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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: The Colorado Extension

In 1914 the Federal government passed the Smith-Lever Act, which established a system of Cooperative Extensions at American land grant universities, including the Colorado Agricultural College (today’s Colorado State University). Extensions were set up to provide rural and agricultural communities with classes, clubs, demonstrations, and publications to help them learn about farm, garden, and home […]

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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, […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: The WPA in Colorado

During the height of the Great Depression, as banks failed, unemployment soared, and farm prices dropped, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was established as one of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal projects. The WPA focused on creating and providing jobs rather than handing out direct relief. Most of the WPA jobs were aimed at […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: History of Aspen, Colorado

Today, Aspen’s riches come from the ski industry — but they used to come from silver mining. Aspen was founded in 1879, during the glory days of Colorado silver mining — the same era when mining boomtowns like Leadville and Georgetown were being established. With seemingly endless amounts of silver in the nearby Elk and […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: The Colorado State Museum

Have you lived in Colorado long enough to remember when the State Museum was located at 14th and Sherman, in what is now the Legislative Services Building? The State Historical Society was established in 1879 and its earliest museum exhibits were located in the State Capitol. By the early 1900s, however, the Society wanted its […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: The Dotsero Train Wreck

110 years ago today occurred one of the state’s worst train disasters. On January 15, 1909 at 9:47p.m., a westbound Denver & Rio Grande passenger train collided with an eastbound freight train just outside of Dotsero, in Eagle County. Apparently the engineer of the passenger train had been confused about the time his train was […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado a Century Ago

Our library has recently digitized a delightful publication from 1917 that looks at life in the various regions of Colorado. The Story of Colorado examines all parts of the the state, for the purpose of attracting settlers and investors. The portfolio is divided first by region, then by county within each region. Each contains statistics […]

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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, […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Constructing Vail Pass

Colorado’s ski industry depends on transportation along I-70. What would your drive to the slopes be like if it weren’t for Vail Pass? Charles D. “Charley” Vail was the visionary behind the pass, and it – along with the town and ski area – bears his name. Director of the state’s Department of Highways from 1931 […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Facts and Figures

One hundred years ago the State of Colorado began publishing its annual Year Book, featuring of all kinds of facts and figures about the state. The year books were published by the State Board of Immigration and later by the State Planning Commission, as a way to attract newcomers to Colorado. Today, they are an […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Penmanship Lessons

Many schools are no longer prioritizing the teaching of cursive penmanship. Yet a century ago, it was a different story. In the days before computers – when even typewriters were something that not everybody had access to – handwriting was of vital importance. The 1912 Course of Study for the Public Schools of Colorado demonstrates […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Constitutional Convention

This Election Day, as we vote on changes to our Colorado Constitution, you might be wondering how the original state constitution came about. Colorado became a state on August 1, 1876. But several months prior, in December 1875, leading Colorado citizens gathered to draft a state constitution. The site of the convention later became known […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Ute Indian Water Rights

This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the federal government’s passage of the Colorado Ute Indian Water Rights Settlement Act of 1988. Three years prior, in 1985, the US government, the State of Colorado, and Colorado’s two Ute tribes began negotiating for water rights for Colorado’s two Ute reservations in the southwest corner of the […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Festival of Mountain and Plain

In 1895, Coloradans were looking for something to lift their spirits. Two years before, the state had been devastated by the worst economic crisis in its history. But after a couple of years had passed, the state was slowly recovering. So, what better way to boost morale and celebrate Colorado’s resilience than with a giant […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Victory Gardens

Victory gardens were a part of life on the home front during World War II. While farmers were encouraged to increase production to help feed the hungry soldiers, those living in urban and suburban areas were also encouraged to help the war effort by growing as much of their own food as possible. Eleanor Roosevelt […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Traffic Data

As more and more people move to Colorado, we all spend a lot more of our time sitting in traffic. Colorado’s highways were constructed in the mid-twentieth century, when the population was much lower. So how does your daily commute compare with a half-century ago? In 1971, the Colorado Division of Highways released Traffic Volumes […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: The Colorado Traveling Library Commission

In 1903 the Colorado Legislature passed an act creating the Colorado Traveling Library Commission. Appointed by the governor, the commission consisted of five volunteers from Colorado women’s clubs who oversaw the shipment of boxes of books to Colorado schools and towns. The program’s goals were to create a “love and habit of reading good books” […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Anniversary of the 2013 Floods

Five years ago today, the rain began to fall in what became one of the state’s most significant flood disasters, impacting twenty-four counties and causing millions of dollars in damage. The Colorado communities affected by the September 2013 floods showed amazing resilience and are thriving once again. Here are some State of Colorado resources that […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: 20th Century Fashions

In the early 20th century, keeping your family clothed wasn’t nearly as easy as it is today. Now, online shopping and large retail stores give us access to thousands of clothing options, but a century ago, clothing items were more expensive and often were not mass-produced, and many people still sewed their own clothing. As […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: The Colorado Attorney General

A.J. Sampson, Colorado’s first state Attorney General. The Attorney General of Colorado is an elected official tasked with “represent[ing] and defend[ing] the legal interests of the people of Colorado and its sovereignty.” The Attorney General’s Office — comprised of the elected Attorney General and the state’s Department of Law — serves as legal counsel for […]

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Biographies

Genealogists and others looking for biographical information on Coloradans from earlier than 1927 should view volumes 4 and 5 of the State Historical Society’s History of Colorado, which has been digitized by our library. These final two volumes of the five-volume set are filled with hundreds of biographies on Coloradans. While many of these biographies […]