National Political Conventions

Lately there has been buzz about Colorado hosting the 2008 Democratic National Convention (see Denver Post, 6/22/06). Interestingly, the last time Colorado hosted the DNC was in 1908 - exactly 100 years before. That year, the Democrats nominated William Jennings Bryan, who had many friends and political allies in Denver. The convention was held at the brand-new Auditorium Theater downtown. In a 1984 Colorado Heritage article (available at our library) about the 1908 convention, historian Phil Goodstein writes, "Politics had little to do with Denver securing the convention. In what appears to have a very contemporary ring, the convention was a product of Denver's efforts to win a place as one of the leading convention cities in America." With much the same attitude today, contemporary boosters are looking to again promote Denver as a "convention city."

Lightning Strikes

Here in Colorado, lightning is the number one life threatening weather hazard. Between 1959 and 1994, lightning killed 394 people. Colorado ranks number 11 for lightning deaths in the United States. The Colorado Division of Emergency Management has assembled "Lightning Safety Tips" that can save lives. The National Weather Service also has a lightning safety page and a slogan, "When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors". A lightning strike can result in a cardiac arrest (heart stopping) at the time of the injury, although some victims may appear to have a delayed death a few days later if they are resuscitated but have suffered irreversible brain damage. The medical aspects of being struck by lightning can be many and varied.

The National Weather Service also has links to:

Survivor Stories - location when struck (such as on phone inside the home) and medical impacts
Success Stories - for example, changing outdoor sports weather awareness rules
Kids Page - games for children to learn lightning safety
Teacher's Tools - curriculum guides, slide presentations, games, etc.
Photos of Lightning Striking



Tuberculosis was the leading cause of death in nineteenth century American. Almost with the arrival of the first miners, people came to Colorado to seek a cure of this dreaded disease. In fact, as much as 60% of Colorado’s population migrated to the state, either directly or indirectly, for treatment of tuberculosis.
We have a couple of publications that cover the early years of tuberculosis in the state. _Blazing the Tuberculosis Trail_ (HED6.14/6) tells the stories of the early years of four sanatoria in early Denver. _A medical gentleman : James J. Waring, M.D_ (HED6.2/W23/1993) tells the story of how Waring, who suffered from tuberculosis himself, searched for a cure for the dreaded disease and trained other doctors at CU Health Sciences.
Although tuberculosis isn’t the killer it once was, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment keeps close tabs on the disease in the state. They publish yearly reports Tuberculosis in Colorado as well as a Tuberculosis Manual for health care workers.


Common Law Marriage

June is the month for weddings. Some couples, however, choose to skip the formalities and just live together. According to today’s news reports, a recent ruling opens the way for 12 year-old girls and 14 year-old boys to enter into common law marriages because the Colorado General Assembly has not passed a law specifically defining or forbidding them. What constitutes a common law marriage in Colorado? Check out the Colorado Attorney General web site on the topic for more information.


Smoking Ban in Colorado

Colorado lawmakers passed The Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act this past legislative session to protect the health of both the public and employees by reducing their exposure to secondhand smoke. The law creates a safer and healthier environment for employees, families and people statewide to enjoy Colorado’s restaurants, bars and other indoor establishments. July 1, 2006 is the effective date.
Several Colorado organizations have worked together to develop resources to help educate the public, restaurants and bars and other businesses about the smoke-free law. Colorado offers some excellent and effective resources free of charge to all Coloradans who want to quit smoking: Colorado Quiteline and Colorado Quitnet.

How does the law affect:
Restaurants and Bars
Other Businesses
General Public

Check out the “Frequently Asked Questions” on each page above to answer such questions as: do businesses need to post a no-smoking sign, does the law apply to ski resorts on private land, or is smoking allowed in common laundry rooms in condominiums? Also, Fact Sheets with additional information in multiple languages are available to download.


Planning an Outdoor Vacation

I am planning my annual Colorado camping vacation using some of the great resources available from the state, online and through our library. Perhaps some of them would help you, too!

State Parks Information and Camping Reservations

Official Map to Colorado Scenery and Adventure, CDOT

Colorado Wildlife Viewing Guide, 2000 – great resource for statewide locations for wildlife viewing, including camping, hiking, etc.

Fishing: Colorado Regulations and Property Directory

Fishing Guide, Division of Wildlife, 2006

Exploring Colorado State Parks, 1997 (Interesting information about parks in existence at that time.)

Messages in Stone: Colorado's Colorful Geology, 2003

Colorado Search and Rescue Fund (Purchase a card to help fund the program that reimburses search teams if you are lost.)

Search our online catalog for additional titles!


50th Anniversary of Interstate Highways 1956-2006

In the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944, Congress acted on recommendations from Interregional Highways . The legislation called for designation of a National System of Interstate Highways, up to 40,000 miles in length, to connect principal metropolitan areas, cities, and industrial centers, to serve the National Defense, and to connect with routes of continental importance in Mexico and Canada at suitable border points. Under the leadership of President Eisenhower, the question of how to fund the Interstate System was resolved with enactment of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956.

Some Fun Facts for the Colorado Interstate System:

  • Interstate first signed and showed up on Colorado maps in 1961.
  • Highest point on Interstate system is at the Eisenhower Tunnel. – 11,155 feet. Also, it’s the highest vehicular tunnel in the world.
  • The last section of interstate highway to open in Colorado was I-76 between Pecos Street and I-25, in September 1993. Completion of this segment marked the completion of the interstate system in Colorado.

Histories of Colorado Interstates including construction highlights and major incidents for Interstates 25, 70, 225, 76, and 270. Historic photos can be ordered from the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Search the CoSPL catalog for titles of interest on interstates

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