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Socorro, New Mexico

Socorro, New Mexico

Overview
Socorro is a city in Socorro County
Socorro County, New Mexico
-2010:Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:*75.1% White*1.1% Black*11.7% Native American*1.2% Asian*0.0% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander*2.8% Two or more races*8.1% Other races*48.5% Hispanic or Latino -2000:...

 in the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

. It stands in the Rio Grande Valley
Rio Grande Valley
The Rio Grande Valley or the Lower Rio Grande Valley, informally called The Valley, is an area located in the southernmost tip of South Texas...

 at an elevation of 4579 feet (1,395.7 m). The population was 9,051 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

 of Socorro County.

In June 1598, Juan de Oñate
Juan de Oñate
Don Juan de Oñate y Salazar was a Spanish explorer, colonial governor of the New Spain province of New Mexico, and founder of various settlements in the present day Southwest of the United States.-Biography:...

 led a group of Spanish
Spanish people
The Spanish are citizens of the Kingdom of Spain. Within Spain, there are also a number of vigorous nationalisms and regionalisms, reflecting the country's complex history....

 settlers through the Jornada del Muerto
Jornada del Muerto
The Jornada del Muerto in the U.S. state of New Mexico was the name given by the Spanish conquistadors to the Jornada del Muerto Desert basin, and the particularly dry stretch of a route through it.The trail lead northward from central Spanish colonial New Spain, present-day Mexico, to the farthest...

, an inhospitable patch of desert that ends just south of the present-day city of Socorro. As the Spaniards emerged from the desert, Piro
Piro Pueblo
Piro Pueblo : The Piros were a Native American Pueblo people that lived in a number of pueblos in the Rio Grande Valley around modern Socorro, New Mexico, USA. The now extinct Piro language was in the family of Tiwa languages...

 Indians of the pueblo
Pueblo
Pueblo is a term used to describe modern communities of Native Americans in the Southwestern United States of America. The first Spanish explorers of the Southwest used this term to describe the communities housed in apartment-like structures built of stone, adobe mud, and other local material...

 of Teypana
Teypana
This Piro pueblo was located close to present-day Socorro, New Mexico. A reference from 1598 suggests Teypana was on the west bank of the Rio Grande, below the pueblo of Pilabó . Found in a partly flawed list of Piro pueblos, the reference is somewhat problematic, however, as there is no further...

 gave the Spaniards food and water.
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Encyclopedia
Socorro is a city in Socorro County
Socorro County, New Mexico
-2010:Whereas according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau:*75.1% White*1.1% Black*11.7% Native American*1.2% Asian*0.0% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander*2.8% Two or more races*8.1% Other races*48.5% Hispanic or Latino -2000:...

 in the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

. It stands in the Rio Grande Valley
Rio Grande Valley
The Rio Grande Valley or the Lower Rio Grande Valley, informally called The Valley, is an area located in the southernmost tip of South Texas...

 at an elevation of 4579 feet (1,395.7 m). The population was 9,051 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

 of Socorro County.

Founding


In June 1598, Juan de Oñate
Juan de Oñate
Don Juan de Oñate y Salazar was a Spanish explorer, colonial governor of the New Spain province of New Mexico, and founder of various settlements in the present day Southwest of the United States.-Biography:...

 led a group of Spanish
Spanish people
The Spanish are citizens of the Kingdom of Spain. Within Spain, there are also a number of vigorous nationalisms and regionalisms, reflecting the country's complex history....

 settlers through the Jornada del Muerto
Jornada del Muerto
The Jornada del Muerto in the U.S. state of New Mexico was the name given by the Spanish conquistadors to the Jornada del Muerto Desert basin, and the particularly dry stretch of a route through it.The trail lead northward from central Spanish colonial New Spain, present-day Mexico, to the farthest...

, an inhospitable patch of desert that ends just south of the present-day city of Socorro. As the Spaniards emerged from the desert, Piro
Piro Pueblo
Piro Pueblo : The Piros were a Native American Pueblo people that lived in a number of pueblos in the Rio Grande Valley around modern Socorro, New Mexico, USA. The now extinct Piro language was in the family of Tiwa languages...

