Roswell, New Mexico

From Academic Kids

Roswell is a city located in Chaves County in the southeastern quarter of the state of New Mexico, USA. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 45,293. It is a center for irrigation farming, dairying, ranching, manufacturing, distribution, and petroleum production. It is also the home of New Mexico Military Institute, founded in 1891. Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge is located a few miles northeast of the city on the Pecos River.

In the 1930s Roswell was a site for much of Robert Goddard's later rocketry work. It is also the birthplace of actress Demi Moore, musician John Denver and Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith. A Hall of Famer in another sport, golf great Nancy Lopez, was raised in Roswell (though born in California).



Main article: Roswell UFO incident

On July 2, 1947, a strange object reportedly crashed outside the city. On July 8, the Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) allegedly announced it was a UFO, and four alien bodies were supposedly recovered from the landing site. The following day, U.S. Air Force officials stated that it was not a UFO, but a weather balloon. Since then, Roswell has been a focus of alien and conspiracy theory, rivaled only by Area 51, where the alien bodies are said to be stored.

After the closure of its air force base, Roswell capitalized on its pleasant climate and reinvented itself as a retirement community. In the last twenty years, Roswell has also capitalized on the alleged UFO incident and has attracted numerous tourists interested in UFOs.


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Location of Roswell, New Mexico

Roswell is located at 33° 23' 14" North, 104° 31' 41" West (33.387160, -104.528116)Template:GR.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 75.0 km² (29.0 mi²). 75.0 km² (28.9 mi²) of it is land and 0.1 km² (0.04 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.07% water.


As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 45,293 people, 17,068 households, and 11,742 families residing in the city. The population density is 604.3/km² (1,565.2/mi²). There are 19,327 housing units at an average density of 257.9/km² (667.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 70.96% White, 2.47% African American, 1.28% Native American, 0.65% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 21.29% from other races, and 3.31% from two or more races. 44.34% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 17,068 households out of which 34.5% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.1% are married couples living together, 14.9% have a female householder with no husband present, and 31.2% are non-families. 27.1% of all households are made up of individuals and 13.4% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.58 and the average family size is 3.13.

In the city the population is spread out with 28.5% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 16.0% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 88.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $27,252, and the median income for a family is $31,724. Males have a median income of $26,554 versus $21,408 for females. The per capita income for the city is $14,589. 22.6% of the population and 18.7% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 31.1% of those under the age of 18 and 13.8% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

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Roswell Mainstreet today


The first non-indigenous settlers of the area around Roswell were a group of pioneers from Missouri who attempted to start a settlement 15 miles southwest of what is now Roswell in 1865 but were forced to abandon the site because of a lack of water.

Van Smith, a businessman from Omaha, Nebraska, and his partner, Aaron Wilburn, established two adobe buildings in 1869 that grew into what is now Roswell. The two buildings became the settlement's first general store, post office, and sleeping quarters for paying guests. In 1871, Smith filed a claim with the federal government for the land around the buildings, and in 1874, he became the town's first postmaster. He called the town Roswell, after his father's first name.

In 1877, Captain Joseph Calloway Lea and his family bought out Smith and Wilburn's claim and became the owners of most of the land of Roswell and the region surrounding it. The town was relatively quiet during the Lincoln County War (1877-1879). A major aquifer was discovered on the Nathan Jaffa Ranch near town in 1891, resulting in the area's first major growth and development spurt. The growth continued when a railroad was built through town in 1893.

See also

External links


Regions of New Mexico Flag of New Mexico
Llano Estacado | Sangre de Christo Mountains
Largest cities
Albuquerque | Las Cruces | Santa Fe
Farmington | Roswell | Clovis | Alamogordo | Los Lunas | Hobbs | Carlsbad | Espanola | Gallup | Las Vegas | Deming | Belen | Taos | Silver City | Portales | Artesia | Los Alamos | Grants
Bernalillo | Catron | Chaves | Cibola | Colfax | Curry | De Baca | Doņa Ana | Eddy | Grant | Guadalupe | Harding | Hidalgo | Lea | Lincoln | Los Alamos | Luna | McKinley | Mora | Otero | Quay | Rio Arriba | Roosevelt | San Juan | San Miguel | Sandoval | Santa Fe | Sierra | Socorro | Taos | Torrance | Union | Valencia
Colleges and universities
College of Santa Fe | College of the Southwest | Eastern New Mexico University | New Mexico Highlands University | New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology | New Mexico Military Institute | New Mexico State University | St. John's College, Santa Fe | University of New Mexico | Western New Mexico University

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