brewing Co. in the nearby foothills town of Golden on the banks of Clear Creek, with the ad slogans "Brewed with pure Rocky Mountain spring water", and "The banquet beer" - before the hippie era fills the creek with you know what? Too bad, he commits suicide on June 5, 1929 in Virginia Beach, Va. by jumping out of a window at the Cavalier Hotel after becoming despondent over Prohibition - crying in his beer wasn't enough?
On Feb. 9, 1874 Allegheny County, Penn.-born Civil War Union Army vet Alfred Griner "Alferd" Packer (1842-1907) becomes Colo.'s most famous epicure when his traveling party of six leaves Montrose, Colo. en route to the Los Pinos Indian Agency near Gunnison, Colo. and becomes snowbound in the Rockies and he dabbles in cannibalism, arriving alone on Apr. 16 with a suspicious story, compounded by spreading cash around, running from the law for nine years before being discovered on Mar. 11, 1883 in Cheyenne, Wyo. living under the alias John Schwartze, tried on Apr. 6 in Lake City, Colo. and convicted of murder on Apr. 7 and sentenced to death, with presiding judge M.B. Gerry uttering the soundbyte: "Stand up yah voracious man-eatin' sonofabitch and receive yir sintince. When yah came to Hinsdale County, there was siven Dimmycrats. But you, yah et five of 'em, goddam yah. I sintince yah t' be hanged by th' neck ontil yer dead, dead, dead, as a warnin' ag'in reducin' th' Dimmycratic populayshun of this county. Packer, you Republican cannibal, I would sintince ya ta hell but the statutes forbid it"; in Oct. 1885 the Colo. Supreme Court reverses his sentence, and on June 8, 1886 he is convicted of five counts of manslaughter and sentenced to 40 years, becoming the longest prison sentence so far in U.S. history; he is paroled on Feb. 8, 1901 after gaining publicity by petitioning the Colo. gov., and goes to work as a guard at the Denver Post, allegedly going vegetarian before dying on Apr. 23, 1907 in Deer Creek, Colo. and being buried in Littleton, Colo.
In spring 1874 Sedalia, Mo.-born James Harvey Crawford (1845-1930) arrives in Steamboat Springs, Colo. in NW Colo. on the Upper Yampa River Valley just W of the Continental Divide and Rabbit Ears Pass named after the chugging sound of the natural hot springs throughout the area; in 1879 the U.S. Army begins forcibly removing the Yampatikas Utes to a rez in Utah; in 1900 the town is incorporated, and the railroad arrives in 1909; in 1913 Norwegian immigrant Carl Howelsen (Karl Frithjof Hovelsen) (1877-1955) introduces ski jumping to the town, building the Flying Norseman, the first ski jump on Howelsen Hill in 1914, which in 1931 becomes Howelsen Hill Ski Area, going on to found the town's annual Winter Carnival; in 1963 Jim Temple and John Fetcher establish the Steamboat Ski Resort on Mount Werner (originally Storm Mountain) E of the town; in 1974 The Industrial Co. (TIC) is founded in Steamboat Springs, becoming one of the largest construction cos. in the U.S. ($2B revenues in 2007); in 1993 the city council conducts a poll to name the bridge across the Yampa River on Shield Dr., and the name chosen is James Brown Soul Center of the Universe Bridge, with soul singer James Brown appearing at the dedication in Sept.
In 1874 Colorado College is founded in Colo. Springs, Colo. on land designated by Denver & Rio Grande Railroad founder Gen. William Jackson Palmer (1836-1909) to copy Oberlin College.
On Jan. 24, 1876 Quebec, Canada-born Am. buffalo hunter and U.S. Army scout Bartholomew William Barclay "Bat" Masterson (1853-1921) has his first gunfight in Sweetwater, Tex. with Cpl. Melvin A. King after accidentally killing his babe Mollie Brennan, killing him after being wounded in the pelvis, after which he settles in Dodge City, Kan., being elected Ford County, Kan. sheriff on Nov. 6, 1877 by three votes, after which his brother Ed Masterson (1852-78) becomes Dodge marshal on Dec. 6, giving the Masterson brothers control of city and county law enforcement; too bad, Ed is KIA on Apr. 9, 1878 by cowboy Jack Wagner and killed by Bat; on Oct. 4, 1978 actress Fannie Keenan (Dora Hand) is murdered by James Kennedy, son of wealthy Tex. cattleman Miflin Kennedy, causing Bat to form a posse incl. Wyatt Earp and Bill Tighman that tracks him down and captures him after killing his horse; on Nov. 4, 1879 after losing the Royal Gorge Railroad War near Pueblo, Colo. on June 12, he loses his reelection to bartender George T. Hinkel (1846-1922) by a 404-268 vote.
On Mar. 14, 1876 after the Colo. legislature passes legislation on Nov. 7, 1861 naming the city of Boulder, Colo. (25 mi. NW of Denver) (modern-day pop. 108K/313K) as the site, and the cornerstone for the Old Main Bldg. is laid on Sept. 20, 1875, the U. of Colo. (CU) (home of the Buffaloes) is founded via an amendment to the state constitution before formal admission to statehood, which later causes its regents to consider themselves equal to or above the state legislature; it officially opens on Sept. 5, 1877; in 1912 the U. of Colo. Denver is founded; in 1965 the U. of Colo. Colorado Springs is founded.
On Aug. 1, 1876 the savage Indians all nicely pacified after 100 years of U.S. rule, "Centennial State", "the Switzerland of America" Colorado (Colo.) is admitted as the 36th U.S. state; after being appointed gov. of Colo. Territory on Mar. 29, 1875, Eddyville, Ky.-born Repub. John Long Rutt (1826-1907) becomes Colo. gov. #1 (until Jan. 14, 1879), followed by Denver mayor #17 in 1883-5, and Colo. gov. #7 on Jan. 13, 1891-Jan. 10, 1893, going on to campaign for women's suffrage with his wife Eliza Pickrell Rout (nee Eliza Franklin Pickrell) (1839-1907), personally escorting Susan B. Anthony on a statewide speaking tour; in 1893 when Colo. grants women the vote, his wife Eliza becomes the first woman registered to vote in Colo.; meanwhile the Colo. state legislature offers a bounty for wolf pelts ($0.50 to $2.00), resulting in their extinction in 1943 as the last one is killed by a govt. trapper in Conejos County; in 1995-6 federal officials reintroduce 31 wolves from Canada into Yellowstone Nat. Park and 35 more into C Idaho, growing into a herd of 1K by 2006 when the bounty is finally legally removed.
In 1876 after being ruined by the U.S. Civil War and moving to Round Rock, Tex. and Fort Worth, Tex., Coweta County, Ga.-born con man Jefferson Randolph "Jeff" "Soapy" Smith II (1860-98) (named for his prize soap racket) arrives in Denver, Colo., going on to run several crooked saloons, gambling halls, cigar stars, and auction houses and get into political fixing before setting up shop in Creede, Colo. (1892) and Skagway, Yukon Territory (1897), where he is killed in a shootout on Juneau Wharf on July 8, 1898.
In 1877 May Department Stores Co. is founded in Leadville, Colo. by Kaiserslautern, Germany-born David May (1848-1927), booming during the Colo. Silver Rush and moving to Denver, Colo. in 1889, followed by St. Louis, Mo. in 1905; in 1956 it acquires the Daniels & Fisher Co. of Denver, Colo., merging it with the local May stores to create the May D&F division; in 2004 it takes over the Marshall Field's chain; in 2005 it is acquired by Federated Dept. Stores for $11B; in 2006 400+ former May stores are consolidated and renamed Macy's.
On May 3, 1878 the $82M Colo. Silver Boom begins with a strike at Little Pittsburg Mine in Leadville, and lucky Vt.-born Denver, Colo. merchant Horace Austin Warner "Haw" Tabor (1830-99), who had grubstaked its two miners August Riche and George Hook with $17 worth of supplies in return for a one-third share in their future earnings, sells out next year for $1M in cash, using $117K of it to buy the profitable Matchless Mine, becoming a Colo. celeb known as "Silver Dollar Tabor" and "Bonanza King of Leadville", getting elected as Colo. lt. gov. in 1878-84; too bad, the 1893 repeal of the U.S. Sherman Silver Purchase Act ruins him, but he lucks out with a job as postmaster from Jan. 4, 1898 until he croaks.
On Jan. 14, 1879 Manchester, Conn.-born atty. Frederick Walker Pitkin (1837-86) becomes Repub. Colo. gov. #2 (until Jan. 9, 1883).
On Sept. 29, 1879 the Meeker Massacre sees Nathanial "Nathan" Cook Meeker (1817-79), whose Union Colony (Greeley, Colo.) venture failed, causing him to go looking for a job, getting an appointment last year as U.S. Indian agent for the White River Ute Reservation (who knew nothing about Indians, pissing them off by trying to force them to give up buffalo hunting and become farmers, and really pissing them off by plowing their horseracing track under and killing some of their horses) killed by the White River Utes under Chief Douglas, who massacre his 10 male employees and capture the women and children and hold them hostage for 23 days until they are released at the intercession of Uncompaghre Ute Chief Ouray ("arrow") (b. 1833) and his wife Chipeta (White Singing Bird) (1843-1924), who sit it out and try to restore peace; meanwhile after a fistfight between Meeker and Ute medicine man Canalla caused him to call out the cavalry a little too late, on Sept. 21 four U.S. Army cos. (175 men) leave Fort Fred Steele near Rawlins in Wyo. Territory under Maj. Thomas Tipton Thornburgh, and on Sept. 29 they are ambushed 20 mi. to the NE at the Battle of Milk Creek on the N border of the rez, and Thornburgh is KIA along with 13 men, and 28 are wounded, losing three-quarters of the horses and mules, after which the troops dig in and send a rider out for reinforcements, holding out for 35 days until 35 black Buffalo Soldiers from Ft. Lewis in S Colo. arrive, electrifying the U.S. with the news of Da Utes, causing another group of 550 reinforcements under Col. David Merritt to leave Ft. Steele and Ft. David A. Russell in Wyo. Territory, defeating the Utes on Oct. 5 before rescuing the 30 starving survivors on Milk Creek on Oct. 8; the town of Meeker, Colo. is founded 17 mi. SW of the site of the massacre; the unrepenting farming-hating Utes hold on to the end of the 1880s before being forced to a new rez in, er, Utah.
In 1879 Aspen, Colo. (originally Ute City until 1880) is founded by a group of miners who ignore pleas by Colo. Gov. Frederick Pitkin to vacate to avoid a Ute uprising, going on to become the most productive silver mining district in Colo. in 1891-2, going bust after the Panic of 1893 and dwindling to 705 pop. in 1930, which is revitalized by the Aspen Skiing Corp., founded in 1946.
In 1879 Matchless Mine tycoon Horace Tabor builds the Tabor Grand Opera House in Denver, Colo. (finished 1881); his wife Augusta snubs the opening ceremonies because he had recently hooked up with 26-y.-o. blonde never-outlive-your-money bimbo Elizabeth "Baby Doe" Tabor (nee McCourt) (1854-1935), whom he leaves her for, and marries on Mar. 1, 1883; too bad, when he goes bust in 1893 she goes nuts and spends the rest of her life living in the worthless Matchless Mine, and freezes to death in her shack in Mar. 1935 - boy does Augusta have the last laugh?
In Sept. 1880 after the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad drops negotiations with Animas City 2 mi. to the N, the town of Durango, Colo. on the Animas River in La Plata County in S Colo. (named after Durango, Mexico) is founded to serve the San Juan mining district.
In 1880 the 1880 Leadville Miners' Strike in Colo. sees workers led by Michael Mooney demand higher wages and an 8-hour workday and go on strike, getting so violent that chicken Colo. gov. (1879-83) Frederick Walker Pitkin has lt. gov. Horace Tabor order the militia in while he skips to Cheyenne, Wyo. to avoid the heat in case it proves unconstitutional.
In 1880 Uncompahgre Ute chief Ouray ("arrow") (b. 1833) leads a delegation of Ute chiefs from W Colo. (incl. Chief Ignacio of the Southern Utes, and Woretsiz of the Tabeguache Utes) to Washington, D.C. to testify before Congress about the 1879 Ute Uprising in an attempt to secure a treaty for allowing them all to stay in Colo., meeting with Pres. Hayes, who calls him "the most intellectual man I've ever conversed with", and also with Pres. Grant; too bad, they want them cleared out to make way for white settlers, and the treaty agrees to removal of only the White River and Tabeguache Utes to Uintah Basin in Utah; and on Aug. 24 he dies near the Los Pinos Indian Agency in Colo., after which The Denver Tribune pub. an obituary containing the soundbyte: "In the death of Ouray, one of the historical characters passes away. He has figured for many years as the greatest Indian of his time, and during his life has figured quite prominently. Ouray is in many respects... a remarkable Indian... pure instincts and keen perception. A friend to the white man and protector to the Indians alike", and The Denver Post pub. a eulogy in 1928 containing the soundbyte: "He saw the shadow of doom on his people. He sought peace among tribes and whites, and a fair shake for his people, though Ouray was dealt a sad task of liquidating a once-mighty force that ruled nearly 23 million acres of the Rocky Mountains."
By 1880 the state of Colo. has 50 skiing mail carriers.
In May 1881 Union Station at the W end of downtown Denver Colo. at 17th and Wynkoop Sts. opens to service the Union Pacific, Denver & Rio Grande Western, Colo. Central, and Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroads; too bad, in 1894 a fire in the women's restroom destroys the central portion, and it is rebuilt in Romanesque Revival style on a larger scale incl. a tall central clock tower with four faces; on July 4, 1906 a large $22,50 arch in front of the station is dedicated, made of 70 tons of steel with 2K light bulbs and the word "Welcome".
On Aug. 28, 1881 after Congress passes the U.S. Ute Removal Act, reneging on a guarantee of 12M acres in perpetuity, the former Ute Indian Territory is abolished and the Utes removed from their "Shining Mountains" to a rez in E Utah so that the U.S. govt. can open the area to white settlers, incl. Clinton County, Penn.-born George Addison Crawford (1827-91), who next July 22 incorporates the town of Grand Junction, Colo. (AKA River City, Ol' Grandy, Capital of the Western Slope) in Grand Valley on the W slope of the Rockies at the confluence of the Grand (Upper Colorado) and Gunnison Rivers (modern-day pop. 60K/147K), and plants the first vineyard in Colo. near Palisade, after which the area becomes known as the Colo. Wine Country.
