Colorado Day by Day

Looking for a “this-day-in-history” resource for Colorado? A new addition to our library collection is Colorado Day by Day, which provides a Colorado history anecdote for every day of the year. Written by Derek R. Everett and co-published by History Colorado and the University Press of Colorado, this fun book offers vignettes covering a variety […]

Time Machine Tuesday: The Colorado Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home

In 1889 the State of Colorado established a home for aging Civil War veterans and their wives at Monte Vista, Colorado. The home would care for “honorably discharged soldiers, sailors and marines who served in the Union Army between the twelfth day of April, 1861, and the ninth day of April, 1865, and those dependent […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Early Development of the Telephone in Colorado

Alexander Graham Bell first patented the telephone in 1876, the same year Colorado became a state. At first, people believed it to just be a passing fancy, and would have been astounded to see how much it has changed society and the world we know today. A few visionaries, however, saw the promise in this […]

How Gunnison Dealt with the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic

The year was 1918 and the Spanish Flu pandemic was in full swing. The disease would, all told, claim many millions of lives, with an estimated half-billion cases. But, one small Colorado mountain county – namely Gunnison – had very few cases, at least for the first two waves of the Flu. According to the […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Building the State Capitol

Today, the Capitol Building with its famous gold dome is one of the most recognized symbols of our state. But the road to building a capitol was a long and winding one, fraught with complications that included lawsuits, the firing of the architect, and even uncertainty over whether Denver would remain the state capital. The […]

Time Machine Tuesday: 100th Anniversary of Prohibition

One hundred years ago this week marked the beginning of Prohibition in the United States, which went into effect on January 17, 1920. Colorado, however, was actually one of several states that had gone “dry” even before national Prohibition. Voters approved an amendment to the State Constitution in the 1914 election, and an Act “Relating […]

CHNC and the Online Historic Newspaper Landscape

With over 1.7 million digitized pages representing nearly 400 newspaper titles stretching back to Colorado’s beginnings as a territory, the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection (CHNC) is undoubtedly one of the best ways to research Colorado history, as well as broader history with a distinctly Coloradan flavor. There are other historical newspaper resources available online whose […]

Colfax: Metro Denver’s Most Famous (or Infamous!) Street

The Colorado State Library is located on Colfax Avenue, as is the State Capitol. It’s one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares, with a colorful reputation and an intriguing history. The earliest settlers in the Denver area knew it as Grand Avenue or the Golden Road, but residents advocating for Colorado statehood dubbed it Colfax in […]

Impeachment: The View from Colorado’s Historic Newspapers

Whether it concerns moments in Colorado’s local history or happenings in the national arena or on the world stage, the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection (CHNC) offers a distinctly Coloradan point of view of America’s rich history. The joy of the CHNC collection lies in the surprising things you are sure to find at every turn, […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Katherine Craig, Colorado Educator

A few years ago, a couple dozen paintings of Colorado governors and other state officials were uncovered behind a wall at the Colorado State Archives. An article in the January 2020 issue of 5280 Magazine highlights the search for the identity of the only female portrait in the group. As reported in the 5280 article, […]

The Hope Diamond’s Colorado Connection

One of the world’s most famous diamonds has a Colorado connection. The dazzling blue Hope Diamond, weighing 45.52 carats, is now in the collection of the National Museum of Natural History. A century ago, however, the diamond was owned and worn by a Colorado mining heiress. The Hope Diamond has a long history. It was […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Students Debate the Boulder Dam

In the fall of 1927, the University of Colorado announced the topic for that year’s High School Debating League, which the university was sponsoring. That school year, high school students from all over Colorado would research and debate the merits of the proposed Boulder Dam (known since 1947 as the Hoover Dam). Construction of a […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Judge Ben Lindsey and the Juvenile Court

The early twentieth century was an era of social reform in the United States. The labor movement, women’s suffrage, and better opportunities for those less fortunate were among the causes that defined the period. In Colorado, one of the state’s most active reformers was Ben Lindsey, who pioneered the juvenile court system. Originally from Tennessee, […]

Colorado Governors: James B. Grant

James Benton Grant served as Governor of Colorado from 1883 to 1885. He was the state’s first Democratic governor as well as Colorado’s youngest statehood governor. Grant was born January 2, 1848, the son of a wealthy Alabama plantation family. Throughout much of the Civil War he was too young to serve in the military, […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Recovering from the Dust Bowl

In the midst of the Great Depression, farmers on Colorado’s eastern plains also had to contend with another problem, the Dust Bowl. It was the worst ecological disaster in the history of our state. Farmers began moving to the arid regions of the Colorado plains after the passage of the Homestead Act in 1862. By […]

Touring Colorado’s Collections: The Art of Eugene George Standingbear

This guest post was written by Bethany Williams, Collections Access Coordinator, History Colorado.  Content from “Between Two Worlds: The Life and Art of Eugene Standingbear”, Colorado Heritage, Sept/Oct 2014, by Alisa DiGiacomo, Director of Curatorial Services History Colorado is pleased to share the incredible artwork of Eugene George Standingbear (1906-1980) via the Plains to Peaks […]

The Murals of Allen True

If you’ve ever been inside the State Capitol, the Brown Palace Hotel, or the Telephone Building on 14th Street, you’ve seen the work of 1930s artist Allen True. Recently, another of his murals has been restored in Capitol Hill’s Tammen Hall. He’s also the artist who designed the iconic bucking bronco and rider featured on […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Mine Accidents and Safety

Explosions. Cave-ins. Blasting accidents. Gas leaks. Floods. Carbon monoxide. In the nineteenth and early twentieth century, mining was one of the state’s top industries, employing thousands of workers. Yet every day, each of these workers entered the mines not knowing if they would ever return. Mining was an extremely dangerous job, and hundreds of workers […]

Remembering Ruben Valdez

Colorado’s first Hispanic Speaker of the House, Ruben Valdez, passed away on Tuesday at age 82. He is remembered as a strong advocate for the Latino community and civil rights. The son of a coal miner, Valdez was born in Trinidad, Colorado, in 1937. After a few years working in Pueblo and in California, he […]