Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: President Lincoln’s Birthday

Today marks Abraham Lincoln’s 210th birthday. America’s most beloved President was born on February 12, 1809, in a log cabin in Kentucky, although he lived most of his life in Illinois (aside from his time in Washington, D.C.). In the decades following his death, several efforts were made to make Lincoln’s birthday a national holiday, but were unsuccessful. President’s Day, however, honors Lincoln as well as George Washington, who was also born in February. Lincoln’s birthday is a state holiday in five states, but not in Colorado.

Our state has found other ways to honor Lincoln, however, including Lincoln County and even Lincoln Street in Denver. Colorado-quarried Yule Marble was used to build the Lincoln Memorial. And although Lincoln never visited here, Colorado Territory was established on February 28, 1861 — less than a week before Lincoln’s first inauguration — so it was the country’s newest territory at the time of his presidency.

In the early 1900s, the state’s Department of Public Instruction — now the Department of Education — issued books for teachers with lessons, stories, poems, and recitations in honor of Lincoln’s and Washington’s birthdays. Annual volumes of Birthdays of Washington & Lincoln have been digitized and made available online by our library.  The 1909 issue in particular is a special “centennial number” for Lincoln. Each volume gives fascinating insight not only on the lives of the presidents, but on the values, political atmosphere, and patriotism of the era in which the books were published. These volumes provide valuable primary source material for anyone researching American education and culture a century ago.

Finally, be sure to check out the Library of Congress’s website, where you can view the digitized Abraham Lincoln Papers.


Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Denver’s First Christmas

160 years ago, in December 1858, about fifty settlers gathered for Denver’s first Christmas celebration. Among the revelers was General William Larimer, Denver’s founder. Lured by the prospect of gold, Larimer and his party had reached Cherry Creek and the South Platte just a month earlier. There they found two towns, Auraria and St. Charles, already staked out. The St. Charles town company had made the mistake of leaving their camp to head back east for the winter, so Larimer jumped their claim – according to legend, plying the guard with liquor – and called the new town Denver City. He chose the name to flatter James Denver, governor of Kansas Territory, of which the town site was then a part. Larimer didn’t realize, however, that Denver had retired as governor a few weeks before.

Other gold rushers came to the new town, and the settlers put together a committee to plan the town’s first Christmas celebration. The guests included E.P. Stout and S.S. Curtis who, like their friend Larimer, each have downtown Denver streets named for them. There were songs and speeches, but the highlight of that first Denver Christmas was the dinner. The settlers feasted on every kind of wild game imaginable, including some that are hard to imagine (“grizzly bear a la mode”?). They also had potatoes, beans, rice, vegetables, raisins, nuts, “prickley pear,” nine different kinds of pie, and a “wine list” that included everything from champagne to Taos lightning. The menu was recorded by A.O. McGrew, who sent the Omaha Times a colorful description of the festivities. In 1937, the Colorado Historical Society re-published the article in their Colorado Magazine, which you can now read online.

You can read more about William Larimer and the founding of Denver in the University Press of Colorado titles Colorado: A History of the Centennial State and Denver: Mining Camp to Metropolis, available for checkout from our library.

The State Publications Library wishes you and yours a happy holiday season! (Even if grizzly bear isn’t on the menu).

Colorado State Publications Blog

Safe Holiday Shopping and Giving

This is the week when many people start their holiday shopping. ‘Tis also the season for charitable giving. Unfortunately, both of those activities can be spoiled by scammers and cybercriminals. So, before you start your holiday spending, be sure to check out the Colorado Attorney General’s Consumer Holiday GuideThis booklet offers smart tips on how to avoid charity fraud; how to stay safe while shopping online or in stores; and how to protect yourself if you’re taking out a loan for the holidays. The guide also walks you through what to do if you do fall victim to a scrooge. In the guide you can learn about:

  • Ways to avoid theft of your holiday packages
  • How to tell if special offers are just attempts to obtain your personal information
  • Understanding extended warranties, contracts, and layaway plans
  • How to keep passwords, WiFi, and mobile devices secure
  • Avoiding fraud when using QR codes
  • Checking to make sure a charity is legitimate (hint: use, a consumer site sponsored by the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office and the Colorado Attorney General)

Visit our library’s online catalog to find more consumer resources.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Springtime!!