 Indians of the pueblo
Pueblo
Pueblo is a term used to describe modern communities of Native Americans in the Southwestern United States of America. The first Spanish explorers of the Southwest used this term to describe the communities housed in apartment-like structures built of stone, adobe mud, and other local material...

 of Teypana
Teypana
This Piro pueblo was located close to present-day Socorro, New Mexico. A reference from 1598 suggests Teypana was on the west bank of the Rio Grande, below the pueblo of Pilabó . Found in a partly flawed list of Piro pueblos, the reference is somewhat problematic, however, as there is no further...

 gave the Spaniards food and water. Therefore, the Spaniards renamed this pueblo Socorro, which means "help" or "aid". Later, the name "Socorro" would be applied to the nearby Piro pueblo of Pilabó
Pilabó
Pilabó was a former Piro pueblo located on the site of the present city of Socorro, New Mexico. In 1598 Spanish explorers emerging from an inhospitable desert were given food and water by the people of the Teypana pueblo. The Spaniards renamed that pueblo “Socorro” which means “help” or “aid” in...

.

Nuestra Señora de Perpetuo Socorro, the first Catholic mission in the area, was probably established c. 1626. Fray Agustín de Vetancurt would later write that around 600 people lived in the area during this period. Mines in the Socorro mountains were opened by 1626.

During the Pueblo Revolt
Pueblo Revolt
The Pueblo Revolt of 1680, or Popé's Rebellion, was an uprising of several pueblos of the Pueblo people against Spanish colonization of the Americas in the province of Santa Fe de Nuevo México.-Background:...

 of 1680, Spanish refugees stopped in the pueblo of Socorro. A number of Piro Indians followed the Spaniards as they left the province to go south to safety. With no protection of Spanish troops, Socorro was destroyed and the remaining Piro were killed by the Apache
Apache
Apache is the collective term for several culturally related groups of Native Americans in the United States originally from the Southwest United States. These indigenous peoples of North America speak a Southern Athabaskan language, which is related linguistically to the languages of Athabaskan...

 and other tribes.

The Spanish did not initially resettle Socorro when they re-conquered New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

. Other than El Paso
El Paso, Texas
El Paso, is a city in and the county seat of El Paso County, Texas, United States, and lies in far West Texas. In the 2010 census, the city had a population of 649,121. It is the sixth largest city in Texas and the 19th largest city in the United States...

, there were no Spanish settlements south of Sabinal
Sabinal, Texas
Sabinal is a town in Uvalde County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,586 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Sabinal is located at ....

 (which is approximately 30 miles (48.3 km) north of Socorro) until the 1800s. In 1800, governor Fernando Chacon gave the order to resettle Socorro and other villages in the area. However, Socorro was not resettled until about 1815. In 1817, 70 Belen
Belen, New Mexico
Belen is a city in Valencia County, New Mexico, United States. Belen is Spanish for Bethlehem, and over time has gained the nickname "Hub City" because of the Belen Cutoff of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. The Cutoff made it possible for many more trains to travel east and west across...

 residents petitioned the crown for land in Socorro. The 1833 Socorro census lists over 400 residents, with a total of 1,774 people living within the vicinity of the village.

The mission of San Miguel de Socorro
San Miguel de Socorro
San Miguel de Socorro is the Catholic church in Socorro, New Mexico, built on the ruins of the old Nuestra Señora de Socorro mission. The old mission was built around 1626, but was destroyed in 1680 during the Pueblo Revolt...

 was established soon after Socorro was resettled. The church was built on the ruins of the old Nuestra Señora de Socorro.

Territorial period


In August 1846, during the Mexican-American War, New Mexico was occupied by the American Army. In Las Vegas, New Mexico
Las Vegas, New Mexico
Las Vegas is a city in San Miguel County, New Mexico, United States. Once two separate municipalities both named Las Vegas, west Las Vegas and east Las Vegas , divided by the Gallinas River, retain distinct characters and separate, rival school districts. The population was 14,565 at the 2000...