In Aug. 1881 a reporter for the New York Sun interviews Dr. W.S. Cockerell in Gunnison, Colo., who spots Quebec, Canada-born Bartholomew William Barclay "Bat" Masterson (1853-1921) and spins a yarn about how he had killed 26 men, which is pub. and reprinted all over the U.S., making Masterson a nat. celeb, even though it was moose hockey; on Apr. 17, 1882 Masterson is appointed city marshal of Trinidad, Colo. at $75/mo., going to Colo. gov. #2 (1879-83) Frederick Walker Pitkin to prevent extradition of Doc Holliday from Colo. to Ariz., losing reelection on Apr. 3, 1883 by a 637-248 vote after the local newspaper lampoons him for dealing faro at night.
In May 1881 Union Station in downtown Denver Colo. at 17th and Wynkoop Sts. opens to service the Union Pacific Railroad, Denver & Rio Grande Western, the Colo. Central, and the Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroads; too bad, in 1894 a fire in the women's restroom destroys the central portion, and it is rebuilt in Romanesque Revival style on a larger scale incl. a tall central clock tower with four faces; on July 4, 1906 a large $22,50 arch in front of the station is dedicated, made of 70 tons of steel with 2K light bulbs and the word "Welcome".
In 1881 the 45.2-mi. 3-ft.-wide track Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in San Juan County in S Colo. begins operation to transport silver and gold ire from the San Juan Mts., becoming a tourist attraction for its great scenery and cliff-hugging thrills.
In 1882 the town of Rifle, Colo. on Rifle Creek near its mouth on the Colorado River (40 mi. S of Meeker) is founded in former Ute country by Abram Maxfield, becoming a center for cattle ranching; it is incorporated on Aug. 18, 1905.
On Oct. 31, 1887 after prominent Denver citizens raise money and donate land to attract interest, Fort Logan (originally Fort Sheridan until Apr. 5, 1889) U.S. Army base is established 8 mi. SW of Denver, Colo., with the first soldiers from Kansas Territory camping in 26 tents; it closes in 1946 and becomes a mental health center and Fort Logan Nat. Cemetery.
On Jan. 12-13, 1888 (Thur.-Fri) a blizzard from Canada blows in suddenly, causing a trick of Nature on a beautifully warm 70 F day in the midst of miserably cold Jan. as the temp drops suddenly by 100 F and leads to the death of 500+ pioneers, incl. 100+ lightly-dressed children walking home from school in the plains of the Dakotas, Minn., and Nebraska in the Big Brash (School Children's) Blizzard; as far away as Denver, Colo. the temp drops to -18 F with 60 mph winds, but little snow.
In 1889 silver is discovered in Willow Creek Canyon in SW Colo.; in June 1891 the Holy Moses silver (amethyst) vein is discovered by Fort Wayne, Ind.-born Nicholas C. Creede (nee William "Billy" Harvey) (1843-97) at Jimtown on East Willow Creek above its junction with West Willow Creek, which is renamed Creede, Colo., becoming the last 19th cent. Colo. silver boom town, growing to 10K pop. in Dec. 1891.
In 1889 the town of Lakewood, Colo. between Denver and Golden is founded by Ill.-born Golden, Colo. founder William Austin Hamilton Loveland (1826-94), who plats a 13-block area along W Colfax Ave. in E Jefferson County, retiring there for life; it is not incorporated until 1969 under the name Jefferson City; it becomes known for an orthodox Jewish community, motels, used car lots, biker bars, and shopping centers incl. JCRS Mall, Westland Mall, and Villa Italia on W Alameda Ave., never developing a central business district. In 1924 Denver, Colo. 6'4" boxer Eddie Bohn (1902-90) is crowned Rocky Mountain Heavyweight Champion, then works as Jack Dempsey's sparring partner at $100 a round, finally returning to Denver to found the Pig 'N Whistle restaurant on U.S. Highway 40 (West Colfax Ave. and Wolff St.), which until closure in 1991 hosts an endless stream of boxing-connected visitors incl. Dempsey, Gene Tunny, Max Baer, Primo Carnera, and other famous people incl. Roy Rogers, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, the Dorsey brothers, Wally Schirra, Billy Martin (manages the Denver Bears before going to the New York Yankees), even Clint Eastwood.
In 1889 municipal elections in Denver, Colo. are corrupted by crime boss Soapy Smith, who pays off the mayor, and the chief of police, causing them to be called "the firm of Londoner, Farley and Smith"; the mayor loses his job, but Soapy is untouched, but in 1892 anti-gambling and saloon reforms cause him to leave for the new silver-mining boom town of Creede, Colo., declaring himself boss in 1892, get his brother-in-law William Sidney "Cap" Light (1863-93) appointed as deputy marshal, opening the Orleans Club saloon and gambling hall, and exhibiting the fake petrified man McGinty for 10 cents admission; in 1892 after hearing that the reforms are being abolished, Soapy returns to Denver just before a business district fire on June 5, 1892 that destroys the Orleans Club.
In 1889 after donating 40 acres of land in Denver, Colo. in 1887 to the Jesuits, who found Regis U., John Brisben Walker (1847-1931) buys Cosmopolitan Mag., selling it to William Randolph Hearst in 1905 for $400K-$1M.
In 1889 the Wheeler Opera House opens in the booming mining town of Aspen, Colo.
In 1890 Denver, Colo. has a pop. of 106K, making it the 26th largest urban area in the U.S., and earning it the nickname of "Queen City of the Plains".
In 1890 the Boulder Daily Camera (originally the "Boulder Camera") is founded in Boulder, Colo. by Frederick P. Johnson and Bert Bell, going from weekly to daily in 1891, and changing hands several times along with names while living under the shadow of the U. of Colo. and watching Boulder go hippy in the late 1960s, and upscale in the 1980s.
On May 1, 1890 Elitch's Zoological Gardens opens in no-longer-Wild-West Denver, Colo. at 38th Ave. and Sheridan Blvd. on an apple orchard site owned by John Elitch (1852-91) and Mary Elitch (nee Hauck), friends of P.T. Barnum, who winters his animals and equipment in the Sloan Lake area nearby (20th Ave. and Sheridan Blvd.), and who attends the opening with Tom Thumb; when John dies in 1891, Mary takes over, training an ostrich to pull her in a small sulky and gaining worldwide publicity; her own light opera stock co. opens on May 30, 1897, producing "Helene", with James O'Neill (father of playwright Eugene O'Neill) as one of the actors; later Sarah Bernhardt plays "Camille" and "La Sorcier", and Mary names a mountain lion kitten after her; young Douglas Fairbanks gets his first acting job there; young Grace Kelly gets her start there after she and her mother rent a basement apt. at 4020 Raleigh St.; the Trocadero Ballroom opens in 1917 under owner John Mulvlihill, featuring Lawrence Welk (1903-92), Benny Goodman, Guy Lombardo et al. (closes 1975); in 1927 the Herbert Schmeck-designed Wildcat wooden roller coaster, followed in by 1928 the Philadelphia Tobggan Co. Carousel, and in 1966 by the John Allen-designed Twister roller coaster; in 1930 it is purchsed by the Gurtler family; in 1994 it moves to to downtown Denver along the Platte River and I-25 near Mile High Stadium and Pepsi Center, with the Twister replaced by the Twister II; in 1996 it is acquired by Premier Parks, which purchases Six Flags in 1997, which sells Elitch's in 2007.
On July 4, 1890 the cornerstone of the Colo. State Capitol in Denver, designed by E.E. Myers is laid at the intersection of Broadway and 26-mi. Colfax Ave. (originally 15th Ave.) (longest blvd. in the U.S.), becoming the first royal road from the Great Plains to the Rocky Mts. (later known for its motels and hos and porno studios, called "the longest, wickedest street in America" by Playboy mag.), the center of a grid of N-S streets named for Indian tribes from Broadway W to Federal Blvd. (Acoma, Bannock, Cherokee, Delaware, Elati, Fox, Galapagos, Huron, Inca, Santa Fe/Jason, Kalamath, Lipan, Mariposa, Navajo, Osage, Pecos, Quivas, Raritan, Shoshone, Tejon, Umatilla, Vallejo, Wyandot, Zuni), followed by U.S. Civil War Union gens. on the W side of Federal (Grove, Hooker, Irving, Julian, King, Knox Ct., Lowell Blvd., Meade, Newton, Osceola, Perry), designed by E.E. Myers is laid; the Colo. white granite comes from Gunnison, the wainscoting is made of Colo. rose onyx from Beulah (near Pueblo), the foundations and walls from Fort Collins sandstone, and the basement of Colo. white marble; one of the steps is labelled "One Mile Above Sea Level 5,280 ft."; it opens in Nov. 1894; in 1908 a gold dome covered in 200 oz. of gold leaf is added to commemorate the Colo. Gold Rush.
On July 14, 1890 the U.S. Sherman Silver Purchase Act, sponsored by Ohio Sen. John Sherman (of Sherman Anti-Trust Act fame) is passed by the Harrison admin. in exchange for support of the McKinley Tariff, repealing the Bland-Allison Act of 1878 and requiring the U.S. govt. to purchase 4.5M oz. of silver (at a 20:1 ratio to gold) per mo. at market prices, issuing new legal tender Treasury certificates, which soon depletes U.S. gold reserves when everybody begins cashing them in for gold, esp. Euro investors concerned about the coup in Buenos Aires, leading to the Panic of 1893 - if they only new that Treasury silver is later used to produce the first atomic bomb?
On Oct. 20, 1890 gold is discovered in Cripple Creek, Colo. (20 mi. W of Colorado Springs) in Teller County by Robert Miller "Bob" Womack (-1909), bringing in prospectors; on July 4, 1891 Jefferson, Ind.-born Winfield Scott Stratton (1848-1902) discovers the Independence Lode on the S slope of Battle Mountain in nearby Victor, Colo. ("the City of Mines"), launching the last great gold rush in Colo., causing the pop. to zoom from 500 to 10K by 1893 working 150+ mines while several smelters are built in Canon City; 200K oz. of gold worth $500M is dug from the Independence Lode by 1899, and 21M oz. in the Victor-Cripple Creek mining district; by 1900 Victor has a pop. of 18K, which begins to dwindle during WWI, bottoming at 397 in 2010; too bad, Womack dies penniless.
In 1891 the town of Aurora, Colo., a 4 sq. mi. Great Plains area E of Denver, Colo. centered around Colfax Ave., founded last year by Cobourg, Ont., Canada-born wealthy Denver real estate developer and Presbyterian minister Donald George Fletcher (1849-1929) along with Thomas Hayden and Charles Dickenson is incorporated, with H.M. Miliken as mayor #1; in Oct. 1893 Fletcher sells out after the 1893 Silver Crash causes him to lose his fortune and move to Cripple Creek, Colo., leaving the town without a stable source of water and a large water bond debt, causing the remaining owners to petition Denver in vain for annexation, after which in 1902 part of the town becomes part of Adams County, the rest becoming part of South Arapahoe County; in 1907 the town is renamed Aurora, going on to see Fitzsimons Army Hospital open in 1918, Lowry Air Force Base in 1938, and Buckley Air Force Base in 1942; by the late 1970s it becomes the fastest-growing city in the U.S., fighting to gain recognition as co-equal with Denver, hampered by lack of a large central business district.
In Aug. 1892 The Denver Post (originally The Evening Post) newspaper is founded by supporters of Grover Cleveland with $50K capital to promote Colo. Dems.; too bad, Cleveland opposes govt. purchase of silver, causing the newspaper to suspend pub. in Aug. 1893, after which in June 1894 it is refounded with $100K by a new group of investors, who boost sales via "flamboyant circus journalism", changing the name to Denver Evening Post on Nov. 3, 1893, and Denver Post on Jan. 1, 1901.
In 1892 1.1M-acre Pike Nat. Forest near Colorado Springs, Colo. is established, named after explorer Zebulon Pike, incl. Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods, filled with pink-orange Pikes Peak granite; rivers draining the forest incl. the South Platte River and Fountain Creek; Rampart Reservoir is located within the forest.
In 1892 the sandstone and red granite atrium-style Brown Palace Hotel at 17th St. and Tremont Place in the Capitol Hill area of Denver, Colo. is built, designed by architect Frank E. "F.E." Edbrooke (1840-1921) and named after owner Henry C. Brown, becoming one of the first fireproof bldgs. in the U.S., becoming Denver's talest bldg. (until ); in 1959 22-story 231-room Brown Palace West is built directly across Tremont Pl.; famous guests incl. Molly Brown (1 week after the RMS Titanic disaster), Denver crime boss Jefferson "Soapy" Smith, Chinese pres. Dr. Sun Yat Sen, Queen Marie of Romania, U.S. presidents Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft, Warren G. Harding, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Bill Clinton, and The Beatles.
On Jan. 10, 1893 Populist Party candidate Davis Hanson Waite (1825-1901) becomes Colo. gov. #8 (until Jan. 8, 1895), going on to support bimetallism and federalized banking, declare war against Jefferson Randolph "Jeff" "Soapy" Smith II (1860-98) and his corruption machine in Dirty Denver, Colo., protect striking miners and railroad workers, and help get women's suffrage passed in Colo. (2nd U.S. state), giving the Bloody Bridles Speech in 1893, with the soundbyte: "It is better, infinitely better that blood should flow to the horses' bridles rather than our national liberties should be destroyed"; meanwhile Denver receives a new municipal charter from the state legislature that decentralizes the mayor's power into six admin. depts., two appointed by the mayor, two elected, and two appointed by the gov., giving him his tool to fight Soapy Smith.
