New Mexico’s Zia Symbol
The number four is significant for New Mexico starting with the state flag. In 1920 the self-taught artist, Velina Shije Herrera, gave the state of New Mexico permission to use his design of the Zia sun symbol as the state’s logo. According to historical records, Herrera was excommunicated from the pueblo for betraying his tribe by giving a sacred design to non-Natives. For the people of Zia Pueblo the center of their symbol represents the sun, life itself. The top four lines are the cardinal points, on the right the lines represent the seasons, the bottom lines are the time of day and the left lines represent the stages of life.
Route 66 & Santa Fe
Route 66 is one of four major routes that passed through Santa Fe. The first was the Camino Real, then the Santa Fe Trail followed by the Spanish Trail. Route 66 was established in 1926 beginning in Chicago and ended in Santa Monica, California. Crossing through New Mexico, the famous roadway introduced the world to Native American and Hispanic culture. It was on this road that people experienced the food, language, music, art, and architecture as they traveled to points unknown. It also provided New Mexicans with an avenue to a different life as many sought opportunities further west.
New Mexico’s Four Governors for a Month
During a tumultuous month of instability, intrigue, and violence in the summer of 1837, New Mexico was ruled by four different governors. The first was Albino Perez, a Mexican soldier who had been elected in 1835. On August 8, 1837 Perez was beheaded by an angry mob and several of his close associates were also murdered. Three days later, a buffalo hunter by the name of Jose Gonzales was appointed governor. He was also confronted with the threat of rebellion in Taos. Then on September 6, Capt. Jose Caballero was designated as the new governor. Two days later former governor and military commander Manuel Armijo and his supporters staged a counter revolt, pushing Caballero to the sidelines. Manuel Armijo remained in charge of the state for the next nine years.