, Colonel Stephen W. Kearny
Stephen W. Kearny
Stephen Watts Kearny surname also appears as Kearney in some historic sources; August 30, 1794 October 31, 1848), was one of the foremost antebellum frontier officers of the United States Army. He is remembered for his significant contributions in the Mexican-American War, especially the conquest...

 proclaimed New Mexico's independence from Mexico. On their way to begin their assault on Mexico, American troops stopped in Socorro. A British officer, Lt. George Ruxton, commented that these soldiers were "unwashed and unshaven, were ragged and dirty, without uniforms..." and were lacking in discipline.

In September 1850, New Mexico became a territory of the United States. At the time, New Mexico encompassed what is now the states of New Mexico and Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

. In 1850, the population of Socorro was only 543 people. This included 100 American soldiers who were soon moved to Valverde
Battle of Valverde
The Battle of Valverde, or the Battle of Valverde Ford from February 20 to February 21, 1862, was fought near the town of Valverde at a ford of Valverde Creek in Confederate Arizona, in what is today the state of New Mexico. It was a major Confederate success in the New Mexico Campaign of the...

.

The first military post built near Socorro was Fort Conrad, 30 miles (48.3 km) south of the town. Built in August 1851, the fort was badly constructed and was abandoned for Fort Craig
Fort Craig
Fort Craig was a U.S. Army fort located along El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, near Elephant Butte Lake State Park and the Rio Grande in Socorro County, New Mexico....

, located a few miles away. Fort Craig was first occupied on March 31, 1854.

The New Mexico School of Mines (now the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology is a university located in Socorro, New Mexico....

) was founded in Socorro in 1889.

Geography and geology



Socorro is located at 34°3′42"N 106°53′58"W (34.061759, -106.899424), 75 miles (120.7 km) south of Albuquerque
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque is the largest city in the state of New Mexico, United States. It is the county seat of Bernalillo County and is situated in the central part of the state, straddling the Rio Grande. The city population was 545,852 as of the 2010 Census and ranks as the 32nd-largest city in the U.S. As...

, at an average elevation of 4605 feet (1,403.6 m). The town lies adjacent to the Rio Grande
Rio Grande
The Rio Grande is a river that flows from southwestern Colorado in the United States to the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way it forms part of the Mexico – United States border. Its length varies as its course changes...

 in a landscape dominated by the Rio Grande rift
Rio Grande Rift
The Rio Grande Rift is a north-trending continental rift zone. It separates the Colorado Plateau in the west from the interior of the North American craton on the east. The rift extends from central Colorado in the north to the state of Chihuahua, Mexico in the south. The rift zone consists of four...

 and numerous extinct volcanoes. The immediate region encompasses approximately 6000 feet (1,828.8 m) of vertical relief between the Rio Grande and the Magdalena Mountains
Magdalena Mountains
The Magdalena Mountains are a small in area, but regionally high, mountain range in Socorro County, in west-central New Mexico in the southwestern United States. The highest point in the range is South Baldy, at 10,783 ft . The range runs roughly north-south and is about 18 miles long...

. Notable nearby locales include the Cibola National Forest
Cibola National Forest
The Cibola National Forest is a United States National Forest in western and central New Mexico, USA. The forest also manages four National Grasslands that stretch from northeastern New Mexico eastward into the Texas Panhandle and western Oklahoma. It is administered by the United States Forest...

, the Bureau of Land Management Quebradas Scenic Backcountry Byway, and the Bosque del Apache and Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge
National Wildlife Refuge
National Wildlife Refuge is a designation for certain protected areas of the United States managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The National Wildlife Refuge System is the world's premiere system of public lands and waters set aside to conserve America's fish, wildlife and plants...

s. According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the city has a total area of 14.4 square miles (37.3 km²), of which 0.04 square mile (0.1035995244 km²), or 0.21%, is water.

Demographics and economy


As of the census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

of 2000, there were 8,877 people, 3,415 households, and 2,151 families residing in the city. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 615.8 people per square mile (237.9/km²). There were 3,940 housing units at an average density of 273.3 per square mile (105.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 66.16% White, 0.74% African American, 2.77% Native American, 2.24% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 23.24% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 4.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 54.50% of the population. There were 3,415 households out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.5% were married couples
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 living together, 14.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.0% were non-families. 29.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.02. In the City of Socorro 25.4% of the total population was under the age of 18, 16.9% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 106.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $22,530, and the median income for a family was $33,013. Males had a median income of $31,517 versus $23,071 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the city was $13,250. About 24.1% of families and 32.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 44.4% of those under age 18 and 23.6% of those age 65 or over.

