We all have that one friend, the person who stretches out their birthday into a week (or more) of get-togethers, happy hours, outings, and other festivities. Well, we’re that friend.
As you might have noticed from our cover, New Mexico Magazine is officially kicking off a yearlong 100th-anniversary celebration this month—and we want you to join in the fun.
Over the next 12 months, expect excerpts from some of our favorite stories, an online gallery of historic covers, a centennial exhibition with the New Mexico History Museum, a commemorative cookbook, and more surprises. All this will lead to a special 100th-anniversary collector’s edition in July 2023.
It’s humbling—and rather intimidating—to look back at that inaugural 16-page issue of the New Mexico Highway Journal, as we were known in July 1923.
A small photo of the recently completed Federal Aid Project No. 20-A, a road between Roswell and Picacho, graced the cover. As for the magazine’s mission, Editor R. W. Bennett wrote: “It will endeavor to place before the people of New Mexico in an interesting manner, information concerning the need, construction, and maintenance of good roads.”
From that modest start, we’ve grown into the nation’s oldest state-published magazine. It included stories on the Highway Act of 1921; methods of road maintenance; the opening of “Pankey’s Crater,” a volcanic crater on the land of Lieutenant Governor B.F. Pankey, as a visitor destination; some helpful safe-driving tips; and a photo of a highway warning sign, marking the speed limit of 15 mph and urging, “This road is not foolproof but safe for sane drivers.”
More than 1,100 issues later, much has changed for the magazine and our state—even if that sane-driving message still abides.
We hope this milestone can be a time to not only reflect on our past but also look to the future. We tip our hats to others—including Santa Fe Indian Market, Gallup Intertribal Ceremonial, La Fonda on the Plaza, Santa Fe Playhouse, and Lovelace Health System, all of which also celebrate centennials this year—who have helped shape our arts, culture, cuisine, public lands, and communities. Because our party is your party, New Mexico. We couldn’t do it without you.