Hooray for the first day of Spring!  Coloradans have always enjoyed springtime, with our mild and sunny weather.  A century ago, however, Coloradans celebrated more springtime holidays than we do today.  The State of Colorado Spring Holiday Book 1913 is a fun look back at some springtime holidays we still celebrate, like Mother’s Day, and others that have mostly been forgotten, like Good Roads Day.

The Spring Holiday Book was published by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction for use by teachers to help plan lessons around the holidays.  They include songs, stories, poems, artwork, and other items, such as “how to tell the age of a tree.”  Many of the items were contributed by well-known Colorado writers.  Also contained in this volume are many wonderful historical photos of Colorado schoolchildren and their celebrations; Colorado scenery; and more.

This book is a treasure for what it tells us about life and culture in Colorado more than a century ago.  It could also make a fun resource for today’s teachers to use to teach kids about life in Colorado’s past.  This particular copy, which has been digitized by our library, is extra fun because it includes handwritten notes in the margins from some long-ago teacher.

Photo of the Adams County Schoolhouse, from the Spring Holiday Book

Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: The Sweeter Side of Colorado History

This Valentine’s Day you may find yourself the recipient of candies or cupcakes, or might be planning a special dessert to go with a romantic dinner.  Today is also “Fat Tuesday.” Desserts and sweets have long been a part of American culture.  But how has our sweet tooth changed over the last century?  The following publications from the Colorado State University (formerly Colorado Agricultural College) Extension offer a look at desserts through the years.  Which of these do we still make today, and which have fallen out of favor? (hint: do you even know what a junket is?  I had to look it up.  It’s a custard made from curdled milk).

Colorado State Publications Blog

Christmas Tree Recycling

It’s that time of year when the holiday decorations are coming down, and the Colorado State University Extension reminds us that, if you had a live tree, it is now “bedraggled and has probably become a terrible fire hazard. It’s time to get it out of the house. Please don’t just put it out for garbage pickup.” While it depends on your county/municipality, in many cases regular garbage service will not even pick up discarded trees, especially if they are left whole.  In any case, it is better, says the Extension, to recycle them.  Their PlantTalk Colorado website includes tips on Christmas tree recycling, as well as links to Extension fact sheets on mulching and composting.  Start the new year by being as “green” as your tree used to be!

Colorado State Publications Blog

Holiday Pet Safety

The holidays can mean confusion — or new temptations — for your pets.  Some holiday foods and decorations can be hazardous to your pet.  Other circumstances, like traveling or parties/guests, can stress out our animal friends.  Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital has published some excellent tips for keeping your pets safe and stress-free during the holidays:

Enjoy The Holidays While Keeping Your Pet Safe.  Many traditional holiday foods contain ingredients that are toxic to pets, and this article offers a list of foods to keep away from your pets, as well as decorations that could be hazardous — including poisonous plants (holly, ivy, and mistletoe), Christmas tree water that contains hazardous chemicals or preservative agents, or even small ornaments and tinsel which are attractive to pets, especially cats, but can be hazardous if ingested.  Also in this article you will find tips on how to tell if your pet is under stress.

Watch for Pet Poisons Around Your HomeThis article also discusses poisonous foods and plants, and how you can respond if your pet does eat something he shouldn’t.

Help Pets Avoid Hazards During the Holiday SeasonLike the above articles, this one also discusses poisonous plants and foods, but it also contains tips for keeping pets safe when you have houseguests.

Veterinarians Offer Seasonal Tips to Ease Travel With Pets and Prevent ‘Pupsicles.’  This article is twofold: first, it offers helpful tips for traveling with pets, including what kinds of carriers to use and what items to pack.  Secondly, the article discusses ways to keep pets warm and safe in frigid winter weather (just in time for today’s freezing temperatures!)

To Blanket or Not to Blanket?  This article for horse owners discusses whether, and how best to, blanket your horse on cold, snowy days like today.

Finally, there’s the old debate over whether poinsettias are poisonous to pets.  A fact sheet from the CSU Extension tells us that “poinsettia plants are not harmful to household pets unless the leaves and bracts are eaten in very large quantities. Since cats and puppies frequently chew on new plants introduced in the home, it is prudent to place the plants out of reach.”

Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Christmas Traditions at Palmer Lake

One of Colorado’s most beloved Christmas traditions is the Yule Log Ceremony held every year in the town of Palmer Lake, in El Paso County.  The tradition was started in 1933 by Lucretia Vaile, who had seen a similar event in Lake Placid, NY.  Yule Log ceremonies date back to the ancient Norsemen as a way to celebrate the winter solstice.  In Palmer Lake, the ceremony usually attracts about 500 revelers each year, who hunt for a previously-hidden log and, when finding it, haul it back to the town hall where it is burned while spectators sing carols and sip toddies.  A piece of the log is retained to burn in the next year’s event.  The town of Beulah, in Pueblo County, also holds an annual Yule Log Festival, begun in 1952 with a splinter of a log from Palmer Lake.

Lucretia Vaile, who started the Palmer Lake ceremony, was the daughter of a prominent Denver attorney.  The family had a summer home in Palmer Lake, and young Lucretia fell in love with the town, spending as much time there as she could.  She continued to own a summer home in Palmer Lake until 1968, when she donated it to the town for an arts center.  Today, the town’s museum and library are named for Lucretia Vaile.  Lucretia herself was a librarian at the Denver Public Library. 

In 1934, the year after Lucretia started the Yule Log ceremony, Palmer Lake began a second seasonal tradition.  Each year a 500-foot-wide Star of Bethlehem is brightly lit on a mountaintop above the town. The star is so big that it can be seen from I-25.

You can read more about the history of these two Palmer Lake traditions in this 1952 article published in the Colorado Magazine.  Here you can also find the words to “Song of the Kindling Log” and other Old English yuletide tunes, as well as the town’s recipe for wassail punch.  Also be sure to check out the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection, which contains a number of articles about the Palmer Lake festivities through the years.


A photo postcard from the 1940s shows the lighted star above the town of Palmer Lake.

Colorado State Publications Blog

'Tis the Season for Parking Problems

Holiday parties and crowded shopping malls, not to mention the possibility for winter weather, can make parking your car a major headache this time of year.  The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) wants you to be prepared so that your holiday festivities don’t get spoiled by having your car towed.

The Public Utilities Commission, a division of DORA, posted these tips in a recent press release:

1. Park on private property only if you have permission; otherwise park only in public lots.

Private property owners, as well as individuals or companies that have been authorized in writing to act as agent for the property owner, have a right to remove vehicles that are parked on their property without permission. This applies to businesses, apartment complexes, residences and any other private property. So before you leave your car, first do a thorough search for any signs that may indicate that the lot you chose is private.  

2: Private property restrictions can be can be enforced 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

That party you’re attending is just across the street from a business with a private lot. The business is closed. It’s ok to park there, right? 

Not unless you have explicit permission from the property owner.

Even if a business is closed, at night or on weekends, it can still have non-authorized vehicles removed from its parking lot. And it doesn’t matter how long the vehicle has been parked there. If you park in a private lot and run across the street just for a few minutes to complete an errand, your vehicle could be towed.

3: Be prepared – getting your car back will be expensive.

The PUC regulates the rates for non-consensual tows, but a private property tow could still end up costing you several hundred dollars once all the charges for the tow, mileage and storage are added up.

So you got towed … now what?

The PUC has adopted rules that provide some consumer protections in cases of non-consensual tows.

·  Towing carriers are required to obtain proper authorization from a property owner before a tow can be made;

·  Authorization must be filled out in full, signed by the property owner, and given to the towing carrier at the time the vehicle is to be removed from the private property;

·  If a consumer attempts to retrieve their vehicle before it is removed from private property, the towing carrier must release the vehicle if the consumer agrees to pay the “drop charge”;

·  And a towing carrier must be available within the first 24-hours of having stored a vehicle to either release the vehicle from storage immediately upon demand during normal business hours or with one hour’s notice during all other times.

DORA also reminds holiday partygoers and hosts that many homeowners’ associations (HOAs) have parking restrictions.  Spaces may be reserved for owners, or what look like spaces could be designated fire lanes.  DORA recommends homeowners in HOAs familiarize themselves with their HOA’s visitor parking regulations before the guests arrive.  Guests having their cars towed would be a sure way to spoil the party!

Finally, if you’re traveling with passengers who are elderly or disabled, you can learn about parking rules in the Colorado Department of Revenue’s brochure Persons with Disabilities Parking Privileges.