The languages spoken at home were 62.41% English, 35.64% Spanish, 0.90% Chinese, 0.76% German, and 0.36% Navajo.

Major employers in Socorro include the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology is a university located in Socorro, New Mexico....

 (NM Tech), the Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Land Management
The Bureau of Land Management is an agency within the United States Department of the Interior which administers America's public lands, totaling approximately , or one-eighth of the landmass of the country. The BLM also manages of subsurface mineral estate underlying federal, state and private...

, Socorro General Hospital, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory
National Radio Astronomy Observatory
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center of the United States National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc for the purpose of radio astronomy...

, municipal and county governments, Socorro Consolidated Schools, and a large number of small businesses, many represented by the Socorro County Chamber of Commerce.

Notable people

  • Elfego Baca
    Elfego Baca
    Elfego Baca was a gunman, lawman, lawyer, and politician in the closing days of the American wild west. Baca was born in Socorro, New Mexico just before the end of the American Civil War to Francisco and Juana Maria Baca. His family moved to Topeka, Kansas when he was a young child...

     (1865–1945), lawman, lawyer, and politician
  • Conrad Hilton
    Conrad Hilton
    Conrad Nicholson Hilton was an American businessman and investor. He is well known for being the founder of the Hilton Hotels chain.-Early life:Hilton was born in San Antonio, New Mexico...

     (1887–1979), founder of the Hilton Hotels chain
  • Willard Hughes Rollings
    Willard Hughes Rollings
    Willard Hughes Rollings was a scholar of Native American history and of the Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand....

     (1948–2008), historian
    Historian
    A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

     of Native Americans
    Native Americans in the United States
    Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...


Socorro High School


Socorro has one public city-named high school in Class 1A/3A with a student body of about 600. The mascot is a Warrior, and the school colors are blue and white. School sports include Golf (B/G), Soccer (B/G), Cross Country (B/G), Track (B/G), Football (B), Baseball/Softball (B/G), Cheerleading (B/G), Charisma Dance (B/G), Swimming (B/G), Volleyball (G), and Basketball (B/G). The school also fields a competitive team for Science Olympiad
Science Olympiad
Science Olympiad is an American elementary, middle, or high school team competition which tests knowledge of various science topics and engineering ability. Over 6,200 teams from 49 U.S. states compete each year. Most teams compete in three levels of competition: regionals, states, and nationals...

, and Science Bowl. Arts at Socorro High include Concert/Marching and Jazz Band.

Zamora UFO Incident



Socorro is famous as the site of a well-publicized UFO incident. On April 24, 1964, Lonnie Zamora
Lonnie Zamora
Lonnie Zamora was a New Mexico police officer who reported a UFO sighting while on duty on Friday, April 24, 1964, near Socorro, New Mexico....

, a local policeman, was chasing a speeder on Socorro's outskirts when he claimed he saw a bright flash and heard a loud roar coming from over a nearby hill. Believing that the noise may have come from the explosion of a dynamite
Dynamite
Dynamite is an explosive material based on nitroglycerin, initially using diatomaceous earth , or another absorbent substance such as powdered shells, clay, sawdust, or wood pulp. Dynamites using organic materials such as sawdust are less stable and such use has been generally discontinued...

 shack, Zamora drove over the hill on top of a first mesa. From a distance he said he saw a white, oval-shaped object appearing to sit on four legs and two "small men" in what looked like "white coveralls" outside the craft. Thinking possibly an auto accident, he drove quickly on top of a second mesa with the object just below him. When he got there, he heard three loud thumps, like a tank hatch being slammed shut. The two small people were nowhere to be seen. He left his car to investigate, walked a little bit closer, noticed a red symbol on the side of the egg-shaped object, and that the object was still resting on "girder-like" legs. Then a bright blue "flame" erupted from the bottom of the object with a tremendous roar. Thinking the object was about to explode, he ran away past his car. (The UFO Book, pp. 545-546)

He said he saw the object lift into the air, about 15 or 20 feet. It seemed to be suspended there for a few seconds, became completely silent, and then made a rapid horizontal departure towards the nearby mountains to the South-southwest, traveling over the nearby dynamite shack in a straight line for a distance of about two miles to where a mine sat at the base of the mountains. Then it angled sharply up, rapidly rose, and faded out in the distance above the mountains.