On Mar. 4, 1893 N.J.-born U.S. pres. #22 "Uncle Jumbo" Stephen Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) becomes the 24th U.S. pres. (until 1897) in the 31st U.S. Pres. Inauguration, making the man not from O-hi-O both the 22nd and 24th pres. (1885-9, 1893-7); Ky.-born Adlai Ewing Stevenson (1835-1914) becomes the 23rd U.S. vice-pres.; a ticket from Cleveland's 1st inaugration ceremony gets you into this one; former treasury secy. (under Pres. Arthur) Walter Quintin Gresham (1832-95) becomes secy. of state #33 (until 1895); after the appointment of receivers for the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad on Feb. 20, Cleveland convinces Congress to repeal the 1890 U.S. Sherman Silver Purchase Act, leading to the Panic of 1893, blamed by the Cleveland admin. on mismanagement of silver and decline of U.S. gold reserves, causing the U.S. to experience its most severe depression so far; the homeless become a problem for the first time; anti-Roman Catholic activity heats up.
On Nov. 7, 1893 after support by Populist gov. (since Jan. 10, 1893) Davis Hanson Waite (1825-1901), Colo. becomes the 2nd U.S. state after Wyo. to grant women the vote; too bad, after is voted out of office in 1894, Waite reverses his opinion of women's suffrage.
In 1893 Waymart, Penn.-born James Joseph "J.J." Brown (1854-1922) of the Ibex Mining Co. discovers a substanial ore seam at the Little Jonny Mine in Leadville, Colo., which by Oct. 29 is shipping 135 tons of gold ore a day, making it known as the world's richest gold strike, and is rewarded with 12.5K shares of stock and a seat on the board, making him super-wealthy, along with his Hannibal, Mo.-born wife (since Sept. 1, 1886) Margaret "Maggie" "Molly" Brown (nee Tobin) (1867-1932), moving into a $30K Victorian mansion on Pennsylvania St. in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Denver, Colo. next year, and building a summer house in 1897 in SW Denver near Bear Creek called Avoca Lodge, allowing her to climb Denver's society ladder; they separate in 1909, leaving her $238K, after which she raises funds for the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Denver (1911), and helps establish the first juvenile court in the U.S.; after traveling in Egypt with millionaire John Jacob Astor IV, she becomes famous after surviving the RMS Titanic Disaster on Apr. 15, 1912 on Lifeboat No. 6, and talking the sailors into going back to pick up survivors with the help of an oar, becoming known as "the Unsinkable Molly Brown", going on to promote the rights of workers and women, education of children, historic preservation, and wounded French and Am. soldiers in WWI before dying of a brain tumor on Oct. 26, 1932 at the Barbizon Hotel in New York City; a 1960 Broadway musical and 1964 film titled "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" preserve her fame to modern times.
On Feb. 7, 1894 after the Panic of 1893 frees silver miners to work in gold mines, and the owners lower the daily wage from $3 to $2.50/day and increase working hours from 8 to 10, the 5-mo. Cripple Creek Miner's Strike of 1894 by the Western Federation of Miners (WFM) (founded 1893) sees miners blow up the Strong Mine on Battle Mountain on May 24, after which the Colo. state militia is called out (first time for any state) in support of the workers to fight illegal state deputies on June 6, helping the strikers win a V over the owners; too bad, this only hardens the owners.
In 1894 the town of Severance, Colo. (modern-day pop. 597) gets its first post office, becoming known for Bruce's Bar, which serves plates of genuine Rocky Mountain oysters (fried bulls balls).
On June 19, 1896-Mar. 9, 1897 the Leadville Miners' Strike sees silver miners protesting low wages backed by the Western Federation of Miners (WFM) defeated by the owners, who almost get the union dissolved, turning its leaders radical and militant and leaving the Am. Federation of Labor (AFL).
On Oct. 13, 1896 amateurs George Law, Jim Shirley, and "The Kid" Pierce rob the Bank of Meeker in NW Colo. about 3 p.m., but it goes bad when they emerge to face armed citizens, causing them try and take hostages, backfiring in the killing of all three.
On July 4, 1901 the "largest pyrotechnical display ever to occur on the Fourth of July" is detonated from the top of Pikes Peak in Colo., as 15 barrels of oil donated by a Denver oil co. are rolled down the hill into a pile of burning embers, creating a 500-ft.-tall fireball visible from Cheyenne, Wyo.; on July 3 12 people fly 6-ft.-wide kites to pull a huge U.S. flag into the air, which is visible 50 mi. away.
In 1901 Am. atty. Benjamin Barr Lindsey (1869-1943) becomes the first judge of a juvenile court in the U.S. after getting an act passed in Denver, Colo. with the help of Molly Brown, starting a nat. movement.
In 1902 the Denver Museum of Natural History (later Denver Museum of Nature and Science) in Denver, Colo. is founded, later housing the Folsom Point, found in 1927 near Folson, N.M. lodged between the ribs of a bison known to have been extinct for more than 10K years, proving the existence of humans in North Am. that far back - do I detect a little circular reasoning here?
In May 1903 after Colo. voters pass an 8-hour workday amendment for miners on Nov. 4 by 72%, but the Colo. legislature refuses to pass enabling legislation, and Gov. Peabody backs big business, the Colo. Labor Wars (end 1904) between gold-silver mineworkers represented by the Western Federation of Miners (WFM) and mine owners begin with a strike in Idaho Springs, followed by strikes in Colorado City, Cripple Creek, Telluride, Denver, and Durango, which are met with the state militia, vigilante groups, and the Pinkerton, Baldwin-Felts, and Thiel detective agencies, becoming one of the most violent episodes in U.S. labor history, hardening the WFM, which circulates a poster reading "Is Colorado in America?", helping launch the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) (Wobblies" in 1905.
On Aug. 7, 1904 a train derails on a bridge during a flash flood in Eden, Colo., killing 96 of 153 passengers.
In 1904 Ft. Peabody in SW Colo., the highest military fort in the U.S. (13,365 ft.) is built in the winter to stop labor union sympathizers from entering the mining town of Telluride via Imogene Pass.
On Jan. 29-Feb. 3, 1906 the first annual Nat. Western Stock Show is held in the cow town of Denver, Colo. by the new Western Stock Show Assoc., devoted to "unabashed bovine boosterism" (Thomas J. Noel); attendance is 15K; the Grand Champion steer sells for 33 cents/lb. (23 cents over market price); it becomes so important to the city's economy that the elaborate Christmas lights on the Denver City and County Bldg. are left on for it.
On Nov. 12, 1907 the town of Lakeside, Colo. immediately W of Denver at 44th Ave. and Sheridan Blvd. in Jefferson County is incorporated by Denver brewer Adolph J. Zang (1856-1916) (son of Zang Brewery founder Philip Zang), who next year opens Lakeside Amusement Park (AKA the White City in an attempt to clone the 1893 Chicago Exposition) 1/2-mi. from Elitch's Gardens on the E shore of 37-acre Lake Rhoda, allowing it to escape Dirty Denver liquor laws with its own laws and jail, featuring a glittering display of 100K lights and the 150-ft. Tower of Jewels on top of the park casino and casino theater, along with the Orient Express miniature train that circles the lake, pulled by steam locomotives Puffing Billy and Whistling Tom from the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, along with the world's first miniature gauge diesel locomotive modeled after the Calif. Zephyr; in 1912 the Derby Racer wooden roller coaster opens; in 1935 longtime park employee Benjamin Krasner (-1965) (father of Rhoda of Lake Rhoda fame, who becomes a physician and succeeds him as owner) purchases it, adding the El Patio Ballroom which hosts stars incl. Duke Ellington and Glenn Miller, and hires Denver architect Richard Crowther to give it an Art-Deco style complete with rainbow neon lights; in 1938 Lakeside Speedway opens, closing in 1988; in 1938 the baseball field is turned into a 7K-car parking lot with free parking; in 1940 the Ed Vettel-designed Cyclone wooden roller coaster opens, followed in 1955 by the Wild Chipmunk, and in 1986 by a Zamperia dragon coaster (on the site of the old Funhouse, which featured Laughing Sal, a Fat Lady mannequin); in 1965 physician Rhoda Krasner becomes the owner; a total of eight persons live on the SE side, all employees; in 1956 Lakeside Mall opens, closing in 2010 and replaced by a Wal-Mart.
On May 30, 1908 (Sat.) the 523-mi. 1908 Great Horse Race of Colo. and Wyo. from Evanston, Wyo. to Denver, Colo. sees 25 official entrants start out, 12 of them tamed feral Western broncos (Sp. "rough"), thinning out to five in Cheyenne, Wyo. (four of them broncos) and ending on June 5 with a draw declared when they reach Brighton-Henderson, Colo., after which the two lead horses Sam (Colo. favorite) and Teddy (Wyo. favorite) are walked into town led by a new 1908 automobile in front of 25K spectators, ending up at the Denver Post bldg.; later Clipper, Dek, and Bluebell (all broncos) come in 2nd through 4th; in 1960 the Denver Broncos NFL football team is founded; a silhoutte of a cowboy on a bucking bronco is the official symbol of the state of Wyoming, as seen on the 2007 Wyoming Quarter.
In 1908 Henry Starr (1873-1921), the first bank robber to use a getaway car is nabbed after robbing the bank of Amity, Colo., and receives 7-25 years at the Colo. state penitentiary in Canon City; when he gets out he begins a streak in Okla., robbing 14 banks in 6 mo., and is gunned down robbing the People's State Bank in Harrison, Ark. on Feb. 18, 1921 using a Buick as the getaway car, and dies on Feb. 22.
On Sept. 23, 1913 the Colo. Coalfield War begins (ends Dec. 1914) in S Colo., becoming the deadliest strike in U.S. history (until ?).
On Dec. 1-4, 1913 the Colo. Blizzard of 1913 dumps 4-6 ft. of snow along the Colo. Front Range incl. Denver, becoming the worst snowstorm (until ?).
It doesn't get any bigger than that? On Apr. 20, 1914 after 10K miner employees of John D. Rockefeller's Colorado Fuel and Iron Co. strike in Nov. 1913, and the women join them, causing them all to be evicted from co.-owned houses and forced to set up tent colonies, Nat. Guard troops open fire on a tent colony of 1.2K striking miners in 200 tents in Ludlow, Colo., firing machine guns into a tent and killing 14 adults (2 women) and 11 children supposedly in an attempt to disarm the strikers, taking another two weeks and 40 deaths to protect the empty plain from Trinidad to Walsenburg until the union runs out of money in Dec., ending the Colo. Coalfield War (begun 1913); sympathetic Pres. Wilson appoints the U.S. (Presidential) Colo. Coal Commission to settle the strike, with Seth Low as chmn., only to see the miners unconditionally surrender to the mean mine owners; the Congressional Commission on Industrial Relations grills Rockefeller, giving his huge lily-white butt its true stink?; in 1915 Colo. passes the Colo. Industrial Relations Act, giving public sector employees the right to strike, and giving the Colo. dir. of labor authority over employer-employee disputes, with strikes while he/she is involved carrying a $50 fine and 6 mo. in prison per day.
On Aug. 4, 1914 - Nov. 11, 1918 the horrific World War I causes 15M deaths and 39M military casualties. and destroys the Old Order of white formerly Christian Europe. On Feb. 26-28, 1915 the Germans first use a Flamethrower (Flame Projector) in the village of Douaumont, France near Verdun, becoming the first of 653 flamethrower attacks in the war. On Apr. 1, 1915 French aviator Roland Garros (1888-1918) becomes the first pilot to shoot down an aircraft using a deflector gear, which allows shooting through the propeller; after more Vs against German aircraft on Apr. 15 and Apr. 18, he is shot down and the Germans capture his plane, after which Dutch designer Anthony (Anton Herman Gerard) Fokker (1890-1939) clones then improves the deflector gear into the synchronization (interrupter) gear, mounting them on the new Fokker E.I. in Aug., beginning the Fokker Scourge (Scare) as they shoot down nearly every enemy aircraft they encounter and generate the first German aces, incl. Max Immelmann (1890-1916); next year the French counter with the Nieuport 11 Bebe (Bébé), in which the gun is mounted on the top wing clear of the prop, and the British with the Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2b and Airco DH.2 (Feb. 1916), which mount the engine backwards with the prop in back, causing them to be called "pushers", ending the Fokker Scourge by spring 1917. In 1915 arsenic-based vomiting-sneeze gas Adamsite (DM) (diphenylaminechlorarsine) is synthesized by German chemist Heinrich Otto Wieland (1877-1957); in 1918 Am chemist Roger Adams (1889-1971) duplicates it, and both sides stockpile it, but it is allegedly never used on the battlefield. On Mar. 22, 1916 the British have their first success with their new Depth Charge off the SW coast of Ireland, destroying a German U-boat. Are you used to Hell yet, try this? On Sept. 15, 1916 Winston Churchill's pet project the Tank (Russian Water Closet) (Char-Schneider) is first used by the Brits in the Somme.
On Jan. 26, 1915 265K-acre (352.5 sq. mi.) Rocky Mountain Nat. Park in NC Colo. 76 mi. NW of Denver Internat. Airport between the towns of Estes Park and Grand Lake on both sides of the Continental Divide is established by Pres. Woodrow Wilson after a 7-year fight by Colo. environmentalist Enos Abijah Mills (1870-1922), becoming U.S. nat. park #10; it contains the headwaters of the Colorado River; Mills Lake is named in his honor; in 1976 UNESCO designates it as a World Biosphere Reserve; in 2016 it has 4.5M visitors.
On Oct. 4, 1915 Dinosaur Nat. Monument on the Colo.-Utah border at the confluence of the Green and Yampa Rivers in Moffat County in NW Colo. is established; in 1966 the nearby town of Artesia is renamed Dinosaur, Colo.
On Jan. 10, 1917 Le Claire, Iowa-born showman William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody (b. 1846) dies in Denver, Colo. of kidney failure at his sister's house one day after being baptized into the Roman Catholic Church by Father Christopher Walsh of Denver Cathedral; tributes are made by George V, Kaiser Wilhelm II, and Pres. Wilson; Wyo. Gov. John B. Kendrick leads the funeral procession; leaves a $100K fortune; he is buried on June 3 on Lookout Mountain in Golden, Colo. overlooking Denver from the W 12 mi. away; in 1921 Johnny Baker (-1931) opens the Buffalo Bill Memorial Museum, which ends up being owned by the city and county of Denver, attracting 400K visitors/year; the tradition arises that throwing a bobby pin over his grave assures a trip to the altar: "Every Indian outbreak that I have ever known has resulted from broken promises and broken treaties by the government"; "What we want to do is give women even more liberty than they have. Let them do any kind of work they see fit, and if they do it as well as men, give them the same pay."