For further information on parking rules see the Colorado Driver Handbook.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Tips for Safe Holiday Shopping

The holiday shopping season has arrived, and unfortunately, there are “grinches” out there who want to scam you.  Take a look at the Attorney General’s Consumer Holiday Guide for some great tips about secure shopping as well as information about charity fraud.

Additionally, here are some tips from the Colorado Division of Banking on how to shop securely, whether online or in person:

  1. Budget for your expenses so you do not place yourself in recurring debt after the holidays.
  2. When shopping online, ensure you are using secure websites. Hackers and scammers can create duplicate websites that mimic your trusted retailer.
  3. Check the authenticity of the website by going directly to the company website for a direct link versus searching online for the retailer.
  4. You will never be asked for your PIN number online, do not enter it for any reason. PIN numbers give scammers and thieves direct access your banking information.
  5. Report any suspicious activity on your account or card immediately.
  6. Make sure the seller has a listed address or toll-free number that you can contact if you are not satisfied with your purchase.
  7. If purchasing an item online, never send cash. The safest way to make a purchase online is through credit card.


Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Day

Her gleaming mountains capped with snow,
Rolling plain and high plateau,
Make the land the best I know–
Sunny Colorado!
— from the poem “Sunny Colorado” by Eugene Parsons

August 1 is Colorado Day, the anniversary of Colorado’s statehood (August 1, 1876).  In 1913, the state’s Department of Public Instruction (now the Department of Education) issued A Book of Holidays, which included poems, essays, songs, and activities that could be used by teachers — or anyone — in commemorating and learning about holidays and anniversaries throughout the year.  Included were the popular holidays we still celebrate, as well as some that are no longer really remembered, such as Susan B. Anthony’s Birthday (February 15), Good Roads Day (May 9), and Peace Day (May 18).

Among the holidays covered in the book is Colorado Day, August 1.  The Colorado Day section includes several poems, such as the one excerpted above; photos of Colorado scenery; “Some Books of Interest on Colorado;” a couple of essays on Colorado tourism; a speech by Robert W. Steele, an early Colorado Territory politician; and “Origin of Some of the Names of the Counties of the State of Colorado.”

A Book of Holidays has been digitized by our library.  For more online documents that tell the story of our state, visit our library’s digital repository.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Memorial Day

Before 1972, when Memorial Day began being celebrated on the last Monday in May, Memorial Day was traditionally held on May 30.  The holiday was established by the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), an organization of Union veterans of the Civil War, in 1868 to commemorate and decorate the graves of deceased Union soldiers.

Major Gen. John A. Logan, chief of the GAR, led the effort to create Memorial Day.  Following his military service, in which he was a member of Gen. William T. Sherman’s staff, Gen. Logan served as a U.S. Congressman and later a U.S. Senator from Illinois. Although he never lived in Colorado, Gen. Logan has many Colorado connections, mainly due to his investments in Colorado mines.  Coloradans also revered him as a war hero, and many came to see him when he came to Denver with the GAR Encampment, an annual reunion of over 25,000 Union veterans.  Logan County as well as Denver’s Logan Street and Fort Logan National Cemetery are named for him.  A 12,870-foot peak, Mount Logan, also bears his name.  You can read more about Gen. Logan and his Colorado connections in Robert Hartley’s article “General John A. Logan:  A Name Remembered and Honored in Colorado,” in the Summer 2007 issue of Colorado Heritage magazine, which you can check out from our library.

Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as it was originally known, has grown to memorialize all of America’s fallen soldiers, not just those from the Civil War.  An interesting look at how Memorial Day was celebrated a century ago can be found starting on page 105 of the State of Colorado’s 1913 Spring Holiday Book, issued by the Department of Public Instruction to help teachers plan lessons for the various holidays.  The section on Memorial Day includes quotations, poems, essays, and songs that were originally used to teach youngsters about the holiday, but can now be used to teach us about an element of American life and culture over 100 years ago that we still celebrate today.

