Time Machine Tuesday: 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

Tomorrow, April 22, is Earth Day. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. In the years following World War II, manufacture and use of automobiles boomed across the United States. New highways were built and Americans drove more miles than ever before. At the same time, industry was also expanding, new chemicals […]

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 […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado School Buildings, 1910

A new addition to the State Publications Library’s digital collection is School Buildings, published by the Colorado Department of Public Instruction in 1910. This publication was issued by the state’s education department in order to provide superintendents and school districts with guidance on better planning and construction for school buildings. In an era when many […]

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: History of Colorado’s Game, Fish and Parks Agencies

Colorado’s efforts to preserve its natural resources are nothing new. As long as Colorado has been a state, there has been a state agency tasked with protection of Colorado’s game, fish, and parks. The name has changed over the years, and the agency has evolved – but its core mission of protecting Colorado’s incredible wildlife […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Tungsten Mining in Colorado

Colorado mining isn’t just about gold and silver. There are many other metals, minerals, and elements that have been mined in our state; one of these is tungsten. Tungsten has the highest melting point of any known metal – more than 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit! It’s an extremely hard substance, so is frequently used for strengthening […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado’s Historic Grain Elevators and Silos

A century ago much of Colorado was dotted with grain elevators, silos, and other agricultural structures. They were found on both the Eastern Plains and the Western Slope. Today many of these have been lost, but efforts are being made to preserve and reuse some of these structures. Grain elevators and silos were built for […]

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 […]

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, […]

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, […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Thanksgiving Songs and Poems

A century ago the Colorado Superintendent of Public Instruction published a series of “holiday books” for teachers. The books were full of poems, plays, stories, songs, and recitations that could be used for classroom lessons about the various holidays. Two such books, published in 1913 and 1922, included selections for Thanksgiving. Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving […]

Time Machine Tuesday: History of Term Limits in Colorado

In the 143 years that Colorado has been a state, the laws regarding terms of office for elected officials have changed several times. In fact, the term limits in use today are relatively recent. This article provides an overview of some of the major changes to Colorado’s laws regarding term limits, which can be found […]

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 […]

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 […]

Time Machine Tuesday: The Santa Fe Trail

During the nineteenth century the Santa Fe Trail played an important role in the westward expansion of the United States. Both a trade route and an emigrant road, the Santa Fe Trail traversed the southwest, originating in Missouri and traveling south to Santa Fe in Neuevo Mexico. Much of it passed through present-day Colorado. The […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Transportation Through the Years

New to our library’s digital collection are two historical publications that tell the story of the development of Colorado transportation over the past century. Paths of Progress was published by the state highway department around 1954. Tracing the state’s transportation from Indian trails to interstates, the publication features some great photos of early transportation in […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Learning to Drive in 1936

Learning to drive has long been one of the milestones that teenagers most look forward to during their high school years. Eighty-odd years ago, “driver’s ed” — or “traffic safety” as they called it back then — was a part of the junior and senior high school curriculum. In 1936 there were 317,252 cars, trucks, […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Denver Mountain Parks

Trick question: how can you be in Denver and in the mountains at the same time? You can, because forty-six mountain parks — places like Red Rocks, Lookout Mountain, Genesee, Chief Hosa, and Evergreen Lake — are Denver Mountain Parks. This means that, although outside of Denver city limits, these parks are owned and managed […]