In June 1925 the YWCA establishes Camp Nizhoni on Lincoln Hills on Lookout Mt. in Black Hawk, Colo. for Denver inner-city black girls to complement their all-white summer camp.
In 1927 the city of Denver, Colo. purchases Red Rocks in the foothills of the Rocky Mts. for $54,133, turning it into one of the top natural amphitheaters on Earth, with seating cap. of 9,525, later hosting the Beatles on Aug. 26, 1964, Jimi Hendrix in 1968, Jethro Tull on June 10, 1971, Bruce Springsteen in 1978, U2 on June 5, 1983 (Bloody Sunday), and Pearl Jam in 1995; in 2015 it becomes a U.S. nat. historic landmark; after the Jethro Tull performance, which involves the police, rock concerts are banned for five years.
In Feb. 1928 the Great Moffat Tunnel through the Rocky Mountain Continental Divide in NC Colo. opens, named after Colo. railroad financing pioneer David Halliday Moffat (1839-1911), who laid out the right-of-way in 1902, used by the Denver and Salt Lake Railway to give Denver its first W link through the Continental Divide; it incl. a water tunnel serving Denver.
On Mar. 17, 1932 107K-acre Great Sand Dunes Monument in the San Luis Valley in E Alamosa County and Saguache County in S Colo. is estabished; on Sept. 24, 2004 41.7K more acres are added, becoming Great Sand Dunes Nat. Park and Preserve.
On Sept. 1, 1939 - Sept. 2, 1945 the horrific $3.5T World War II resulted in 24M military and 49M civilian deaths, and featured the low point of the Jewish Holocaust (Shoah) by the German Nazis, I guess it was the Jews' fault for not ransoming themselves to go to Israel before they could round them up for the camps. The whole experience turned Jews from lovers into fighters, ramping up the Zionist movement with full world sympathy and support by new world superpower U.S., which had its own guilt trip because on Nov. 24, 1942 Budapest-born Am. Zionist leader Rabbi Stephen Samuel Wise (1874-1949) announced in a press conference in Washington, D.C. that he was authorized by the U.S. State Dept. to confirm that the Nazis had murdered 2M Jews as part of a plan to exterminate all Jews in Europe; too bad, the nat. newspapers didn't consider it front page news, and the U.S. govt. did nada. After the war ended and Americans toured the concentration camps in horror, Polish-born Jewish scholar Raphael Lemkin (1900-59), who single-handedly led an unsuccessful campaign to get the League of Nations to give internat. protections against genocide starting in 1933 finally got what he wanted after his own people got it, namely the Dec. 9, 1948 U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Gen. Assembly Resolution 260), which didn't come in force until Jan. 12, 1951, and which the U.S. still didn't ratify until 1988.
In winter 1939-1940 Winter Park Ski Resort in Winter Park near the Continental Divide in NW Colo. opens, owned and operated by the City and County of Denver, Colo.; Denver skiers get there on the Ski Train which goes through the Moffat Tunnel.
On July 19, 1945 Cherry Hills Village, Colo. in Arapahoe County SE of Denver is incorporated, becoming the Beverly Hills of Colo., filled with Beverly Hillbilly-style mansions; in 1953 top entertainer Ethel Merman marries Continental Airlines exec Robert Six and moves into his 26-room mansion there, giving a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater in 1953; it later becomes a favorite residence for Denver Broncos NFL team coaches and players incl. coach Mike Shanahan, QB John Elway, and QB Peyton Manning; in 1922 Kent Denver School is founded in Denver, Colo. as the Kent School for Girls, moving in 1953 to the Blackmer Farm in Cherry Hills Village, and merging in 1974 with the all-male Denver Country Day School, becoming the alma mater of Madeleine Albright et al.
In 1946 as the U.S. 10th Mountain Div. breaks up, 2K of its vets head for Colo. to work the emerging U.S. Ski Industry and enjoy the "champagne powder snow" made possible by the dry inner continental air, and the shirtsleeve weather made possible by a latitude equal to the Straits of Messina between Italy and Sicily; Chicago industrialist Walter Paepcke (1896-1960) and Austrian skier Friedl Pfeifer (1911-95) build the first ski lift up Aspen Mt. near the deserted silver mining town of Aspen, Colo., opening next year; in 1956 Interstate 70 (I-70) in Colo. is begun, connecting the main ski towns and enhancing the Colo. ski industry, which by 2000 does $2.5B a year, with 25 ski resorts covering 37.8K acres.
In Jan. 1947 the town of Loveland, Colo. begins its Valentine Remailing Program, backed by the Loveland Chamber of Commerce; each letter is hand-stamped with a special cachet and verse, and cancelled with a special stamp; by 2016 an avg. of 160K cards are remailed from the U.S. and 110 countries each year.
In 1947 the Tulagi nightclub at 1129 13th St. in Boulder, Colo. is founded by Ray Imel and Rex Bailey, named after a South Pacific island involved in the WWII Battle of Guadalcanal, becoming a hip scene for local U. of Colo. students to drink 3.2 beer while watching rock bands incl. The Eagles, ZZ Top, Flying Burrito Brothers, Lina Ronstadt, John Lee Hooker, and Doobie Brothers; in 200 it becomes the Which Wich sandwich shop.
On Mar. 20, 1949 the Calif. Zephyr, AKA the Silver Lady or CZ begins operation from Chicago, Ill. to Oakland, Calif. via Iowa, Neb., Colo., Utah, and Nev., designed to take the scenic route incl. the Upper Colo. River Valley and the Sierra Nevada, with special Vista Dome cars with wide-angle windows on the top row; in winter the mountain trip becomes a winter wonderland; in 1970 it ceases operation, and the Denver & Rio Grande Western takes over with its Rio Grande Zephyr between Denver, Colo. and Ogden, Utah, which is taken over in 1983 by Amtrak, which combines it with the route of the City of San Francisco; in 2016 it carries 410K passengers, with $51.4M total revenue.
On Feb. 2, 1950 the acting career of screen star Ingrid Bergman (1915-82), who has been married to Dr. Aron Peter Lindstrom (1907-2000) since 1937, with daughter Friedel Pia Lindstrom (1938-), goes south after she lets her contract with retiring David O. Selznick lapse in 1948 and began working in Italy with Italian playboy dir. Roberto Rossellini (1906-77), then began an affair with him during the making of the film Stromboli in 1949, leaving her family to live with him in Italy, then having his illegitimate son Roberto Ingmar Rossellini (1950-), followed by twin daughters Isabella Rossellini (1952-) and Ingrid Rossellini (1952-); on Mar. 14 U.S. Sen. (D-Colo.) (1937-55) Edwin Carl "Big Ed" Johnson (1884-1970) (former Colo. gov. in 1933-7) delivers a 1-hour speech from the U.S. Senate floor, calling her a "free-love cultist", a "powerful influence of evil", "an assault upon the institution of marriage", and "Hollywood's apostle of degradation", which fuels a public reaction against this phony virginal Joan of Arc; she gets a quicky Mexican divorce from Lindstrom, followed by a marriage to Rosselini by proxy in Juarez, and doesn't return to the Puritan-run U.S. until 1957.
On Jan. 9, 1951 Hall County, Tex.-born Lubbock-raised Repub. Daniel Isaac J. "Dan" Thornton (1911-76) becomes Colo. gov. #33 (until Jan. 11, 1955), becoming known for wearing a Stetson hat and cowboy boots while smoking a pipe, going on to get Colorado Springs selected as the site of the U.S. Air Force Academy; in 1952 he is on the short list for Dwight Eisenhower's veep, aced-out by Richard Nixon; no surprise, he dies of a heart attack on Jan. 18, 1976 2 weeks before his 65th birthday; the N Denver suburb of Thornton, Colo. is named after him - Jan. is a big month for Dan?
In Mar. 1951 the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission unveils plans for a $45M plant in the Rocky Flats area W of Denver, Colo. between Boulder and Golden; in 1953 it begins processing plutonium, and in 1954 begins manufacturing nuclear bombs; on Sept. 11, 1957 a fire in a nuclear glove box contaminates Bldg. 771 with plutonium and release it into the atmosphere; in 1959 barrels of radioactive waste are found to be leaking into an open field, which is covered-up until wind-borne particles are detected in Denver in 1970; in 1972 Congress authorizes the purchase of a 4.6K-acre buffer zone around it; on Apr. 28, 1979 a few weeks after the Three Mile Island nuclear plant accident, 15K protesters call for it to be closed, incl. singers Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt, causing police to arrest 286 incl. Daniel Ellsberg; in Aug. 1989 3.5K more protesters demonstrate; on June 6, 1989 the FBI implements Operation Desert Glow, raiding the plant, discovering numerous violations of federal pollution laws, causing Rockwell Internat. to plead guilty in 1992 and pay a record $18.5M fine; in 2001 Congress passes the U.S. Rocky Flats Nat. Wildlife Refuge Act, transferring 4K acres to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; in 2003 the plant is closed; the cleanup is completed in Oct. 2006.
On Sept. 11, 1955 Pres. and Mrs. Eisenhower dedicate the new pulpit of the Corona Presbyterian Church at E. 8th Ave. and Downing St. in Denver, Colo.; on Sept. 24 Pres. Eisenhower suffers a massive heart attack two hours after midnight in his mother-in-law's home at 750 Lafayette St. in Denver after visiting banker Aksel Nielsen at the Byers Peak Ranch outside Denver, followed by Lowry AFB, then Cherry Hills Golf Course, where he had hamburgers with raw onions for lunch, which he claimed gave him chest pains; he is taken to Fitzsimons Hospital outside Denver; on Sept. 26 (Mon.) the New York Stock Exchange suffers its worst decline since 1929 ($12B) (down to 444.56) when word is released concerning his condition, but news from his physician Dr. Paul Dudley White that he can return to work in two weeks causes the market to rebound on Sept. 27.
Colorado's 1950s Osama bin Laden? On Nov. 1, 1955 at 7:03 p.m., 11 min. after takeoff from Stapleton Airport in Denver, Colo. United Airlines Flight 629 en route to Portland, Ore. explodes and crashes into sugar beet fields N of Denver, killing all 39 passengers and five crew; John Gilbert "Jack" Graham (1932-57), son of passenger Daisie E. King (b. 1902), who bought a $37.5K insurance policy on her life shortly before takeoff is convicted after a televised trial (Colo.'s first big TV trial) of planting 25 sticks of dynamite with a timer in her luggage, and is executed in the Colo. gas chamber on Jan. 11, 1957, his heart taking 11 min. to stop beating; the first confirmed downing of a commercial airliner in the U.S. by a bomber; the plane left 35 min. late, foiling his scheme to have it blow up over the Rocky Mts. where the debris would be difficult to find; his mean mother dominated and messed up his life, putting him in an orphanage and never letting him out even after marrying a wealthy rancher; as an adult she financed a drive-thru restaurant, which failed; Denver Post reporter Zeke Scher breaks several stories, incl. finding the man who sold Graham the dynamite, that his wife Gloria no longer loves him, and that his sister Helen believes he's guilty and wants him to die; he is one of the first inmates transfered to the new Denver County Jail, whose cell windows look out upon Stapleton Airfield; his last words are "I don't mind getting the gas but I would like make my last request, and that is to have Zeke Scher sitting on my lap when I go."
On Dec. 24, 1955 NORAD (originally Continental Air Defense Command or CONAD) in Colorado Springs, Colo. begins an annual tradition of tracking Santa Claus on his flight from the North Pole after Sears in Colo. Springs places an ad telling kids to call Santa on the phone, and they mistakenly give NORAD's number, causing commanding officer Col. Harry Shoup to go along with it.
On Aug. 1, 1957 the U.S. and Canada reach an agreement to create the North Am. Air Defense Command (NORAD).
On Jan. 11, 1957 after taking over the responsibilities of gov. Edwin Johnson when he becomes ill, Denver, Colo.-born Dem. lt. gov. #34 (since Jan. 11, 1955) Stephen McNichols (1914-97), brother of future Denver mayor Bill McNichols becomes Colo. gov. #35 (until Jan. 8, 1863), going on to fight corruption at the State Hospital in Pueblo and the State Penitentiary in Canon City, and push the Fryingpan-Arkansas water development project along with the Colo. State Archives, getting reelected for a 2-year term twice in 1958 and 1960 before pissing-off legislators by accepting a new Governor's Mansion from the Boettcher Foundation.
In 1957 Am. developer Cornelius Vanderbilt "C.V." "Woody" Wood (1920-92), who worked for Walt Disney in 1953 and selected Anaheim, Calif. as the site of Disneyland opens Magic Mountain amusement park in Golden, Colo.; it closes in 1960, then reopens in 1971, becoming Heritage Square.
In 1958 Martin Luther King Jr.'s wife Coretta Scott King (1927-2006) makes her first public speaking appearance at a Woman's Day celebration in Denver, Colo., meeting black teenie Wilma J. Webb (1944-), organist for the New Hope Baptist Church, who becomes a state lawmaker and wife of Denver's first African-Am. mayor (1991-2003) Wellington Webb, and leads the state fight to have MLK Jr.'s birthday become a nat. holiday.
Did he use a Silver Bullet? On Feb. 9, 1960 Coors beer magnate Adolph Coors III (b. 1916), grandson of the founder is kidnapped and murdered en route to work in Golden, Colo. by Seattle, Wash.-born Fulbright scholar and escaped murderer Joseph Corbett Jr. (1928-2009), who tries to get $500K in ransom before the remains are found on Sept. 14 in a garbage dump near Pikes Peak, after which Corbett is captured in Vancouver, Canada on Oct. 29 and sentenced to life, then paroled in 1978, ending up living in Denver, Colo.; too bad, the experience causes Coors to initiate polygraph tests for potential employees.
In June 1960 Arnold Daniel Palmer (1929-2016) wins the U.S. Open (his only win) at Cherry Hills Country Club in Colo., shocking the golf world on June 19 with a monstrous drive, starting with a birdie on hole #1 en route to a 65 as he overcomes a 7-shot deficit to overtake 14 players.
