Hayden Expedition

The famous Hayden Expedition of 1871, led by geologist Ferdinand V. Hayden, was instrumental in surveying and mapping what would become Yellowstone National Park the following year.  The survey expedition, which took about four months over the summer of 1871, was funded by Congress.  Six years later, in 1877, Hayden and his team surveyed Colorado and Utah.  The Colorado Geological Survey has digitized several of Hayden's geologic maps from the 1877 expedition, which you can find online by clicking here.  Hayden's maps are an important part of the study of the geology of the West, and the town of Hayden in western Colorado's Yampa Valley has been named for him.


Resources for Seniors

May is Older Americans Month, and is also the month we celebrate Memorial Day.  Many of our veterans are senior citizens.  The State of Colorado offers a great deal of information for seniors on a variety of issues, including finances, health and well-being, and more.  One helpful place to find senior resources is our library's Quick Guide for Seniors and Caregivers.  Other helpful publications available from our library include:


Hire a Colorado Vet

We're talking about veterans, not veterinarians. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has just launched a new resource "Hire a Colorado Vet" to help veterans find employment opportunities. Besides offering tools for resume help and interview preparation, the site creates a way for veterans to connect with potential employers. Employers are able to post job openings, and veterans can post an online job application that employers can search to find qualified applicants.

In a recent press release, Governor Hickenlooper gave his support for the program:
“Veterans bring great job skills, values and experience to an employer. The Hire A Colorado Vet program allows our country’s veterans to connect with employers. This program will help to ensure that when veterans return home they are welcomed, respected – and employed,” Hickenlooper said. “Employers who hire veterans will tell you they have made a real investment in their business with each hire.”


Denver's Civic Center

Exciting news for Denver:  Civic Center has been recommended by the U.S. Department of the Interior to become a National Historic Landmark!  This is a prestigious honor for historic sites in the U.S. - according to the official announcement, if designated, "Civic Center would join a list of some of the most iconic, treasured and historically significant spaces in the United States. Designation would place Civic Center alongside such sites as the Empire State Building, the Alamo and the Library of Congress."  The National Park Service Advisory Board will consider the recommendation today, May 22.  To find a list of all NHLs by state, visit the National Park Service's NHL page.

One of the very interesting historical aspects of Civic Center that not many people realize is that the entire area was once completely built up.  One of the gems in our library collection is On Colfax Avenue:  A Victorian Childhood, by Elizabeth Young (published by the Colorado Historical Society).  This fun memoir describes growing up in late-nineteenth century Denver.  The house that Elizabeth grew up in used to be on about the northwest edge of what is now Civic Center Park.  (Another Denver girl growing up in the same time period, Edwina Hume Fallis, also published her memoirs in the book When Denver and I Were YoungShe also grew up in what is now Civic Center, living at what would have been about 14th and Acoma.) 

Civic Center was envisioned by Mayor Robert Speer during the early twentieth century.  At that time, the "City Beautiful Movement" was sweeping the country.  Ignited by the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, which created a model "White City," cities across the nation sought to return to classical styles of architecture and rebuild their cities on European models.  Speer himself traveled around Europe gathering ideas to bring back to Denver. 

The Denver Public Library's Western History and Genealogy Department has some terrific photos of Civic Center over the years, including photos of the buildings that stood there before being removed for construction of the park, and some eerie demolition photos

Civic Center, which includes the park in the center with the State Capitol to the east, the City and County building to the west, the Voorhies Memorial to the north, and the Greek Theater to the south, is a historic place that combines Colorado and Denver's centers of government with classical architecture, artworks (including murals by Allen True), the Denver Public Library and Denver Art Museum, and much more.  The Park, though sometimes having a reputation as being sketchy, is brought to life by summer festivals and other events that make this a most historic part of Denver.


Colorado's State Symbols: The State Animal

Colorado's official "State Animal," as designated by the Colorado General Assembly in 1961, is the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep.  This majestic animal is only found in the Rockies.  You can learn more about this animal by reading their species profile from the Colorado Division of Wildlife.  Also, the CDOW has created a great video about Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep.  CDOW has also created a 10-year management plan for Bighorn Sheep in Colorado, available online or in our library.


Museums in Colorado

Tomorrow, May 18, is International Museum Day.  Many museums will have free admissions or other enticements, so check your favorite museum online to see what's happening!

Whether you're interested in history, art, or science, Colorado has some terrific museums.  Wherever you find yourself in our state, you can probably find a museum - from large institutions to tiny local spots.  Check out the book Colorado Museums and Historic Sites from our library to get a listing of museums and other sites of interest across Colorado.  Also, for a listing of museums in historical buildings, see Museum Buildings, Sites and Structures on the Colorado State Register of Historic Properties.

You can find many resources in our library dealing with Colorado's museums.  History Colorado (formerly the Colorado Historical Society) just opened a brand-new museum in downtown Denver, but they also have a number of regional museums across Colorado.  In-depth information on these museums and their histories can be found in publications such as the "Capsule History and Guide" series of books, which cover the Ute Indian Museum, the Fort Vasquez Museum, the El Pueblo Museum, the Fort Garland Museum, the Trinidad History Museum, and the Georgetown Loop Historic Mining & Railroad Park.  For hours and locations of these and the other regional museums, visit their webpage.  In our library collection you can also find historical publications on the Historical Society's old museum buildings, and a historical publication on the regional museums entitled A Journey Through Time:  The Regional Museums of the Colorado Historical Society. 