Zamora called for help on his radio. Sergeant M.S. Chavez of the New Mexico State Police
New Mexico State Police
The New Mexico State Police is the state police agency for New Mexico, which has jurisdiction anywhere in the state. It was created to protect the lives, property and constitutional rights of people in New Mexico...

 soon arrived on the scene. Chavez later said that Zamora looked "terrified"; ground foliage and nearby bushes had been badly burned, some of it still smoldering. There were also four rectangular, wedge-shaped indentations in the ground where Zamora said he had seen the object resting on legs. There were more marks possibly resembling small footprints where Zamora had seen the small people standing, and several shallow round holes. More police arrived on the scene within minutes; an Army intelligence officer from White Sands and an FBI agent joined them in searching the area for clues within two hours. They found no track evidence of anybody being there or possible hoaxing paraphernalia. Soil and plant samples were taken and when analyzed showed no foreign matter or evidence of chemical propellants that could account for the burning.

Project Blue Book
Project Blue Book
Project Blue Book was one of a series of systematic studies of unidentified flying objects conducted by the United States Air Force. Started in 1952, it was the second revival of such a study...

, the US Air Force's official study of the UFO mystery, also sent investigators to Socorro, including their astronomer consultant Dr. J. Allen Hynek
J. Allen Hynek
Dr. Josef Allen Hynek was a United States astronomer, professor, and ufologist. He is perhaps best remembered for his UFO research. Hynek acted as scientific adviser to UFO studies undertaken by the U.S. Air Force under three consecutive names: Project Sign , Project Grudge , and Project Blue Book...

. They interviewed Zamora and Chavez, and also checked the supposed landing site. Project Blue Book's supervisor, Captain Hector Quintanilla
Hector Quintanilla
Hector Quintanilla JR. was a United States Air Force Lt Colonel best known as the last chief officer of Project Blue Book, the USAF's official unidentified flying object investigative arm.-Biography:...

, later wrote that the Socorro case was the best documented and most puzzling one in their files. "There is no doubt that Lonnie Zamora saw an object which left quite an impression on him. There is no question about Zamora's reliability." Quintanilla ruled out hoax and thought maybe Zamora had seen some secret U.S. craft, though a thorough search disclosed no such craft that could account for the object. (UFO Book, p. 554)

However, two prominent UFO skeptics both offered various explanations for Zamora's sighting. Dr. Donald Menzel offered two explanations: that Zamora had been the victim of an elaborate prank by local teenagers, or that Zamora had actually seen a dust devil
Dust devil
A dust devil is a strong, well-formed, and relatively long-lived whirlwind, ranging from small to large . The primary vertical motion is upward...

. Philip Klass, a writer for Aviation Week magazine, would claim that Zamora and Socorro's then-mayor had hoaxed the event to bring tourists to Socorro. Investigator Hynek wrote Menzel a lengthy rebuttal letter to the hoax idea a year after the event.

Media sightings


Socorro was mentioned in the 1974 movie Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore is a 1974 American drama film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Robert Getchell. It stars Ellen Burstyn as a widow who travels with her preteen son across the American Southwest in search of a better life, along with Alfred Lutter as her son and Kris...

,
though in a somewhat derogatory sense, as Ellen Burstyn
Ellen Burstyn
Ellen Burstyn is a leading American actress of film, stage, and television. Burstyn's career began in theatre during the late 1950s, and over the next ten years she appeared in several films and television series before joining the Actors Studio in 1967...

's character decided to leave the town for Tucson. The aftermath scene of Bustyn's character's husband's fatal accident at the beginning of the film, although implied as being in Socorro, was actually filmed in Tucson
Tucson, Arizona
Tucson is a city in and the county seat of Pima County, Arizona, United States. The city is located 118 miles southeast of Phoenix and 60 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border. The 2010 United States Census puts the city's population at 520,116 with a metropolitan area population at 1,020,200...

