General Electric employees posing on a V-2 rocket at White Sands Proving Ground (now White Sands Missile Range) in New Mexico. Courtesy/WSMR
ALAMAGORDO — At the turn of the 20th century, most of the arid land east of Las Cruces was ranch land. Cattle, sheep, and goat ranches filled the Tularosa Basin, the Oscuro Range and the surrounding countryside.
Most of these ranches were small privately owned pieces of land supplemented by large parcels of federal and state property, which ranchers leased for grazing purposes.
These self-sufficient ranchers had maintained their homes for up to 50 years, but events taking place halfway around the world would change their lives.
Leah Tookey, Curator of History at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, is the guest speaker for the Launch Pad Lecture Friday, April 1, at the New Mexico Museum of Space History. Courtesy photo
The New Mexico Museum of Space History welcomes Leah Tookey, Curator of History at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, as the guest speaker for the Launch Pad Lecture Friday, April 1. ‘Home on the Range: From Ranches to Rockets’ tells the story of the ranchers forced off their land, and the military and defense industry that would turn it into a military complex.
The Launch Pad Lecture begins at 9 a.m. on the museum’s first floor and is free to the public. Coffee and donuts are compliments of the International Space Hall of Fame Foundation. The next Launch Pad Lecture is Friday, May 6, and the topic is ‘We Choose to Go to the Moon: Kennedy’s Speech and the Space Race’ with Museum of Space History Executive Director Chris Orwoll.
Launch Pad Lectures are recorded and available for viewing, typically within a few days, on the museum’s YouTube page: https://tinyurl.com/NMspacemuseum.