Colorado State Publications Blog

St. Patrick's Day Activities for Kids

St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of Irish heritage and culture.  It’s also a holiday for all ages and therefore a great day for teaching youngsters about Irish traditions.  In The Ties That Bind, an arts lesson plan kit from the Colorado Council on the Arts, you can find a chapter on St. Patrick’s Day lessons for kids, especially tailored to Colorado.  The activities also tie in with Colorado education standards for social studies.  Teachers and activity leaders can use this toolkit to plan lessons about many aspects of Irish culture.  The kids can learn about Irish foods, art and music; Irish immigration to the United States; and more.   

The Ties That Bind is a helpful toolkit for teachers use year-round, as it includes lesson plans for teaching about other Colorado cultural traditions, including American Indians, Latinos, Hmong cultures, and even cowboys, as well as artistic traditions that reach across cultures.

Happy St. Paddy’s Day from the State Publications Library!

Colorado State Publications Blog

Holiday Food Safety

Don’t let food poisoning spoil your holidays!  Check out these resources from the Colorado State University Extension that offer tips on staying safe while enjoying some of our favorite holiday treats.

 Do you make your own eggnog?  The raw eggs used to prepare eggnog can be contaminated with Salmonella.  Follow the tips in Holiday Food Safety:  Safe Handling and Preparation with Eggs to avoid a health hazard.

The holidays can be so busy, that sometimes it is easiest to throw a meal in the crock pot and forget about it.  As convenient as slow cookers can be, the food — especially meat — still needs to reach a certain temperature before consuming.  Learn about the minimum safe temperatures and how to avoid heat loss in Crock Pot and Slow Cooker Food Safety.

If you’re expecting a guest who is expecting, or if you yourself are pregnant, be sure to read Food Safety During Pregnancy to learn what foods to avoid.  Also, if you’ll have little ones at the kiddie table, see Serving Children Safe Foods.

Many families enjoy making candy together during the holiday season.  Candy requires temperature adjustments for Colorado’s altitude, so to make sure your candy turns out right, see Candy Making at High Altitude.

Plan on having your buddies over for the New Years’ bowl games?  Check out Game Day Food Safety:  Ensure a Safe, Tasty, and Winning Combination When Gathering with Friends and Family.

Got leftovers?  See Food Storage for Safety and Quality to find out how to keep your food fresh, and when to throw it out.

While we humans certainly don’t consider poinsettias as food, your pet might.  While there has been some debate over whether the red holiday flowers are poisonous, the Extension still recommends that poinsettias be placed out of reach of dogs and cats.  See their Poinsettias fact sheet for more.

 Finally, the following publications offer useful tips on specific food hazards and how to avoid them:

 The State Publications Library wishes you a safe and happy Holiday Season! 

Colorado State Publications Blog

Tastes of Fall

October is a commemorative month for many of our favorite fall foods.  Publications from our library collection can help you learn about growing and preparing these foods.

October is…

American Cheese Month.
Learn how to make your own with Making Soft Cheeses from the Colorado State University Extension.

Apple Month.
If you have apple trees, you can find out how to protect them from insects and diseases by reading Apple and Pear Insects, also from the CSU Extension.  Want to grow apple trees?  Check out Backyard Orchard:  Apples and Pears and Hardy Varieties of Apples for Northeastern Colorado. Need information on Colorado’s apple orchard industry?  Some publications that tell the story of Colorado’s orchards include Appraisal of the Apple Industry in the Four Corners Region (1972), Colorado Fruit Tree Survey (1989), and How Do Consumers View Apples? (2011) 

Corn Month.
Best Management Practices for Colorado Corn gives you everything you need to know about growing corn in Colorado. Also, search the keyword “corn performance trials” in our library catalog for the Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station’s yearly reports on the best corn varieties. 

National Chili Month.  Whip up some corn bread, sprinkle some cheese in your chili, and you’ve got three of this month’s featured foods covered.  Basic Instructions for Cooking Beans and Recipes for Dry Beans and Peas from the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment’s (CDPHE) can be checked out from our library. 

National Seafood Month.  Okay, so since Colorado isn’t by the sea, we don’t produce seafood…unless you count the yummy trout and other fishes available in our mountain waters. Smoking and Other Delightful Ways to Enjoy Game and Fish and the Colorado Catch Cookbook, both from the Division of Wildlife, offer many recipes and preparations.  To learn about eating fish safely, see the CDPHE’s Fish Consumption webpage.

