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 […]

25th Anniversary of the South Canyon Fire

This past Saturday marked the 25th anniversary of the South Canyon Fire near Glenwood Springs, which claimed the lives of fourteen firefighters battling the blaze on Storm King Mountain. Caused by a lightning strike on July 2, the wildfire seemed manageable until July 6, when a shift in the wind caused the fire to suddenly […]

State Capitol Tours

Summer is a great time to tour the State Capitol building. Whether you’re looking for a fun educational activity with your kids, or you’re just curious yourself, a tour of the Capitol is a great way to learn about Colorado’s history and government and enjoy the statehouse’s beautiful architecture. Each year, nearly 70,000 people tour […]

20 Years After Columbine

This Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of one of the greatest tragedies in our state’s history, the April 20, 1999 Columbine High School shootings. Since then, while unfortunately school shootings do still take place, there have been many efforts to address school safety and prevent these kinds of incidents from occurring again. The Colorado School […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Yule Marble

Lincoln Memorial. Did you know that the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. are constructed of marble quarried here in Colorado? The stone comes from the Colorado Yule Marble quarry in the Crystal River valley near Marble, between Aspen and Carbondale. Colorado Yule marble, named for nearby Yule Creek, […]

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. […]

Time Machine Tuesday: The White Ash Mine Disaster

This fall the Colorado School of Mines unveiled a new memorial dedicated to the victims of the White Ash Mine disaster of 1889.  Ten miners lost their lives in the accident near Golden, Colorado. The White Ash Mine was located adjacent to the Loveland Mine, which had been shut down in 1881 following a fire.  […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Dr. Florence Sabin

At the Statuary Hall at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., each state commemorates two of their greatest citizens.  The 100 statues include politicians, war heroes, explorers, artists, inventors, and other notables from all periods of U.S. history.  Among them is Colorado’s contribution* — and one of only nine women in the Hall — […]

Time Machine Tuesday: The Vulcan Mine Explosion

This week we use our digitized historical documents to travel back to 1896 and one of the state’s worst mining disasters.  On the morning of February 18 of that year, an explosion at the Vulcan coal mine near New Castle, Garfield County caused the death of forty-nine miners.  Among those killed were the mine’s foreman, […]

Colorado Military History

The nation’s military history was the theme of the Denver Veteran’s Day Parade this year.  Colorado has an interesting and extensive military history, dating back to territorial days when Colorado volunteers played a role in the western theater of the Civil War.  You can learn about Colorado’s military history through a number of insightful publications […]

Colorado State Capitol Art and Memorials

Colorado’s State Capitol is filled with artworks, from murals by Allen Tupper True to stained glass windows commemorating famous Coloradans, portraits of every U.S. President, paintings, tapestries, and more.  On the Capitol grounds can be found a number of statues and Civil War cannons.  And in the Capitol dome you can find a history exhibit, Mr. Brown’s […]

Ludlow 100th Anniversary

Yesterday marked the 100th anniversary of the Ludlow Massacre, which took place April 20, 1914.  On that day, the State Militia was called in to deal with striking coal miners, who wanted recognition of their union.  The Militia fired on the Colorado Fuel & Iron laborers at the Ludlow tent colony for 14 hours.  It […]

Holocaust Awareness Week

This week, April 7-14, is Holocaust Awareness Week, which the Colorado General Assembly will be commemorating with SJR13-026.  The Joint Resolution will be heard on the Senate floor this Thursday, April 11, and following Senate passage will move to the House.  Holocaust Awareness Week remembers the 11 million people who died in the Holocaust, at least 6 million of […]

Black History Month

African-Americans made (and continue to make) an important contribution to the history of Colorado.  You can read short biographies of several prominent blacks in Colorado history on the State Library’s Colorado Virtual Library website, including Justina Ford, Barney Ford, Hattie McDaniel, and James Pierson Beckwourth.  You can also find video biographies of Clara Brown, Bill […]

Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month.  During this month, the National Archives, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian, and other cultural heritage organizations “join in paying tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans.”  For more information visit The State Publications Library has numerous resources on Native American/American Indian history, life, and […]

Ike Liked Colorado

So far, no U.S. President has hailed from Colorado, but one of the first ladies has – Mamie Eisenhower.  As a result, the President who spent the most time in our state was Dwight D. Eisenhower; he even established a “Summer White House” at Lowry Air Base during his presidency.  It was on this day 57 […]

Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month begins Saturday and continues through October 15.  Hispanos have been an important part of Colorado history since the sixteenth century, when Spanish explorers roamed the Southwest in search of gold.  Ever since, the Hispanic community has made many contributions to the history of our state.  If you are researching Hispanic history in […]