.

The 1971 Roger Corman
Roger Corman
Roger William Corman is an American film producer, director and actor. He has mostly worked on low-budget B movies. Some of Corman's work has an established critical reputation, such as his cycle of films adapted from the tales of Edgar Allan Poe, and in 2009 he won an Honorary Academy Award for...

 movie Gas-s-s-s
Gas-s-s-s
Gas-s-s-s is a 1971 motion picture produced and released by American International Pictures. It was producer Roger Corman's final film for AIP, before leaving to found his own New World Pictures...

was filmed in and around Socorro, including a scene using the New Mexico Tech
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology is a university located in Socorro, New Mexico....

 golf carts.

The actress Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster
Alicia Christian "Jodie" Foster is an American actress, film director, producer as well as a former child actress....

 stayed in Socorro while filming the movie Contact at the Very Large Array
Very Large Array
The Very Large Array is a radio astronomy observatory located on the Plains of San Agustin, between the towns of Magdalena and Datil, some fifty miles west of Socorro, New Mexico, USA...

 fifty miles west of the city.

Elfego Baca Golf Shoot


The Elfego Baca
Elfego Baca
Elfego Baca was a gunman, lawman, lawyer, and politician in the closing days of the American wild west. Baca was born in Socorro, New Mexico just before the end of the American Civil War to Francisco and Juana Maria Baca. His family moved to Topeka, Kansas when he was a young child...

 Golf
Golf
Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes....

 Shoot is named after a former mayor of Socorro who survived a gun battle near what is now Reserve, New Mexico
Reserve, New Mexico
Reserve is a village in Catron County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 387 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Catron County. Currently the village has several stores, a bar, and a health clinic...

, involving over 4,000 bullets that were fired over the course of 36 hours. Teeing off from Socorro Peak, also known as M Mountain, at an altitude of 7243 feet (2,207.7 m), golfers proceed down the side of the mountain some 2,550 vertical feet to the one hole almost three miles (5 km) away. Surviving rattlesnakes, gnats, cacti, treacherous terrain and the New Mexican sun and heat, golfers have a chance at winning the title to what is considered one of the two most difficult golf courses in the world.

Mike Stanley, an employee of the EMRTC, has won or tied for the win a record 18 times in the history of the shoot which dates back to 1960.

Points of interest


Arts and music


Socorro is home to many artists and musicians. Local artists include Liz Poulin Alvarez, Karyn DeBont, G.E. Grey, Sharon Fullingim, Natasha Isenhour, Skeeter Leard, Margi Lucena, and Jan Thomas
Jan Thomas
Jan Thomas is a children's book author and illustrator. She lives in Socorro, New Mexico and has published three books with Harcourt Trade Publishers: What Will Fat Cat Sit On?, A Birthday for Cow, and The Doghouse; and three with Simon & Schuster's new children's imprint, Beach Lane Books, Can...

. There are also frequent gallery exhibitions and studio events in Socorro. Notable musicians and bands include Suzanne Barteau, J.C. Campbell, Johnny Dean, Jeanne Dixon, Mariam Funke, Bill Giebitz, Toby Jaramillo, Ronna Kalish, Terry Kincaid, Rob Long, Carlos Marerro, Marian Royal, Jim Ruff, Mary Templeton, David Wooten, Lead Sol, and many others. Live music is played weekly at local bars and restaurants in town, particularly at the Capitol Bar, Socorro Springs Brew Pub, and the Manzanares Street Coffeehouse. In addition to local performers, many musicians visit Socorro as part of New Mexico Tech's Performing Arts Series.

Steppin' Out, a bi-monthly tabloid covering fine art and cultural events in New Mexico, is published in Socorro.

An up-to-date listing of music events in and around Socorro can be found at socorromusic.com.

Zamora UFO reference

  • The UFO Book: Encyclopedia of the Extraterrestrial, Jerome Clark
    Jerome Clark
    Jerome Clark is an American researcher and writer, specializing in unidentified flying objects and other anomalous phenomena; he is also a songwriter of some note....

    , author. Visible Ink Press, 1998. ppgs. 545-558

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