Pizza Month.  Find out how to use pizza to teach your kids math in Pizzas, Pennies, and Pumpkin Seeds:  Mathematical Activities for Parents and Children from the Colorado Department of Education.  (By the way, October is also Family and School Partnership in Education Month.)

Sausage Month.  Back in 1942, wartime shortages called for preserving and rationing foods.  Preservation of Meats by Curing, published that year by the CSU Farm Victory Program, discusses how to make smoked sausage, among other cured and smoked meats. 

Spinach Lovers’ Month.  So you’ve enjoyed all that pizza and now you’re looking for something healthier.  Learn how to grow and use spinach and other salad greens in the CSU Extension’s Salad Greens:  Health Benefits and Safe Handling and Growing Container Salad Greens.

October is also national cookbook month.  Search our library’s online catalog for some cookbooks that highlight local Colorado foods, or can provide hints for high altitude baking.

Colorado State Publications Blog

4th of July in Colorado

In 1983 Gov. Richard Lamm penned an article for Colorado Heritage magazine entitled “The Fourth of July in Colorado: A Perspective and a Hope.”  In it he told the story of how Independence Day had been celebrated in Colorado in its early days, including how celebrations went from partisan events to unifying ones; how boosters used the holiday to promote Colorado; how commemorations of Independence Day during the Civil War and the two World Wars were somber rather than celebratory; and how the completion of the State Capitol in 1890 brought with it one of the grandest 4th of July celebrations in the state’s history.

The article continues with stories and photos of parades, orations, picnics, and other celebrations from across the state through to the time of Lamm’s writing.  He concludes the article with the sentiment,

 The Fourth of July [is] a good time to reflect on the history of this day.  I am proud that the western spirit of boosterism helped forge the nation, and that spirit yet remains in Colorado. The Fourth of July gives me pause and gives me hope.  Although our nation has been tempered by war, I am hopeful that we have learned from our history…I am hopeful on this Fourth of July that Colorado, America, and the entire world can beat the sword into a plowshare and wield it in the world war against poverty, ignorance, unemployment, and disease.

 This issue of Heritage also includes an essay on an exhibit then showing at the Colorado History Museum.  “Landmarks of Liberty” offered “a rare opportunity for Coloradans to examine firsthand not only the Declaration, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights*, but also works of art, correspondence, maps, and Revolutionary War artifacts.”  You can check out this and other issues of Colorado Heritage and its predecessor, Colorado Magazine, from our library.  Also search our library’s web catalog for more writings of Governor Lamm, including Copernican Politics; The Price of Modern Medicine; and Cooperative Strategies for the Developing West.  Also available are Lamm’s executive orders, proclamations, state-of-the-state addresses, and other documents. 

*18th century copies
Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Flag Day

Today is Flag Day, celebrated annually on June 14.  Flag Day also celebrates a 100th anniversary milestone this year; it was officially established by proclamation of Woodrow Wilson in 1916.  Long before the official government commemoration, various unofficial “flag days” had been celebrated in locations around the country since after the Civil War.  The first official celebration of a flag day on June 14 was in Philadelphia in 1892.  (June 14 is the anniversary of the adoption of the stars and stripes in 1777).  Soon after, other states began commemorating Flag Day, especially in the schools.

Here in Colorado, Flag Day was first celebrated in 1894 in Denver through the suggestion of the local chapter of the Sons of the Revolution.  It was proclaimed a legal holiday in Colorado in 1901.  An example of Colorado’s Flag Day sentiments can be found in Governor Jesse McDonald’s 1905 Flag Day proclamation:

“Those stars and stripes represent the struggle and achievements of our fathers and mothers unto far distant generations.  The sheltering folds of that flag will furnish ever increasing protection to those who are striving for equality and justice, to the honest and legitimately ambitious millions who desire a pure government of, for, and by the people…let us of Colorado observe Wednesday, June 14, 1905, as Flag Day, and appropriately observe that day in our homes, places of business, and public gatherings, but more especially in the schools, where a new generation is preparing to assume the responsibilities of life.”  

