US Territorial Period
US pays Mexico $10 million for 29,670 square miles of Mexican territory that becomes part of Arizona and New Mexico, giving the US a route for a southern transcontinental railroad and ownership of the copper mines at Santa Rita.
Major engagements in New Mexico include battles at Valverde in February and Glorieta Pass in March. The encounter at Glorieta Pass stops the Confederate advance in the Southwest and proves to be the turning point of the war in New Mexico.
The first passenger train into New Mexico carries members of the Colorado legislature to Otero on the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad line on 13 February 1879. One year later, the line is extended through Mora, San Miguel, and Santa Fe Counties.
Founded in 1888, Las Cruces College becomes New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in 1899 and New Mexico State University in 1960. The University of New Mexico is founded in 1889 upon the passage of New Mexico House Bill 186.