On Dec. 15, 1962 Vail Ski Resort in Colo. at the base of Vail Mountain at Vail Pass opens, founded by U.S. Army 10th Mountan Div. veteran Peter Werner "Pete" Seibert (1924-2002), rancher Earl Eaton, and George Pack Caulkins Jr., named after highway engineer Charles Vail, who routed U.S Highway 6 through Eagle Valley in 1940 (which becomes Interstate 70), with two lifts (ticket price $5) and one gondola, expanding to five lifts and a lodge and becoming the most popular ski resort in Colo. by 1970; in 1968 Mich. Repub. rep. Gerald Ford brings his family there, and becomes a fan, and in 1970 he buys a condo there, eventually becoming known as "the First Citizen of the Vail Valley"; after the 1976 Winter Olympics are awarded to Denver, Seibert offers Vail and nearby Beaver Creek to host the skiing events until funding is rejected in Nov. 1972 and the games are returned to Innsbruck, Austria, home of the 1964 Winter Olympics.
In 1962 the cool space-age Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel (begun 1956), designed by Chicago architect Walter A. Netsch (1920-2008) is built on the campus of the new Air Force Academy in Colo. Springs, Colo., near Pikes Peak; on Sept. 22 $3.5M Falcon Stadium opens on the Air Force Academy campus, and the first football game is played with Colo. State U.; the authorities make the mistake of opening the whole campus to visitors, and 85K show up, creating the biggest traffic jam in Colo. history (until ?); USAF Gen. Jimmy Stewart gives a speech.
In 1962 the Wikiup mobile home park is built at 6500 E. 88th Ave. in Henderson, Colo. near I-76 and across from Mile High Flea Market (founded in 1976), largest flea market in Colo.; comedian Roseanne Barr lived in the Wikiup in the 1970s?
On Jan. 8, 1963 Gibson City, Ill.-born Repub. John Arthur Love (1916-2002) bcomes Colo. gov. #36 (until July 16, 1973), resigning to become Pres. Nixon's first Energy Czar (dir. of the Office of Energy Policy), lasting 5 mo. before resigning during the Watergate scandal.
On Feb. 8, 1866 the North Am. Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) opens its binational (U.S.-Canadian) A-bomb-proof Cheyenne Mountain Complex near Colorado Springs, Colo., created by digging 700K tons of granite out of the Rocky Mts.; in 1975-6 it switches from copper wire to fiber optics to link its computers.
In 1966 after getting pissed-off at only 2% of 1.4K workers being Hispanic, the Denver, Colo.-based Crusade for Justice, Colo. chapter of the Am. GI Forum et al. organize a boycott of the Adolph Coors Co. of Golden, Colo.; in 1977 the AFL-CIO supports a strike by co. employees of Local 366, but after the co. hires non-union scabs the workers vote to decertify the union, and in 1987 after the co. changes some practices the AFL-CIO ends its boycott.
In 1967 the Nat. Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Mesa Lab Bldg. in Boulder, Colo. (begun 1961) is completed, making a star of Guangzhou, China-born architect Ieoh Ming "I.M." Pei (1917-); situated in the foothills, you can walk out the door and greet deer. On Oct. 15, 1988 the Glass Pyramid over the new entrance in the main court of the Louvre in Paris, designed by architect I.M. Pei is inaugurated; in 1993 his La Pyramide Inversee (Inversée) (the Inverted Pyramid) in the Carrousel du Louvre shopping mall in front of the Louvre is completed, causing speculation by Dan Brown et al. that the two pyramids represent the body of Mary Magdalene, or the Rosicrucian motto VITRIOL (Visita Interiorem Terrae Rectificandoque Invenies Occultum Lapidem) (Visit the interior of the Earth and you will find the secret stone).
In 1968 Des Moines, Iowa-born physician Stanley Biber (1923-2006) sets up shop in the small town of Trinidad in S Colo. performing sex-change operations starting next year with a trans woman, turning Trinidad into "the Sex Change Capital of the World"; he retires in 2003 and gives the vaginoplasty scalpel to Dr. Marci L. Bowers (1957-), a transgender male-turned-female.
On May 11, 1969 a large fire rips through a plutonium processing plant at the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant NW of Denver, Colo., causing $26.5M in damage and spewing radioactivity into the air; within a year the first of many protests is organized outside the plant, and local residents worry about contamination of the creeks which flow through it.
On July 21, 1971 Nederland, Colo. town marshal Renner LeRoy Forbes (1929-) pulls 19-y.-o. hippie Guy "Deputy Dawg" Gougnor from the Pioneer Inn tavern, drives to a remote area in Clear Creek County and shoots him in the head; Goughnor's body is found 1 mo. later, but the Colo. authorities claim insufficient evidence to try a sacred cow marshal for the killing of a non-cop; in 1997 at age 68 Forbes confesses to the murder, and is allowed to stay in a nursing facility without going to priz.
On Aug. 10, 1972 after their first orange curtain (made of 14 sq. m of cloth) hung on four steel cables is torn to shreds on Oct. 10, 1971 Christo and Jeanne-Claude unveil the 2nd Valley Curtain in Rifle Gap 6 mi. N of Rifle, Colo.; too bad, winds rip it apart after 28 hours.
In 1972 the Quebec Nordiques of the World Hockey Assoc. (WHA) are founded in Quebec City, joining the NHL in 1979 as part of the NHL-WHA merger; after the 1994-95 season they move to Denver, Colo., becoming the Colorado Avalanche.
On July 4, 1973 the first annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Colo. is held, featuring Fall Creek.
On July 16, 1973 after gov. (since Jan. 8, 1963) John A. Love resigns to become Pres. Nixon's Energy Czar, Rocky Ford, Colo.-born Repub. John David Vanderhoof (1922-2013) becomes Colo. gov. #37 (until Jan. 14, 1975).
On Dec. 17, 1973 Woody Allen's Sleeper debuts, starring Woody Allen as Happy Carrot health food store owner Miles Monroe, who is hospitalized in St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan for an ulcer and ends up in liquid nitrogen tanks; after being revived in 2173, and finding that "Albert Shanker got hold of a nuclear device", he ends up living on the run from the govt. with Luna Schlosser (Diane Keaton), trying to stop the Hitler-like leader's nose from being used to clone him; robots are programmed to be Jewish tailors and gay butlers; Ph.D's are given in oral sex; the McDonald's sign has 51 zeroes (795 sexdecillion); does $18M office on a $2M budget; features the 1963 3-story 7K-sq.-ft. 5-bedroom 5-bathroom curvilinear clamshell Sleeper (Sculptured) House perched above I-70 in Genesee, Colo., housing the 5-level tubular elevator called the orgasmatron, designed by Clayton, N.M.-born architect Charles Utter Deaton (1921-96) (designer of Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.), which is purchased by Denver Johnson-Grace software entrepreneur John Huggins for $1.33M in 1999, which he puts on the market for $10M after adding 5K more sq. ft., and sells for $3.43M in 2006.
On Jan. 9, 1974 NASA astronaut Jack Lousma presents Colo. Repub. gov. (1973-5) John D. Vanderhoof (a WWII fighter pilot) with two sets of Moon rocks; in 2010 one set, the Apollo 17 Goodwill Moon Rock is found in his Grand Junction, Colo. home, worth $5M; it ends up on display at the Colo. School of Mines Geology Museum; "It's just memories of old stuff I had... I offered them to museums and college, nobody got excited about it."
In 1974 after opening similar restaurants in Oklahoma City, Okla. in 1968 and Tulsa, Okla. in 1971, the Casa Bonita theme restaurant is opened on W Colfax Ave. in Lakewood, Colo. by Bill Waugh, seating 1K in a simulated Mexican village complete with strolling mariachis, featuring a 30-ft. waterfall with cliff divers and all-you-can eat Mexican chow along with free sopapillas, becoming a tourist trap; in Mar. 2015 the city designates it a historic landmark.
In 1974 the Telluride Film Festival in Telluride, Colo. is founded by the Telluride Council for the Arts and Humanities.
In 1974 Doylestown, Penn.-born novelist James Albert Michener (1907-97) pub. the bestseller Centennial, about uncolorful NE Colo., whose centennial is in 1976; made into an NBC-TV miniseries that debuts in Oct. 1978-Feb. 1979.
On Jan. 14, 1975 after leading the movement in the Colo. legislature to turn down the 1976 Winter Olympics, and walking the state to court voters, Madison, Wisc.-born Dem. Richard Douglas "Dick" Lamm (1935-) becomes Colo. gov. #38 (until Jan. 13, 1987), becoming known for being against growth, embracing Zero Population Growth and gaining the nickname "Governor Doom and Gloom", designating Roswell, N.M.-born musician John Denver (Henry John Deutschendorf Jr.) (1943-97) as Colo. poet laureate; in 1982 after becoming the first sitting state gov. to teach a political science course (Hard Choices Facing America at the U. of Colo. Denver) he wins 65% of the vote, then decides to quit politics; in 1984 he makes the talk show circuit as "Governor Gloom" after he is quoted as saying that the elderly "have a duty to die and get out of the way".
In 1975 Colo. Gov. Richard Lamm orders the Colo. Bureau of Investigation to examine Colo. livestock mutilations; the first strange livestock death was back in 1810; the first in Colo. was in Alamosa in 1967, a gelding named Lady AKA Snippy, after which 8K mutiliations were reported in the U.S.; next year they conclude that all but a few can be attributed to predators and/or natural causes.
In 1975 3,339-acre Roxborough State Park in Douglas County 20 mi. S of Denver, Colo. is established, becoming known for its dramatic red sandstone formations; in 1980 it is recognized as a nat. natural landmark; in ? the town of Roxborough Park, Colo. (modern pop. 9.1K) is founded E of Roxborough State Park and Pike Nat. Forest 25 mi. SW of Denver on the Dakota Hogback; in 1960 Charles Lamb discovers a Columbian mammoth in in Lamb Springs, becoming the first of many mammoth bone finds; Arrowhead Golf Club is founded in ?, becoming one of the most scenic golf courses on Earth.
On Mar. 21, 1976 Am. skier Vladimir Peter Spider Sabich Jr. (b. 1945) is accidentally shot in Aspen, Colo. by his Paris, France-born actress-singer girlfriend Claudine Georgette Longet (1942-) (wife of Andy Williams in 1961-75), who is convicted of misdemeanor criminally negligent homicide and spends 30 days in a jail cell painted pink on weekends, after which she never performs again.
On July 31, 1976 a flash flood of the Big Thompson River dumps 12 in. of rain in a few hours along Route 34 in the Big Thompson Canyon near Loveland, Colo., sweeping away the community of Drake, killing 143 and destroying 418 houses, 400 cars, and 52 businesses in Rocky Mountain High Country during Colo. centennial celebrations.
In mid-Dec. 1976 a week before Christmas the 1976/7 Colo. Ski Area Drought begins, closing 13 of the state's 32 ski areas and causing U.S. Sen. (D-Colo.) (1973-9) Floyd Kirk Haskell (1916-98) to hold a press conference to urge Pres. Ford to declare the area a disaster area.
In 1976 the Colo. History Museum at 1300 Broadway in Denver, Colo. opens, closing on Mar. 28, 2010; on Apr. 28, 2012 the $111M History Colorado Center at 1200 Broadway opens 1 block to the S as its replacement.
On Sept. 14, 1978 (Thur.) Garry Marshall's sitcom Mork & Mindy debuts on CBS-TV for 95 episodes (until May 27, 1982) as a spinoff of "Happy Days", starring funny man Robin McLaurin Williams (1951-2014) as E.T. Mork from Ork, and sugar britches Pamela Gene "Pam" Dawber (1951-) as his human roommate Mindy McConnell; "Nanu nanu", "Shazbot", "Kay-o", who lives in hippie-friendly Boulder, Colo.
On Oct. 14, 1978 Pres. Carter signs a law legalizing home beer brewing in the U.S.; it actually only reopens the market to small craft brewers, and home brewers slide through with an exemption from excise taxes and penal bonds as long as they brew no more than 100 gal./year per adult and 200 gal./year per household, and don't sell it; state laws still have to be changed; in response, the Am. Homebrewers Assoc. (AHA) is founded in Boulder, Colo. by Charles N. "Charlie" Papazian (1950-) and Charlie Matzen, going on to pub. the mag. Zymurgy and sponsor the AHA Nat. Homebrewing Competition; in 1979 Papazian founds the Assoc. of Brewers, which merges in 1983 with the Inst. for Brewing and Fermentation Studies to form the Assoc. of Brewers, which merges in 2005 with the Brewers Assoc. of Am. (founded 1942) to form the Brewers Assoc., with him as pres. #1 (until ?); Papazian goes on to found the Great Am. Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup, and pub. the bestseller (900K copies) The Complete Joy of Brewing in 1984 (4th ed. on Sept. 30, 2014), which becomes the Bible for home brewers in the U.S.
In 1978 the Mission Viejo Co. purchases 24 sq. mi. of land in unincorporated Douglas County, Colo. 12 mi. S of Denver near Littleton, and in 1981 founds Highlands Ranch, Colo. (modern-day pop. 96K) becoming known for mazelike cul-de-sac streets and green belts, and houses that all look alike.
In 1978 Colo. opens its first vineyard since Prohibition with Colorado Mountain Vineyards (later Colo. Cellars) in Grand Valley.
On Sept. 25, 1979 Boulder Beer Co. is founded in Boulder, Colo. by U. of Colo. physics profs. David Hummer and Randolf Ware, and Alvin Nelson, becoming the first microbrewery in Colo., going public in 1980 and going on to produce fine craft beers incl. Sweaty Betty Blonde, Hazed and Infused, Sundance Amber Ale, Buffalo Gold, Planet Porter, Mojo IPA, Hoopla Pale Ale, and Shake Chocolate Porter before going private again in 1990; the bottle labels feature colorful hippie or New Age designs.
In Dec. 1980 as part of the nat. drought, the Season of None in Colo. Ski Country is a repeat of 1976-7, closing six of 32 Colo. ski areas in Jan., and causing manmade snow to finally be adopted, ramping up from 435 acres in 1979-80 to 2K acres.