The full proclamation can be found on page 110 of the 1905 Report of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, which has been digitized by our library.  The report also includes numerous pages of songs, poems, and recitations that teachers could use to teach students about patriotism and the flag.  Interestingly, by 1909 the Flag Day curriculum ideas were no longer published in the superintendent’s reports, probably because many schools were not in session during the summer.  However, in the 1910s the Superintendent of Public Instruction began publishing a Book of Holidays, which can be found in our library’s collection.  These books included curriculum suggestions for holidays throughout the year, including Flag Day.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Arbor Day

Coming up on Friday, April 22, we celebrate Earth Day.  The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970.  It grew out of the celebration of Arbor Day, which also took place in April.  Arbor Day, a day for planting trees, began in Nebraska in 1855.  In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Arbor Day became very popular, especially here on the Plains, where trees are in short supply.  In Denver, Mayor Robert W. Speer heavily promoted Arbor Day; hundreds of trees were planted in City Park, the Denver parkways, and other places around the city under his watch.  The popularity of Arbor Day coincided with the City Beautiful Movement, a nationwide movement encouraging city planners to incorporate parks, parkways, and aesthetically pleasing architecture into urban planning.  The movement arose after Chicago’s 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.

Scenes from Mayor Speer’s Arbor Day tree planting in 1911.  Photos from Denver Municipal Facts.
(Click to enlarge)

Arbor Day was also a popular celebration in the schools.  School children would learn about nature and assist in tree planting.  It became so popular that Colorado’s Superintendent of Public Instruction issued books of Arbor Day songs, poems, and activities for use in the classroom.  You can find many of these here in our library.  Here in our library we have such books for 1908, 1911, 1912, 1913, and 1914.  You can also find information on Colorado schools’ Arbor Day celebrations in the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s biennial reports.  For instance, see page 32 of the 1891-92 report for a summation of that year’s activities and how they tied in to the declaration of the Columbine and Blue Spruce as Colorado’s State Flower and State Tree.  The following year’s report reprints the Act declaring the third Friday in April to be Arbor Day in Colorado.  Each of the biennial reports are available from our library.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Local Food for the Holidays

The Colorado Department of Agriculture encourages Coloradans to buy local this holiday entertaining season.  Their website includes resources such as a winter farmer’s market list, a Colorado Food and Agriculture Gift Guide, and Colorado Market Maker, an online database for locating Colorado food products.

Farmer’s markets aren’t just for summer.  The Colorado Winter Farmer’s Market List is a directory, divided by county, that lets consumers know where they can buy farm fresh products all year long.  Items for sale at these locations include not only food products, but great gift items like homemade soaps and lotions, wine, and arts and crafts.

The Colorado Food and Agriculture Gift Guide is a similar list but includes additional products such as mail-order gift baskets.  It is divided by type of gift rather than by location.

Colorado Market Maker,, is a database where you can find restaurants using locally produced food products; food banks; food retailers; production plants; tourism resources; wineries; and more.  You can also search for farmers and ranchers if you are looking to buy specific products.  This resource is primarily aimed at producers to find places to market their products, but consumers can also use the site to get ideas of where to buy these products.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Colorado State Publications Blog

Preparedness Factsheets

The Colorado Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management and, the State’s official preparedness website, are offering a set of fact sheets or “preparedness bulletins” on the Division’s website.  Intended for general audiences, the bulletins are quick summaries on how to prepare for a variety of disasters, including avalaches, earthquakes, electrical outages, fires and floods, landslides, winter storms, and more. 

One particularly timely fact sheet is about holiday cooking safety.  Check out this quick two-pager to find out about how to safely prepare your holiday meals.  The fact sheet offers tips on food safety; cooking with children; and how to avoid burns and cooking fires.  For example, did you know that it is dangerous to use extension cords for cooking appliances?  The fact sheet tells us that they could overload electrical circuits and cause fires.  More about home fires can be found in the bulletin on that topic.

Colorado State Publications Blog

Constitution Day

How well do you know the U.S. and Colorado constitutions?  September 17 is nationally recognized as Constitution Day, a day that encourages learning and familiarity with the Constitution.  The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office publishes a booklet containing the Colorado and U.S. Constitutions, which they update whenever changes are made.  In our library you can find the past editions of these booklets, to compare and see how these documents (especially the Colorado Constitution) have changed over the years.  Also in our library you can find historical documents relating to the State Constitution, including a printing of the original 1876 Colorado Constitution and the Proceedings of the Constitutional Convention of 1875.  Search our web catalog for more resources on the State and U.S. constitutions.