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The largest city in area in the United States is Juneau, Alaska. It covers 3,248 square miles, yet the city population is fewer than 30,000.

Boeing's final assembly plant, the world's largest building, is located in Everett, Washington.
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City History

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The city was founded in 1706 as the Spanish colonial outpost of Albuquerque; present-day Albuquerque retains much of the Spanish cultural and historical heritage.

Albuquerque was a farming community and strategically located military outpost along the Camino Real. The town of Albuquerque was built in the traditional Spanish village pattern: a central plaza surrounded by government buildings, homes, and a church. This central plaza area has been preserved and is open to the public as a museum, cultural area, and center of commerce. It is referred to as "Old Town Albuquerque."

The village was named by the provincial governor Don Francisco Cuervo y Valdes in honor of Don Francisco Fernández de la Cueva, Duke of Albuquerque, viceroy of New Spain from 1653 to 1660.

During the Civil War Albuquerque was occupied in February 1862 by Confederate troops who soon afterwards advanced with his main body into northern New Mexico. During his retreat from Union troops into Texas he made a stand at Albuquerque. A day-long engagement at long range led to few casualties against a detachment of Union soldiers.

When the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad arrived in 1880, it bypassed the Plaza, locating the passenger depot and rail yards about 2 miles east in what quickly became known as New Albuquerque. Old Town remained a separate community until the 1920s when it was absorbed by the City of Albuquerque, which had been incorporated in 1891, New Albuquerque quickly became a tidy southwestern town which by 1900 boasted a population of 8,000 inhabitants and all the modern amenities including an electric street railway connecting Old Town, New Town, and the recently established UNM campus on the East Mesa.

The first travelers on Route 66 appeared in Albuquerque in 1926, and before long dozens of motels, restaurants, and gift shops had sprung up along the roadside to serve them. Signs between Bernalillo and Los Lunas along the old route now have brown, historical highway markers denoting it as Pre-1937 Route 66.

The establishment of Kirtland Air Force Base in 1939, Sandia Base in the early 1940s, and Sandia National Laboratories in 1949, would make Albuquerque a key player of the Atomic Age.

As Albuquerque spread outward, the downtown area fell into a decline. Many historic buildings were razed in the 1960s and 1970s to make way for the city's new urban renewal project. Only recently has downtown come to regain much of its urban character, mainly through the construction of many new loft apartment buildings and the renovation of historic structures like the KiMo Theater. During the 21st century, the Albuquerque population has continued to grow rapidly, and is projected to surpass 1 million by 2020.During 2005 and 2006. The city celebrated its tri-centennial with a diverse program of cultural events.

Historic Figures

Ernie Pyle (1900-1945)



Ernie Pyle (1900-1945)
Ernie Pyle from the Midwest went exploring through the Americas for work as a syndicated columnist. Ernie and his wife chose Albuquerque for a home after visiting many times and in his own words he had "a deep, unreasoning affection" for New Mexico. Ernie's stories of the people and places he visited across the Americas and his personal, soldier-oriented dispatches from military theaters overseas, read avidly by millions during World War II that made him famous by 1940. Four months before the war ended, Ernie Pyle was killed in action by a sniper on a Pacific island in April, 1945.

October 20, 2014

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