It's Hinckley Day at the Washington Zoo? On Mar. 30, 1981 (Mon.) (2:30 p.m.) after attending a labor event, the Reagan Assassination Attempt sees 69-day U.S. pres. Ronald Reagan shot in the left lung along with three others outside the Washington, D.C. Hilton Hotel by Colo.-based Jodie Foster fetishist John Hinckley Jr. (1955-) using a Rohm RG-14 6-shot .22 blue steel revolver loaded with Devastator brand exploding cartridges (all shots fired); shot #1 hits Reagan's 6'1" 250 lb. White House press secy. ("the Bear") James Scott "Jim" Brady (1940-2014) in the head, causing permanent brain damage and partially paralyzing him, after which he becomes a er, half-wit, er lobbyist for gun control legislation, getting the 1993 U.S. Brady Handgun Control Act passed, providing for a 5-day waiting period before purchasing handguns to kill politicians with (expires 1998); D.C. police officer Thomas K. Delhanty (1934-) is hit with shot #2 in the back; shot #3 misses and hits a window; shot #4 hits Secret Service agent Timothy J. McCarthy (1949-) in the abdomen after he leaps in front of POTUS, after which he becomes police chief of Orlando Park, Ill.; shot #5 hits the window of the pres. limo; shot #6 hinkleys off the limo into Reagan's left underarm, stopping 1 in. from his heart; Nancy Reagan is at first told he wasn't hit, until Michael Deaver breaks it to her at the hospital, where the glib movie cowboy pres. tells his wife, "Honey, I forgot to duck"; White House campaign strategist Franklyn C. "Lyn" Nofziger (1924-2006) becomes the first to announce it to the press; all three major U.S. TV networks provide day-long coverage of the incident; U.S. Gen. Alexander Meigs Haig Jr. (1924-2010) stinks himself up by telling reporters "As for now I'm in control here in the White House" (Heil Haig?), then claims "There are absolutely no alert measures that are necessary at this time or contemplated", while in reality defense secy. Cap Weinberger is ordering an alert in case it's a Soviet plot?; Reagan leaves the hospital after 12 days, and addresses Congress to a rousing ovation, helping him get his economics program passed by 238-195 (like Zangara's bad shooting helped FDR in 1933?), with many Dem. defections, which he calls the greatest political win in half a cent.; he fires Haig for being "power-hungry", causing Haig to say that he "isn't a mean man, he's just stupid"; on Aug. 28 Hinckley pleads innocent to charges of attempting to kill Reagan, and on June 21, 1982 he is found not guilty by reason of insanity; Reagan loses half his blood and turns white before he arrives in the operating room, after which his mental decline begins?
In 1982 the Microbrewing (Craft Beer) Rev. begins, with six new microbreweries, growing to 4.2K by 2015; this year Hilton Harvest House in Boulder, Colo. hosts the first Great Am. Beer Festival, with 20 breweries serving 35 beers, growing to 3K beers by 2016.
On May 7, 1983 John Badham's WarGames (United Artists) (MGM/UA Entertainment Co.) (originally "The Genius") debuts, starring Matthew Broderick as teenie computer game hacker David Lightman of Seattle, Wash., who stumbles and war-dials into the secret U.S. military WOPR supercomputer in NORAD's Cheyenne Mountain Complex in Colo. Springs, Colo. and almost starts WWII; Ally Sheedy play his babe Jennifer Mack; Dabney Coleman plays NORAD mgr. John McKittrick, and John Wood plays pterosaur-loving Dr. Stephen Falken, who lives on an island in Ore. (really Big Bear Lake 100 mi. E of Los Angeles); spawns the term "war dialing"; grosses $79.6M on a $12M budget (#5); the film causes a mini-scare over the absence of computer security; the final launch code is "CPE1704TKS".
On June 18, 1984 (9:30 p.m.) outspoken Chicago, Ill.-born liberal Jewish radio talk show host Alan Harrison Berg (b. 1934) is shot 12x and killed by an automatic MAC-10 in the driveway of his Denver, Colo. home in front of his black VW Beetle by two white supremacists of The Order (Silent Brotherhood), connected with the Aryan Nations Church, and eerily similar to a scene in the 1978 white supremacist novel "The Turner Diaries"; Order founder David Eden Lane (1938-2007) (author of the white supremacist slogan known as the 14 Words: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children", and/or "Because the beauty of the White Aryan woman must not perish from the Earth") and several other white supremacists are railroaded by Denver's first African-Am. district atty. Norman S. "Norm" Early (normally up early to step and fetch it?) on federal RICO and other squishy charges to 190+-year sentences when he can't prove a state murder charge and decides to 'get' them.
On Aug. 10, 1984 John Milius' Red Dawn (MGM/UA) debuts, starring Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Charlie Sheen, Lea Thompson, and Jennifer Grey as the Wolverines, Am. teenie freedom fighters taking to the mountains and resisting Russian-Cuban Commies after they invade Colo.; the first film rated PG-13, most likely for its jingoistic pro-Americanism (proof that the Hollywood Blacklist was right?); mini-muscleman William Smith, the B-actor with the most generic name in Hollywood is good as a Russian officer, proving he can out-act Ahnuld; does $38M box office on a $17M budget; refilmed in 2012.
In 1985 Colo. passes the Home Owners Protection Act, AKA the "Make My Day" Law, permitting the use of deadly force on intruders into a domicile with virtually no liability.
On Jan. 13, 1987 Garden City, Kan.-born Dem. Colo. treasurer (since Mar. 23, 1977) Roy Rudolf Romer (1928-) becomes Colo. gov. #39 (until Jan. 12, 1999).
In 1989 Odell Brewing Co. in Fort Collins, Colo. is founded in a 1915 grain elevator outside downtown by Doug, Wynne, and Corkie Odell, becoming the 2nd packaging craft brewery in Colo., and the first in Fort Collins, growing to 8.3K barrels/lyear in 1994, 45K barrels/year in 2013, and 100K barrels/year in 2014.
On Mar. 19, 1990 Margaret Mary Ray (1952-98) of Crawford, Colo., who claims to be the wife of talk show host David Letterman ("nerd amid late TV" scrambled) is arrested for the 6th time since 1988 (when she is found driving his Porsche in N.J.) for breaking into his home, and is convicted on June 1; on Mar. 18 she had been found sleeping in one of his bedrooms; diagnosed with schizophrenia she serves 10 mo. in prison and 14 mo. in a mental institution, escapes on Mar. 31, 1991 and returns to Colo., then commits suicide in 1998 by kneeling in front of a train.
On Jan. 4, 1991 Les Peer wins his case before the Colo. Supreme Court, entitling him to collect $11M from the Aspen Skiing Co. for a 1982 Thanksgiving Day accident on Aspen Mt.'s "Ruthie's Run" that left him with a broken neck; the case causes the Colo. Legislature to pass legislation limiting a resort's liability to $1M.
On Aug. 21, 1992 a 5 in. x 7 in. (world's biggest) cherry-red square block crystal of rhodochrosite ("looks like a slab of Jell-O") is discovered in the Sweet Home Mine near Alma, Colo. (closes Oct. 2004), becoming the Colo. state mineral.
On Sept. 21, 1993 Left Hand Brewing Co. (originally Indian Peaks Brewing Co., then renamed in honor of Arapahoe Chief Niwot, whose name means you know what) is founded near the St. Vrain River in Longmont (near Boulder), Colo. by Dick Doore and Eric Wallace, merging in Apr. 1998 with Tabernash Brewing, growing to 50K barrels/year in 2012, and 65.8K barrels/year in 2013; in 2011 they introduce Milk Stout Nitro, becoming the first craft brewery to bottle nitrogenated beer without a widget.
On Nov. 3, 1993 Colo. Amendment 2 passes in Colo., prohibiting all govt. entities from giving protected status based on homosexuality or bisexuality, which causes a nat. boycott of the "Hate State"; on May 20, 1996 the U.S. Supreme Court by 6-3 rules in Romer v. Evans that it is unconstitutional because of the Equal Protection Clause and because it fails a rational basis review; Justice Antonin Scalia writes the soundbyte: "And the Supreme Court said, 'Yes, it is unconstitutional.' On the basis of - I don't know, the Sexual Preference Clause of the Bill of Rights, presumably. And the liberals loved it, and the conservatives gnashed their teeth."
On Dec. 14, 1993 (10:00 p.m. MST) 19-y.-o. Nathan Jerard Dunlap (1974-), a disgruntled former employee kills four employees and seriously injures a fifth at the Chuck E. Cheese Restaurant in Aurora, Colo.; after being found guilty four murders, he is sentenced to death in 1996, with the execution date set in mid-Aug. 2013 on May 1, 2013 by Judge William Sylvster; too bad, on May 22 liberal Dem. Colo. gov. John Hickenlooper grants him a temporary reprieve, while the ACLU tries to get him off death row because he's black?
On Feb. 1, 1994 (8:00 p.m. ET) Starz (Starz! until Apr. 4, 2016) premium cable-satellite network is founded in Englewood, Colo., with seven channels by Sept., starting out airing "Scent of a Woman" and "The Crying Game" and reaching 31M subscribers in the U.S. in Jan. 2016.
On Aug. 10, 1996 hot weather causes power failures and 11 wildfires in seven Western states incl. Calif., Ariz., Utah, Colo., Wyo., Mont., and Ore.
Daddy just loved his daughter so much he named him after himself? On Dec. 25/26, 1996 (Christmas night) the murder of 6-y.-o. white rich-kid beauty queen (1995 Little Miss Colo.) JonBenet Patricia Ramsey (b. 1990) in "perfect town" very-white Boulder, Colo. (home of the U. of Colo., the Bolder Boulder, the Naropa Inst., and Mork and Mindy) (the only murder in that town this year), followed by the focusing of suspicion on the well-to-do parents John Bennett Ramsey (1943-) (pres. of Access Graphics, which passed the $1B revenues mark in 1996, then gave autographed paperweights to his employees) and Patricia Ann "Patsy" Ramsey (nee Paugh) (1956-2006) (1977 Miss W. Va.), followed by the failure to charge a suspect captures the world's attention; the bungling police let daddy locate and carry the garrotted body away from the basement, and the mother to hug it, while calling on Jesus to raise her from the dead like he did Lazarus?; no signs of an intruder are found, and everything used in her murder are traced to the home; a long ransom note found in the home, purporting to be by "a group of individuals that represent a small foreign faction" demands $118K, the exact amount of a recent bonus received by daddy, and ends with the cryptic signature "S.B.T.C."; in Aug. 2006 after his arrest a high school yearbook from the early 1980s signed by John Mark Karr surfaces, containing the words "I shall be the conqueror", after which he is arrested in Thailand and confesses, but charges are later dropped; meanwhile local Santa Claus (ex-Univ. of Colo. journalism professor) Bill McReynolds is suspected by some - daddy really did it and mommy helped cover it up, allowing police to later suspect that she did it and he helped her cover it up?
In 1996 the first World Beer Cup, "the Olympics of Beer Competition" is held in Vail, Colo., featuring 600 beers from 250 breweries, growing to 2,864 beers from 644 breweries in 58 countries in 2008, when it is held in San Diego, Calif; there are 83 craft breweries in Colo.
On Jan. 12, 1999 after winning by 8.3K votes (1% of votes cast), Fort Worth, Tex.-born Repub. Colo. state treasurer (since 1994) William Forrester "Bill" Owens (1950-) becomes Colo. gov. #40 (until Jan. 9, 2007) (first Repub. Colo. gov. in 24 years), promising to cut taxes, repair the state's aging infrastructure, and continue school accountability reforms; in 2002 he is reelected by the largest majority in Colo. history (until ?).
Happy 120th Birthday, Herr Hitler? On Apr. 20, 1999 (Tues.) starting at 11:21 a.m. the Columbine High School Massacre in Littleton, Colo. (less than 10 mi. from TLW's home) sees America's worst school rage shooting (until ?), with 13 killed (12 students and a teacher) and 23 injured by two disaffected white supremacist (closet gay?) students, 18-y.-o. Eric David Harris (b. 1981) and Dylan Bennet Klebold (b. 1982), who finish by killing themselves, leaving insane Web pages; later students are permitted to place memorial tiles in the school, and one reading "Jesus Wept" is banned for being religious?; families of victims sue to have historic statements by the killers and their parents sealed or destroyed, while the U.S. Nat. Archives and Records Admin. offers to store them, and in Apr. 2007 U.S. District Judge Lewis T. Babcock orders them sealed for 20 years - why weren't the Columbine shooters black, and when will they be?
On Oct. 30, 1999 (Halloween) the first annual Naked Pumpkin Run is held by college students in Boulder, Colo., who run clad only in running shoes with hollowed-out pumpkins on their heads through downtown at 11 p.m.; in 2002 they do it in 3 ft. of snow; too bad, the authorities don't like it, even though laid-back Boulder has no laws against public nudity, so in 2009 they decide that the pumpkins make it "indecent exposure", a conviction carrying lifetime registration as sex offenders.
In 1999 the Great Rocky Mountain Pine Beetle Infestation begins as warm winters fail to kill off the larvae, causing massive deforestation in Colo., Wyo., Mont., and Canada (ends ?).
In 2000 global CO2 levels measured at Niwot Ridge, Colo. reach 375 ppm, up over 30% from pre-industrial levels of 275; the levels continue to rise by 1 ppm per year.
On Dec. 13, 2000 the Texas Seven (Joseph Christopher Garcia, Randy Ethan Halprin, Larry James Harper, Patrick Henry Murphy Jr., Donald Keith Newbury, George Angel Rivas Jr., and Michael Anthony Rodriguez) escape from prison in Kenedy, Tex., and begin a crime spree, robbing a sports store in Irving, Tex. on Dec. 24 and killing rookie police officer Aubrey Hawkins (b. 1971); they are not apprehended until Jan. 21 in an RV park in Woodland, Colo. posing as Christian missionaries after a segment on the TV show "America's Most Wanted"; Larry James Harper commits suicide to avoid capture; on Apr. 23-24 the last two are apprehended at a Holiday Inn in Colorado Springs, Colo.; all are convicted of murder and sentenced to death in Tex.
On Dec. 29, 2000 Wichita, Kan.-born, Colo.-raised Gale Ann Norton (1954-), Colo's first female atty.-gen. (1991-9) and failed U.S. Repub. Sen. candidate (1996) is nominated by pres.-elect Bush for U.S. secy. of the interior.
