4th of July in Colorado

In 1983 Gov. Richard Lamm penned an article for Colorado Heritage magazine entitled "The Fourth of July in Colorado: A Perspective and a Hope."  In it he told the story of how Independence Day had been celebrated in Colorado in its early days, including how celebrations went from partisan events to unifying ones; how boosters used the holiday to promote Colorado; how commemorations of Independence Day during the Civil War and the two World Wars were somber rather than celebratory; and how the completion of the State Capitol in 1890 brought with it one of the grandest 4th of July celebrations in the state's history.

The article continues with stories and photos of parades, orations, picnics, and other celebrations from across the state through to the time of Lamm's writing.  He concludes the article with the sentiment,

 The Fourth of July [is] a good time to reflect on the history of this day.  I am proud that the western spirit of boosterism helped forge the nation, and that spirit yet remains in Colorado. The Fourth of July gives me pause and gives me hope.  Although our nation has been tempered by war, I am hopeful that we have learned from our history...I am hopeful on this Fourth of July that Colorado, America, and the entire world can beat the sword into a plowshare and wield it in the world war against poverty, ignorance, unemployment, and disease.

 This issue of Heritage also includes an essay on an exhibit then showing at the Colorado History Museum.  "Landmarks of Liberty" offered "a rare opportunity for Coloradans to examine firsthand not only the Declaration, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights*, but also works of art, correspondence, maps, and Revolutionary War artifacts."  You can check out this and other issues of Colorado Heritage and its predecessor, Colorado Magazine, from our library.  Also search our library's web catalog for more writings of Governor Lamm, including Copernican Politics; The Price of Modern Medicine; and Cooperative Strategies for the Developing West.  Also available are Lamm's executive orders, proclamations, state-of-the-state addresses, and other documents. 

*18th century copies


Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Dairies

When you go to the grocery store, you might see signs proclaiming that June is Dairy Month.  It highlights the dairy farmers (and cows!) who give us milk, cheese, butter, ice cream, and other dairy products, and has been celebrated annually since 1937.  Colorado's significant agricultural history includes the contribution of dairy farmers who for over 150 years have played an important role in the state's agricultural economy.

In our library you can find a number of historical publications dealing with dairy farming.  Many of these publications come from Colorado State University's Agricultural Experiment Station.  Some of the publications that give a peek into the life of a dairy farmer in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and are available for viewing online, include:

Photo courtesy Colorado State University Libraries

Veterinary Medicine in Colorado

Animals are very important to us here in Colorado, from the pets we love to the livestock that work for and feed us.  We have shelter pet license plates and an official state veterinarian.  Various state agencies deal with animal health, including the Colorado Department of Agriculture; the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (regarding animal diseases that can affect humans), the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (which oversees the Board of Veterinary Medicine and licensing of veterinarians), and Colorado State University, which has one of the West's top veterinary medicine programs.

These agencies have produced many informational resources on veterinary medicine and animal health.  Some of the most helpful of these resources, available from our library, include:
  • 2010 Sunset Review, Board of Veterinary Medicine, Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies.  (These are done every 10 years; next will be in 2020.  See also the 2000 review.  See also the animal chiropractors review from 2002.)
  • Animal Use in Veterinary Medical Education, Colorado State University, 2000.
  • Annual Report, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories, Colorado State University
  • College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences:  Celebrating 100 Years of Excellence 1907-2007, Colorado State University.
  • Insight, the magazine of Colorado State University's College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
  • Lab Lines, newsletter from CSU's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories.
  • Providing for Pets During Disasters, Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado
  • Report, Orthopaedic Research Center, Colorado State University
  • Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories, Colorado State University, 2009
 Our library also has some fascinating historical reports on veterinary medicine and animal care.  See
  • Biennial Report of the State Veterinary Sanitary Board and the State Veterinary Surgeon of the State of Colorado, from 1899-1900.
  • Biennial Report of the Colorado State Bureau of Child and Animal Protection, issues between 1903 and 1928
This is just a small sampling of the many resources on this topic available from our library.  Search our web catalog using terms such as "veterinary medicine" and "animal health."


Protect Yourself from Lead in Water

If you live in an older home, your water pipes may be made of lead, which is associated with significant health risks.  In response to the Flint, Michigan controversy, Denver Water has been testing older homes and replacing lead pipes with copper (see news story).  Other municipalities and water districts also have lead abatement programs and testing; check with your town or city to find out more.  The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), which has numerous resources on lead abatement, publishes a Lead Services Directory which you can use to find information on your specific county/municipality or to find a professional who can test for or replace lead pipes.

CDPHE also publishes a number of other resources that property owners may find helpful -- not only regarding lead in water, but also lead paint, contaminated soil, and other sources of lead.  See their Lead webpage for resources on the topics lead and your health; lead-based paint; lead in drinking water; working with or around lead; and lead waste management.  You can find additional resources by searching the keyword "lead" in our library's online catalog


Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado's First General Assembly

One of the gems of our library collection can now be viewed online.  The 1877 Legislative Manual of Colorado contains over 350 pages of information on the new state for the members of the first General Assembly.  (Colorado became a state in 1876, after that year's territorial assembly had concluded).  The manual includes information on how the new legislature would be organized, a "manual of parliamentary practice," a "manual of customs, precedents, and forms," House and Senate rules, lists of officers, biographical sketches of legislators, a brief history of Colorado, and more.  One of the great reference resources in this book is the list of all Colorado post offices (cities and towns), and their counties, on pages 316-317.  This is useful for researchers looking for information on early Colorado towns and whether they were incorporated when Colorado became a state. Over time, many of these towns have disappeared.  Do you know where Orodelfan, Colorado, was located?  How about Hortense?  Island Station?  Badito?  Eureka?  Gomer's Mills?  Nepesta?  Livermore?  Find out in this great resource.


Colorado Motor Vehicle Registrations

One of the reference questions our library occasionally receives is how to find out the number of registered motor vehicles in Colorado.  This information is contained in the Department of Revenue Annual Report (which, by the way, contains many other statistics such as taxes, liquor licenses, the Colorado Lottery, and more.)  Our library has digitized the reports going back to 1942, which can be used for understanding changes over time.  For instance, fifty years ago, Colorado had approximately 1.7 million registered vehicles.  As of 2015, the number was over 5.5 million!