Government (26)

Friday, 10 January 2014 20:01

New Mexico Motor Patrol

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The New Mexico Motor Patrol


Arthur Scott



  The New Mexico Motor Patrol, from 1933 to 1935, was the predecessor of the New Mexico State Police which was authorized in 1935.  From 1921 to 1933 New Mexico did not have any statewide law enforcement agency.  The 1933 legislature and governor created the Motor Patrol to serve this purpose.

   The June 3, 1933 New Mexican states in part:




    The motor patrol has 231 aspirants who have filled out and returned the original questionnaires sent out by the board.

   Of these, however, a number are too short, some too heavy, others suffering from maladies which prevent their acceptance. and of the231, there probably will not be more than a third eligible for the next examination, board members said.

Dates will be fixed and places assigned and the applicants meeting other requirements will assemble for a "30-minute test" which is in the form of question and answer and contains several problems each to indicate the man's worth in his endeavor."


   The resulting force were the ten men shown above with my grandfather, Governor Arthur Seligman taken on the August 5, 1933 inauguration of the New Mexico Motor Patrol. This state photo was taken just about six weeks before he died suddenly on September 25, 1933.

   The Motor Patrol continued to do their job until 1935 when the New Mexico State Police were created by the state legislature. Examples of their work are described in the following article published in the August 10, 1933 New Mexican: Note Patrolman Lacy Shortridge got bucked off in Tijeras Canyon.





Monday, 28 October 2013 12:40

New State Historian Website

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   On October 21, 2013 the Office of the New Mexico State Historian launched their new website. It is brighter, menu driven and much more easily navigated than the the previous one. Most of the emense hoard of previous materials were preserved. The multimedia section contains dozens of audio, video and podcasts. One Gf my favorites is "Growing Up in Cochati." The search engine is very fast and complete.

Give it a try at:  NEWMEXICOHISTORY.ORG or use the link on the Voces "Links" section.


Friday, 18 January 2013 22:09

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier - Arlington Cemetery

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If you have never had the opportunity to visit The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier, I hope you do someday, it is truly fascinating.

Recently contestants on aTV program were asked questions about the guards at the Tomb; all of them missed the questions.

So here is some information:  How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns and why?

21 steps, It alludes to the 21 gun salute, which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.

How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin his return walk and why?  21 seconds, for the same reason as answer #1.

Why are his gloves wet? His gloves are moistened to prevent losing his grip on the rifle.  Does He carry his rifle on the same shoulder

all the time?  He carries his rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path, He executes an about face and moves

the rifle to the outside shoulder.  How often are guards changed?  Guards are changed every thirty minutes - 24 hours a day, 365 days

per year. (plus one for leap year)  What are the required physical traits of the of the guards? They must be between 5' 10" and 6'2" tall

and waist size cannot exceed 30" There is a two year commitment, in order to serve. After two years, they are given a wreath pin that is

worn on their lapel signifying they served as a guard of the tomb.  In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington, DC,  

The U.S, Senate/House took two days off in anticipation of the storm. ABC news reported  that due to the dangers, members assigned

were given permission to suspend their duty. They respectfully declined the offer "No Way Sir" marching in the pelting rain of the storm,

they said that guarding the Tomb was not an assignment, It was the highest honor that can be afforded to a service person.

The Tomb has been patrolled  continuously 24/7, since 1930.  God Bless Them And Keep Them.

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