On Jan. 22, 2001 police in Colorado Springs, Colo. catch four escaped Tex. convicts, while a 5th commits suicide; two more are caught two days later.
On Jan. 27, 2001 (19:37 EST) the Okla. State U. Cowboys Basketball Team Plane Crash sees their Beechcraft Super King Air 200 crash in a field in a snowstorm en route home from Jefferson County Airport near Stasburg, Colo. 40 mi. E of Denver carrying two players and six broadcasters and coaching staff, killing 10 incl. the pilot and co-pilot, causing a memorial titled "Remember the Ten" to be erected in the Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla.
On Feb. 7, 2001 to prevent the city of Greenwood Village from annexing it, the city of Centennial, Colo. is formed from portions of unincorporated Arapahoe County, with its 100K pop. making it the largest incorporation in U.S. history (until ?); incorporated on a promise to keep city taxes at 1%, it grows to 2.5% by 2017.
On June 8-July 2, 2002 the Hayman Fire devastates parts of the Colo. Front Range, destroying 138K acres, incl. 133 homes and 466 bldgs., and causing 8K to be evacuated; it misses Denver but fills the sky with smoke; U.S. Forest Service worker Terry Lynn Barton (1964-) is later convicted and spends six years in federal prison in Ft. Worth, Tex., claiming she was burning papers outlining a separation agreement with her ex in a campground fire ring and it sparked out of control.
On Oct. 1, 2002 the U.S. Northern Command is established at Peterson Air Force Base in Colo. Springs, Colo. to set a min. std. for U.S. military bases, with security levels ranging from normal to alpha to delta, being initially set at alpha.
On Mar. 18, 2003 a huge wet snowstorm, the worst in 90 years hits Colo., which is in the middle of its biggest drought in recorded history; the weather stays wet for the rest of the year and next, ending the drought.
On July 1, 2003 Los Angeles Lakers basketball star Kobe Bean Bryant (1978-) allegedly rapes a woman in his room at the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera Hotel in Edwards, Colo. the night before surgery by Dr. Richard Steadman, causing the sheriff of Eagle, Colo. arrests him in July, causing mucho publicity; the case is dropped after he admits to an affair and she refuses to testify, then files a civil suit that is settled out of court after he apologizes but admits no guilt.
In 2003 U.S. Rep. (R-Colo.) (1999-2009) Thomas Gerard "Tom" Tancredo (1945-), 1999 founder of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus introduces the U.S. Mass Immigration Reduction Act, with the goal of stopping Mexican, er, immigration to the U.S. for five years, with only spouses and children of U.S. citizens being allowed; the act extends itself indefinitely as long as there are 10K or more illegals sneaking in a year; when the Congress doesn't buy it, he tries again in 2007 with a proposed U.S. constitutional amendment to make English the official U.S. language, and another one in 2005 to call on the U.S. pres. to abandon the One-China Policy and recognize Taiwan.
In 2003 U.S. 666 from Gallup, N.M. to Monticello, Utah through Colo. and Ariz. is changed to U.S. 491 because so many road signs were being ripped off.
On Nov. 2, 2004 after defeating fellow Repub. Bob Shaffer in the primary by pointing to his support for same-sex civil unions, and his company's payment of benefits to same-sex partners and promotion of their beer in gay bars, Coors chmn.-CEO (since 1993) Peter Hanson "Pete" Coors (1946-) (great-grandson of Adolph Coors Sr., and son of Joseph Coors and Holly Coors) loses the election for U.S. Sen. for Colo. to Dem. Colo. atty. gen. Ken Salazar by 51%-47%; in 2005 Coors merges with Molson, and he stays on as a dir.
On June 27, 2005 the U.S. Supreme (Rehnquist) Court rules 7-2 in Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales that a town and its police dept. can't be sued in federal court for failing to enforce a restraining order, which led to the murder of a woman's three children by her estranged husband.
On Aug. 9, 2005 Colo.-based "spam king" Scott Richter (1967-), owner of OptInRealBig.com agrees to pay Microsoft Corp. $7M to settle a Dec. 2003 lawsuit over his spamming activities; the N.Y. atty.-gen. settled for $50K in July 2004.
Break out the gay baby diapers? In Jan. 2006 slick TV ads featuring a cute diapered baby looking at the camera, sponsored by Coloradans for Fairness and Equality begin running in Colo. claiming that "some of us are born gay"; gay Colo. software exec Tim Gill, and Jon Stryker, brother of Ft. Collins, Colo. heiress Pat Stryker financially back the group, which seeks to give gay couples the same rights as hetero ones.
On Dec. 12, 2006 the U.S. INS raids six Swift meat plants in six states and arrests suspected illegal immigrants after uncovering a scheme to steal IDs and Social Security numbers of lawful U.S. residents to get jobs at the plant in Greeley, Colo.
On Dec. 20, 2006 the U.S. Stolen Valor Act of 2005, sponsored by Colo. Dem. rep. John Salazar makes it a crime to claim, wear, manufacture, or sell military decorations and medals, with a punishment of up to 1 year in prison; on July 23, 2010 Denver, Colo. U.S. district judge Robert Blackburn dismisses the case of Rick Glen Strandlof, ruling the law an unconsitutional violation of freedom of speech because the govt. doesn't have a compelling reason to restrict that type of speech.
On Jan. 9, 2007 Denver, Colo.-born Dem. Denver district atty. August William "Bill" Ritter (1956-) becomes Colo. gov. #41 (until Jan. 11, 2011).
On Mar. 28, 2007 (7:57 p.m.) a tornado catches the E Colo. plains town of Holly, Colo. by surprise, destroying five homes and killing Rosemary Rosales (b. 1978), who is pulled from her kitchen into a tree while her husband Gus clutches daughter Noelia; meanwhile another 64 tornadoes hit five Am. Great Plains states.
On Apr. 7, 2007 $131M Dick's Sporting Goods Park (cap. 18K) at 6000 Victory Way in Commerce City, Colo. (begun Sept. 28, 2005) opens as the home of the Colorado Rapids men's prof. soccer team.
On Apr. 28, 2007 Colo. Dept. of Revenue supervisor Michelle Cawthra (1976-) is arrested after funneling tax money from state accounts into bank accounts controlled by Hysear Don Randell (1966-), stealing up to $10M.
On June 22, 2007 Harvard Law School grad. Larry Manzanares (b. 1957), a former Colo. district judge, who resigned as city atty. of Denver, Colo. in Feb. commits suicide at the Mamie Dowd Eisenhower Park hours after appearing in court on a slew of trumped-up felony charges involving a petty offense case of a stolen state court laptop computer found in his possession, which he claims he bought from a man in a parking lot for $200 and didn't know was stolen; the case was sensationalized when typical Colo. drunk-with-power prosecutor Scott Story called a press conference to introduce allegations of porno discovered on the laptop's drive (like just about every computer drive connect
On July 16, 2007 Aaron Snyder (b. 1975), a tuxedoed engineer (high school valedictorian) with delusional problems brandishing a weapon and claiming to be "Emperor Aaron Aurelius Romanus Constantinus", appointed by God to take over the state govt. is shot and killed in the Colo. state capitol in Denver near the office of gov. Bill Ritter by Colo. secret service agent Jay Hemphill, becoming the first-ever fatal shooting in the bldg.
On Oct. 19, 2007 Colo. Panty Thief Chih Hsien Wu (1964-) pleads guilty to stealing 1.3K sheer woo-woo-woo panties, bras, and hose from campus laundry rooms at Colo. State U. in Ft. Collins.
On Dec. 9, 2007 (12:30 a.m.) after being refused an overnight stay at the Youth with a Mission Center, Matthew John Murray (b. 1983) shoots four people, killing two, then drives 100 mi. S and shoots five more, killing one at New Life Church in Colo. Springs, then committing suicide after being shot several times by security guard Jeanne Assam; he had posted on the Internet newsgroup alt.suicide.holiday under the name "dyingchild_65", saying "I'm going to make a stand for the weak and the defenseless... for all those young people still caught in the Nightmare of Christianity... for all those people who've been abused and mistreated and taken advantage of by this evil sick religion", explaining that his mother tries to keep him from popular music and video games, then posting Eric Harris' words "I'm coming for everyone soon and I will be armed to the teeth and I will shoot to kill" 11 hours after the first shooting and two hours before the 2nd.
On Apr. 20, 2008 a riot in Florence Supermax Prison near Canon City, Colo. started by white supremacists in honor of Hitler's birthday kills two.
On Apr. 21, 2008 Repub. Colo. state rep. Douglas Bruce calls migrant workers "illiterate peasants" in a speech against a pending bill authorizing 5K, immediately being kicked off the House podium like a mangy dog by Dem. state rep. Kathleen Curry, who says "How dare you?", followed by efforts at impeachment for exercising his rights to free speech in PColorado, while his opponents make unlimited use of local media air time in the capital of Denver, one of the worse "home rule" police states in the U.S. (home of illiterate peasant TLW); the publicity backfires on Curry, who is flooded with "you're nuts" and "drop dead" type hate mail from the Colo. pop., as Bruce defends his statements as accurate.
On July 9, 2008 Boulder, Colo. DA Mary Lacy officially clears John and Patsy Ramsey in the 1996 murder of daughter JonBenet based on DNA evidence, and issues an official apology, even though Patsy has been dead for two years and their lives have been wrecked by the "umbrella of suspicion" for 12 years - Colo. authorities are never under an umbrella of suspicion?
On July 16, 2008 Allen Andrade (1977-) beats transgender genetic male Angie Zapata (1988-2008) to death with a fire extinguisher in Greeley, Colo. after sleeping with him and getting a beejay, then finding out the little secret, telling police he "killed it", after which the gay-lesbian movement makes a cause celebre of Andrade for U.S. federal hate crimes legislation; on Apr. 22, 2009 he is found guilty of murder despite a "trans panic" defense, and given life plus 60 years as an habitual offender on May 8.
It's like black face in reverse? On Aug. 22, 2008 Marc Harold Ramsey (1969-), an Arapahoe County Jail inmate in Colo. is charged in federal court with trumped-up charges of mailing a threatening letter from jail to Sen. John McCain's Denver campaign office with the legend "If you are reading this then you are alread dead! Unless of course you can't or don't breathe"; it contained a harmless white powder, which freaked out the workers, who called in the law, who stunk themselves up by over-reacting, and now must cover up their police action by charging the letter writer with something and put him on trial for exercising his rights to freedom of speech instead of themselves for abuse of power when they know it was an impotent hoax, with the prize five years in a federal priz and a $250K fine so they can go on to great careers and their convicted victim will be prohibited from even voting; if it was a deadly powder, they should arrest the jail officials too for letting it through?; why doesn't everybody clone that letter, dash some talc on it and send it to some politician to choke the stinking system?; duh, on Oct. 29 smart-dumb True American Hero Marc M. Keyser (1942-) of Fresno, Calif. is arrested for sending 120+ envelopes containing a packet of sugar labelled "Anthrax Sample" to test if this is still the Land of the Free or the Home of the Craven, claiming he's doing it as a publicity stunt for a his new novel - just like karioke only a little different?
On Feb. 5, 2009 Jennifer Figge (1952-) of Aspen, Colo. survives a 24-day ordeal to swim from the Cape Verde Islands off Africa to Trinidad off Venezuela, a total of 2,150 mi., mostly inside a shark cage; after the press reports that she swam across the entire Atlantic Ocean, which would require a 10 mph speed, she comes clean and admits that she only swam about 250 mi. and rode on her crew's catamaran the rest of the way - I don't care a figge jokes here?
On May 6, 2009 U.S. Navy vet. (a Colo. resident) Stephen P. Morgan (1979-) guns down and murders Wesleyan U. student (also from Colo., where he met her in 2007) Johanna Justin-Jinich (b. 1987) in a cafe near the campus, after which his notebook is discovered, containing the soundbyte "Kill Johanna", plus notes about his grudges against Jews and "beautiful" and "smart" Wesleyan students; he gives himself up on May 7.
On Aug. 15, 2009 Pres. Obama hosts a town-hall meeting in Grand Junction, Colo., being greeted by protesters outside, where a univ. student asks him how private insurers can compete with the govt., causing him to reply that the "public option" (a new govt. insurance program similar to Medicare) is only a small piece of his health care reform program, and he mainly wants to control costs, expand coverage, protect consumers, and improve efficiency; on Aug. 16 U.S. HHS secy. Kathleen Sebelius tells CNN Sun. Morning that the public option "is not the essential element"; too bad, later that day White House health reform comm. dir. Linda Douglass releases a statement saying "Nothing has changed. The president... believes the public option is the best way to achieve those goals"; later U.S. Sen. (D-N.D.) (since 1987) Kent Conrad (1948-) proposes govt.-funded private cooperatives as an alternative to a govt. plan; meanwhile new Canadian Medical Assoc. pres. Anne Doig admits that Canadian patients get less than optimal care, and says that the system is "imploding".
On Oct. 12, 2009 the State of Colo. becomes the first U.S. state to lower its minimum wage, from $7.28 to $7.24, one cent lower than the federal minimum wage.
On Oct. 15, 2009 the "99 Red Balloons" by Nena Balloon Boy Hoax sees a home project to build a helium-filled weather balloon in Ft. Collins, Colo. go bad when a 6-y.-o. Falcon Heene (2003-) allegedly gets in it and untethers it when unattended, and the balloon sails across across Colo., causing a military alert and massive law enforcement involvement while viewers across the state watch on preempted TV with bated breath until it lands 50 mi. away in a field with no one aboard, after which a massive search turns up nothing until he is found hiding in a box in his attic, afraid he's in trouble; meanwhile the story becomes world news, and spreads like lightning on the Internet; too bad, after which the cover story that his mad scientist daddy Richard Heene yelled at him for trying to get in and he hid, after which daddy released it with 20-ft. tethers which broke, and the other sons told he he had climbed in, the real story that it was a pre-planned hoax staged by publicity-hound daddy to get his own reality TV show gets him criminal charges, along with former actress mommy Mayumi Heene; comedian Joy Behar calls it a floating Jiffy Pop bag, and says the kid will be grounded until he's 18; on Oct. 23 Mayumi admits in an affidavit that she and Richard planned it for two weeks as a stunt; on Nov. 11 he pleads guilty to a felony and she pleads guilty to a misdemeanor in order to avoid deportation to Japan; on Dec. 23 Richard Heene is sentenced to 90 days and a $42K fine, plus orders to not profit from the publicity for 4 years; even if he has to wait, Richard Heene is going to end up rich because he got maybe $100M worth of free publicity already, he's a self-marketing genius, watch for his bestselling book, true life movie, reality TV show, video game line, etc.?
