Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Centennial State

August 1, 1876, President Grant signed the Act which officially admitted Colorado to the Union as its thirty-eighth state.

The Colorado Territory was formed in 1861 When Kansas was officially admitted to the Union as a state.  Colorado Territory was created from pieces of the territories of Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico and Utah.  The original boundaries of the Territory are Colorado's boundaries today.  Colorado has no boundaries which are natural features; it is strictly defined by survey.

I am partial to Colorado,  because I am a native Coloradan, though I have not lived there in sixty years.  I was born in Prowers County in the southeastern part of the state.  So close, in fact, to the state line that I barely missed being born in Kansas!  Except for the first five years of my life, I grew up in Colorado, living in Canon City and Colorado Springs.  I graduated Colorado Springs High School, then deserted my native state to roam this vast country we call America.

For natural beauty and diverse scenery, Colorado cannot be topped.  Well, literally, one might say, for the highest point of elevation in the State is Mt. Elbert at 14,440 feet, one of 52 peaks that top 14,000 feet.  But it's lowest point on the High Plains is 3317 feet above sea level, higher than any point in 18 other states!

Colorado is the "Centennial State" for it was admitted 100 years after our Declaration of Independence.

As an eighth grader, I studied Colorado history which was required of all eighth graders.  I found it quite interesting, and I have to this day several books which deal with the history of the territory and the state.  Unrelated factoid: when I sought employment as a teacher in the State of Indiana, it seemed for a bit that my failure to have studied Indiana history was going to block me from the classroom, or I was going to have to take a college-level course to satisfy the requirement.  Some how, thank goodness, I obtained a "special dispensation" and though I have read a good bit of Indiana history over the years, I am one of very few people licensed to teach in Indiana who never officially studied the state history.

11 comments:

Shelly said...

I've always thought Colorado has some of the most beautiful vistas in our nation. Truly glorious!

Jim said...

As I'm sure you know, we study Indiana history in the fourth grade here. But I think it makes more sense to do it in the eighth grade, where the lessons might actually stick. The only thing I remember about Indiana history from the fourth grade is that the otherwise venerable Mrs. Brown kept mispronouncing Terre Haute.

vanilla said...

Shelly, undeniably, there is much scenic beauty in the state.

Jim, as an in fourth grade Indiana history. One of the "reforms" I wanted to see was moving the subject to eighth grade for the very reasons you cited. Oh, well, that never happened.

vanilla said...

Jim, I don't know what happened to the beginning of the above, but it is supposed to say, "as an elementary principal, I was quite involved in fourth grade Indiana history."

Secondary Roads said...

Colorado seems beautiful in the pictures that I've seen. My experience is limited to a weekend business trip to Denver. That was in January or February and involved a lot of snow and ice. On the ground and on the airplane at a newly opened and still semi-chaotic airport. I'm sure it's nicer in the summer. Especially if one has the luxury of leisure and exploration.

vanilla said...

Chuck, summer would be my choice!
"
Back in the day, when Flatlander visitors would come, Dad would show them around. While they "oohed" and "aahed" over the scenery, I've heeard Dad say, "I've often wondered what God wanted with so much wasteland."
I think he finally decided that when the Lord finished with creation, he dumped his left-over waste in Colorado!

Marsha @Spots and Wrinkles said...

We love Colorado, and I was born in Indiana - so I relate to your post.

Also, we visited President Grant's home in Galena, Ill. - where the town gave him a home when he came home from the Civil War. It is a beautiful little community.

vanilla said...

Marsha, nice to have you visit. There are many pretty little communities in the Midwest. I'm partial to our little town, but I also like Crawfordsville, IN and Grinnell, IA.

Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

Sharkbytes said...

When one moves as an adult our state history classes become misplaced. I know a lot more NY history than Mich.

vanilla said...

Shark, perhaps this is the reason that the emphasis on state histories has been relaxed. Still, I think it is a useful study for the young.