A wonderful publication found in our library collection is Masterpieces of Colorado:  A Rich Legacy of Landscape Painting, a catalog from a traveling exhibition sponsored by the Colorado Council on the Arts.  Also in our collection are some historical publications from exhibits at the University of Colorado Museum, including Native American Ceramics of Eastern Colorado; A Thread Through Time:  The Textiles of China; Textiles of Eastern Persia and Central Asia; and Caucasian Textiles, 16th-20th Century.

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science recently collaborated with the Colorado Geological Survey to produce Notes on the Denver Basin Geologic Maps.  Also, we have in our library a series of scientific publications from the University of Colorado Museum; search our web catalog for titles.


Peace Officers Memorial Day

Today, May 15, is Peace Officers Memorial Day.  The law creating this observance was signed by President Kennedy in 1962.  Since a1994 amendment to the law, flags are supposed to be lowered to half-staff to remember our brave officers who died in the line of duty.  Here in Colorado, you can visit the Colorado Law Enforcement Memorial in Golden.  You can also read about the lives of fallen officers on the following pages: 


Colorado's State Symbols: The State Seal

Colorado's state seal is a circular seal that uses the same colors as are found in the state flag - red, blue, white, and gold.  The outer edge of the circle features the year 1876 - this was the year Colorado became a state.  Inside the circle are symbols depicting government, authority, and leadership.  The center of the seal also features a blue, snowcapped mountain and miner's tools depicting Colorado's significant mining heritage.  The State Motto, "Nil Sine Numine," Latin for "Nothing without the Deity," is also within the circle.  The use of the state seal is authorized by the Secretary of State's office, which ensures the seal is used properly and appears in its correct size and form.  For a more detailed explanation of the state seal and what its parts symbolize, visit the Colorado State Archives webpage.
Image courtesy sos.state.co.us.


Governor Calls Special Session

The 2012 session of the Colorado Legislature ended yesterday, but will soon be convening for the first special session since 2006.  Governor Hickenlooper called the special session (or extraordinary session, as they are sometimes known) to deal with several bills that were not heard when the clock ran out, chief among them the bill to create Civil Unions in Colorado, which has been getting much attention.  You can read more about the special session in today's Denver PostThe date for the special session has not yet been announced but may be this coming Monday, according to the Post.  As always, when the Legislature meets, you can visit Colorado.gov for all the information you need.  Because the number of days the Legislature meets during a special session is undetermined, unlike during the regular session, some different rules apply.  If you're interested in reading about the different rules for special sessions, visit the House and Senate Rules page on the Legislative homepage.


1 in 3 Colorado Legislators On Their Way Out

The 2012 Session of the Colorado Legislature ends tomorrow, and with it about one third of the Legislators will be saying goodbye to the Capitol, according to an article in Sunday's Denver PostThe article discusses how this is is the highest number of exiting lawmakers since 1998, when term limits were established.  This year, it is mostly due to redistricting.

If you're researching Colorado legislative history, or are just interested in when a particular lawmaker's term ends, the best place to start is the Colorado Legislative Council Library's database, Legislators Past and Present.  Every person who has ever served in the Colorado General Assembly is included in the database, with their years of service and some biographical information as well as which committees they served on. You can also pull up a lists of each year's legislators, or search by district, political party, or county.  This database is extremely helpful in starting your search on legislative history.  We also have "Pink Books" going back to 1972.  The "Pink Book" (called so because it is a pink book) is the annual directory of legislators published by the General Assembly during each session.  You can always contact our library for more information, including copies of laws passed by individual lawmakers, and more.


Colorado's State Symbols: The State Flag

Colorado's distinctive state flag, with its large red and yellow "C" over a blue-and-white-striped background, was adopted in 1911.  Did you know that a law passed in 1929 requires the red and blue used in Colorado's flag to be the exact shade of red and blue used in the United States flag?  Interesting.  For more detail on the State Flag see the online information from the Colorado State Archives.

Did you know? -- from 1907 to 1911, Colorado's state flag looked like this: 

Source:  Wikipedia


Colorado Emergency Operations Plan

The Colorado Division of Emergency Management oversees emergency response, mitigation and recovery for all kinds of emergencies in Colorado, including avalanches, earthquakes, fires, floods, health emergencies, lightning, rockslides, severe storms, tornados, wildfires, winter storms, and more.  When the Governor declares a disaster emergency, the DEM uses the State Emergency Operations Plan to coordinate what to do.  Local governments and Coloradans interested in disaster response and recovery can refer to specific parts of the plan to help them deal with specific emergencies.  The DEM also has a blog with up-to-date information on Colorado emergencies and emergency preparedness at http://www.coemergency.com/.


Lower North Fork Fire Investigation Report

The Colorado Governor's Office has just released a report from the review team investigating the state's response to the Lower North Fork Fire in Jefferson County that started after a controlled burn went out of control.  Three lives were lost and numerous structures destroyed.  You can read the Governor's press release along with the report, Enhancing Fire Response and Management in Colorado State Government, here.  Also, stay tuned for two forthcoming reports from the review team.

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