In Dec. 2009 residents of Colo. Springs, Colo. erect a sign reading "Welcome to Obamaville" visible from the main highway.
On Jan. 28, 2010 Ojore Nuru Lutalo (1945-) of Elizabeth, N.J. is arrested on an Amtrak passenger train in Colo. en route from L.A. to Chicago after passengers hear him talking about al-Qaida and making threats on his cell phone.
On Feb. 23, 2010 (3:15 p.m.) 32-y.-o. convicted felon Bruco Strongeagle Eastwood (1977-) arrives with a high-powered rifle and shoots students Reagan Weber and Matt Thieu at Deer Creek Middle School in Lakewood, Colo. on Columbine Dr. 3 mi. from infamous Columbine H.S. before he is tackled by 7th grade math teacher David Benke.
In Apr. 2010 USAF flight surgeon Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin of Colo. refuses to board his plane until he sees proof that Pres. Obama was born in the U.S., causing him to be court-martialed; on Dec. 15 a federal jury convicts him of disobeying orders to deploy to Afghanistan, and he is sentenced to 6 mo. in military prison and dismissal from the Army.
On June 13, 2010 52-y.-o. Colo. Christian construction worker Gary Brooks Faulkner (1958-) is arrested in N Pakistan en route to Afghanistan carrying a pistol and 40-in. sword plus Bible materials, telling investigators that he is on a solo mission to kill Osama bin Laden; he is released on June 24 and arrives in Denver around midnight, being hailed as the Rocky Mt. Rambo - they should have helped him?
On July 26, 2010 anti-Mexican-immigrant former Colo. rep. Tom Tancredo leaves the Repub. Party to run for Colo. gov. on the ticket of the Am. Constitution Party to run against Dem. John Hickenlooper, mayor of Denver, insuring the latter's big V?
On Sept. 6-13, 2010 a wildfire burns 6.4K acres in Four Mile (Fourmile) Canyon near Boulder, Colo., burning 159 homes incl. the homes of four firefighters, becoming the worst fire in Colo. history.; it starts in a fire pit of a volunteer fireman.
On Oct. 15, 2010 a 3.1 earthquake in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in Calif. puzzles scientists since it's not on a known fault line.
On Oct. 18, 2010 Mexican authorities seize 105 tons of marijuana in Tijuana, becoming the biggest bust in Baja Calif. history; on Oct. 20 the U.S. Coast Guard seizes a ton of marijuana tossed from a boat 40 mi. from San Diego, Calif.
On Nov. 15, 2010 U.S. citizens Arquimedes Bautista (1990-) and Rosalba Artimas (1964-) of Colo. file a lawsuit against ICE for an incident in Apr. when they were taking a bus to an Amway convention and were arrested for speaking Spanish; ICE later explains they suspected human trafficking.
On Dec. 3, 2010 Am. Muslim convert Maria Hardman, a student at the U. of Colo. refuses to remove her headscarf for a mugshot, causing judge Noel Blum to come down on her, but after Muslim pressure he folds on Dec. 15 and allows her to wear the scarf provided she exposes her hairline and ears.
On Dec. 10, 2010 Monica Marquez becomes the first Colo. Supreme Court justice who is openly gay, and the first who is Latina.
On Jan. 11, 2011 after U.S. interior secy. Ken Salazar endorses him, Dem. Denver, Colo. mayor #41 (since July 21, 2003) John Wright Hickenlooper Jr. (1952-) becomes Colo. gov. #42 (until ?), waiting in the wings to succeed Pres. Obama.
On Dec. 21, 2011 three Girl Scout leaders resign and dissolve their troops after their Colo.-based troop decided to admit 7-y.-o. transgender child Bobby Montoya in the fall.
On Feb. 3, 2012 heavy snowfall in E. Colo. causes I-70 to be closed.
On Mar. 15, 2012 former Ill. gov. Rod Blagojevich enters Supermax federal prison in Florence, Colo. to begin his 14-year sentence for corruption.
On June 23, 2012 the Waldo Canyon Fire 4 mi. NW of Colorado Springs, Colo. (ends July 10) causes 32K to flee, destroying 346 homes and causes $453.7M damage, becoming the most destructive fire in Colo. until the Black Forest Fire next year.
On July 20, 2012 brilliant science student James Eagan Holmes (1987-) (who likes to die his hair orange) unleashes an attack on a Century movie theater in Aurora, Colo. during a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises", killing 12 and injuring 58; the police later find that he booby-trapped his apt.; the political backlash results in Colo. Gov. John Hickenlooper signing new gun control laws next Mar. 20, the day after the Colo. Dept. of Corrections head is shot to death at his home; meanwhile Holmes converts to Islam.
On July 25, 2012 snow falls in Colo.
In July 2012 the U.S. Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colo. Civil Rights Commission begins when same-sex couple Charlie Craig and David Mullins order a custom wedding cake from Masterpiece Cakeshop in Denver, Colo., and Christian anti-gay owner Jack Phillips refuses their business because of their sexuality, and they decline to seek another cake shop, instead going straight to the Colo. Civil Rights Commission, which comes down on the shop bigtime, showering them with bureaucratic demands, causing Phillips to fight back in court while threatening to go out of biz rather than comply; on Dec. 5, 2017 the U.S. Supreme Court takes oral arguments.
On Nov. 6, 2012 (Tues.) the 2012 U.S. Pres. Election is a V for Pres. Barack Obama over wealthy Mormon Repub. challenger Willard Mitt Romney (1947-) (not officially backed by the LDS Church), with 332 vs. 206 electoral votes, and 26 vs. 24 states, plus Washington, D.C.; Obama wins 65.9M votes (51%) vs. 60.9M (47.2%) for Romney; $6B is spent by both sides on the election; Latinos comprise 10% of the electorate for the first time; Pat Buchanan utters the soundbyte: "White America died last night. Obama's reelection killed it. Our 200 plus year history as a Western nation is over. We're a Socialist Latin American country now. Venezuela without the oil"; Colo. and Wash. become the first U.S. states to legalize recreational marijuana use.
On June 11, 2013 (1:00 p.m.) the Black Forest Fire (ends June 20) in Black Forest, Colo. NE of Colorado Springs, Colo. forces 38K to flee and burns 14,280 acres, destroys 509 homes, and kills two, becoming the worst fire in Colo. history (until ?).
On Sept. 9, 2013 the 2013 Colo. Front Range Flood begin with heavy rain along the Colo. Front Range in 17 counties from Colorado Springs to Fort Collins, giving Boulder County 17 in. of rain by Sept. 15 (vs. the avg. annual precipitation of 20.7 in.), causing Colo. Gov. John Hickenlooper to declare a disaster emergency in 14 counties on Sept. 12, expanded to 14 on Sept. 15; the flood kills eight and causes 11K evacuations, with 19K homes damaged and 1.5K destroyed, along with 30 state highway bridges.
On Nov. 5, 2013 (Tues.) the 2013 Colo. Secession Vote sees 11 of 64 Colo. counties, incl. 10 in the NE corner unsuccessfully attempt to secede from Colo. and its evil leftist Denver-Boulder Axis and become the new state of North Colorado, with the 11th county in the NW corner (Moffatt County) joining Wyo.
In Dec. 2013 there are 2,822 breweries in the U.S., incl. 2,768 craft breweries employing 43K in 1,237 brewpubs, 1,412 microbreweries, and 119 regional craft breweries; the state of Colo. leads in gross beer production with 23.4M barrels in 2006, with four of the top-50 U.S. brewing cos.
On Mar. 12, 2014 (a.m.) after hijacking a SUV with a 4-y.-o. boy inside in Longmont, Colo., wanted man Ryan Stone (1985-) leads police in the Denver, Colo. area on a wild car chase before being apprehended as viewers watch on TV from a heli cam.
On May 25, 2014 a massive landslide in Mesa County, Colo. is 4 mi. x 2 mi. x 250 ft. deep.
On June 25, 2014 the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Colo. rules regarding a Utah case that states can't prevent same-sex marriages, causing Boulder, Colo. county clerk Hillary Hall to begin issuing marriage licenses, pissing-off Repub. Colo. atty. gen. John Suthers, who sends her a letter ordering her to stop without specifying consequences; on July 1 six gay couples file a lawsuit seeking to overturn the Colo. gay marriage ban.
On Aug. 1, 2014 a new law in Colo. takes effect allowing illegal aliens to sign up for drivers licenses and ID cards; meanwhile the U.S. House votes 216-192 to halt the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that gave 600K young adult illegal immigrants work permits, and votes 223-189 (one Dem. for it, four Repubs. gainst it) to pass a $694M emergency funding bill reimbursing state govs. who deploy Nat. Guard troops to the border, both of which the Dem.-controlled Senate (which is on a 5-week summer vacation) opposes.
On Sept. 10, 2014 Arvada, Colo. Muslim convert Shannon Conley (1995-) pleads guilty in Denver federal court to trying to help ISIS.
On Jan. 3, 2015 the Repub.-dominated 114th U.S. Congress convenes (until Jan. 3, 2017), becoming the worst nightmare of Pres. Obama in his final two years in office; on Jan. 6 U.S. Repub. House Speaker John Boehner is reelected for a 3rd term despite a Tea Party challenge that produces the most no votes against a sitting speaker since 1923; Cory Scott Gardner (1974-) becomes U.S. Repub. Sen. from Colo. (until ?); Joni Kay Ernst (nee Culver) (1970-) becomes U.S. Repub. Sen. from Iowa (until ?), becoming the first female military vet in the U.S. Senate.
On Feb. 13, 2015 the 4K-man Colo. 3rd Brigade Team is sent to Kuwait, becoming the largest ground force in the region.
On Mar. 3, 2015 James Stephen "Steve" Fossett (1944-2007) of Beaver Creek, Colo. completes the first solo nonstop balloon flight around the world in 67 hours, financed by Virgin Atlantic founder Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson (1950-), who stars in his own exciting TV reality show The Rebel Billionaire this year.
On Aug. 5, 2015 the Gold King Mine in Silverton, Colo. sees EPA personnel release toxic wastewater, accidentally spilling 3M gal. of gold-colored acidic water filled with cadmium, lead, arsenic et al. into the Animas River, causing Colo. gov. John Hickenlooper to declare the area a disaster zone; the spill continues until ?.
In 2015 there are 4,656 craft breweries in the U.S., with 21% of total beer sales; Rocky Mountain High marijuana-loving state Colo., "the Napa Valley of Craft Beer" has 358 craft breweries employing 7,776 (12,085 after economic impact), growing by almost 50% in one year to $1.7B sales.
On Apr. 10, 2016 Tex. Sen. Ted Cruz sweeps all 37 Colo. delegates without citizens being allowed to vote in a primary, pissing-off registered Repubs. in Colo., that they burn their registration cards, along with Donald Trump, who utters the soundbyte: "How is it possible that the people of the great State of Colorado never got to vote in the Republican Primary? Great anger – totally unfair!... The people of Colorado had their vote taken away from them by the phony politicians. Biggest story in politics. This will not be allowed!"; he tells Fox News: "I've gotten millions... of more votes than Cruz, and I've gotten hundreds of delegates more, and we keep fighting, fighting, fighting, and then you have a Colorado where they just get all of these delegates, and it's not [even] a system. There was no voting. I didn't go out there to make a speech or anything... The system is rigged. It's crooked."
On Dec. 3, 2016 the $2.6B electric attack sub USS Colorado (SSN-788) is launched, and commissioned on Mar. 17, 2018; its flag looks like the Denver Broncos?
In Dec. 2016 six black teenies, some of them related gang-rape a 13-y.-o. girl in the Stonebrook Terrace Apts. in Colorado Springs, Colo., rendering her unable to bear children; Tyron Williams is sentenced to 10 years to life; too bad, rapists Tommy and Clarence Williams are only sentenced to probation, causing a public outcry.
On Mar. 26, 2017 (4:00 a.m.) U.S. Army medic Joseph Scott Giaquinto (1981-) throws rocks and a New Testament at the Islamic Center of Fort Collins, Colo., and is captured on video, causing him to be easily tracked down and arrested and charged with criminal mischief, trespass, and hate crime after the Council on Am.-Islamic Relations (CAIR) intervenes to make an example of him; on Dec. 18 he pleads guilty, and is sentenced to three years in a Wellness Court program which incl. drugs to get his mind right.
On Nov. 1, 2017 metal fabricator Scott Ostrem 1971-) walks off his job at B&M Roofing in Frederick, Colo. and drives to the Walmart in Thornton, Colo., shooting and killing three at random before other shoppers who are packing draw back and he flees, causing police to search for him until the next day when they raid his home, find it empty, and sit around puzzled until he drives on by and is chased and captured. On Dec. 31 37-y-o. ex-soldier Matthew Riehl (b. 1990) ambushes police at his home in the Copper Canyon Apts. in Highlands Ranch, Colo., firing 100+ shots and killing Douglas County deputy Zackari Parrish and wounding four officers before being killed.
On Feb. 14, 2018 (2:21 p.m.) (Valentine's Day) 19-y.-o. expelled JROTC student Nikolas Jacob Cruz (1998-) shoots up 3.3K-student Marjory Stoneman Douglas H.S. in Parkland, Fla. 45 mi. N of Miami with an AR-15-style assault rifle after tossing in smoke grenades that set off fire alarms, then pick them off as they pour out, killing 17 and injuring 15 before being trying to melt in with the fleeing students and getting arrested, becoming the 18th U.S. school shooting of the year and highest kill count since Columbine H.S. in Colo. (13); on Feb. 14 (night) the board of Hanover School District 28 30 mi. SE of Colorado Springs, Colo. votes 3-2 to allow school employees to be armed on the job.