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Pueblo History

About Pueblo

Pueblo was formerly one of the largest steel-producing cities in the United States. It is now home to a number of electronics and aviation companies. The Historic Arkansas River Project (HARP) is a beautiful river walk that graces the historic Union Avenue district. It shows the history of the Pueblo Flood.

It is the hometown of Damon Runyon, who never returned after 1911 or so, but mentioned Pueblo in many of his newspaper columns (notably his "Our Old Man" pieces). Pueblo is also the home of Dutch Clark, the only man from Colorado in the NFL hall of fame. Pueblo's largest football stadium is named after him.

Due to Pueblo's size and importance in Colorado's political landscape Pueblo has been visited by many presidents over the years. On September 25, 1919, on a speaking tour trying to gather the support of the American people for joining the League of Nations, President Woodrow Wilson collapsed, and a week later suffered the stroke which incapacitated him for the rest of his presidency.

Pueblo is the hometown of four Medal of Honor recipients - Drew D. Dix, Raymond G. Murphy, William J. Crawford, and Carl L. Sitter. The Medal of Honor is the highest military award that can be bestowed upon a member of the United States Armed Forces; Teddy Roosevelt lobbied for one but never received it during his lifetime, and General George Patton said "I'd sell my immortal soul for that Medal." President Dwight D. Eisenhower upon presenting Raymond G. "Jerry" Murphy with his Medal in 1953 commented, "What is it...something in the water out there in Pueblo? All you guys turn out to be heroes!". In 1993, The City Council adopted the tagline "Home of Heroes" because it can claim more recipients per capita than any other city in the United States. On July 1, 1993, the Congressional Record recognized Pueblo as the "Home of Heroes" (http://www.pueblo.org/homeofheroes/. There is a memorial to the recipients of the medal at the Pueblo Convention Center. Central High School is known as the "School of Heroes," as it is the alma mater of two recipients, Sitter and Crawford, more than any other high school in the country.

Pueblo is home to Colorado State University - Pueblo, formerly University of Southern Colorado. It is part of the Colorado State University system, with about 6,000 students. On May 8, 2007, C.S.U. Pueblo got approval from the Colorado State system board of governers to bring back football with a expected start date of the fall of 2008. C.S.U. Pueblo will be a part of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and will play their home games at Pueblo's Dutch Clark Statidum.

Pueblo is the home to Colorado's largest single event, the Colorado State Fair, held annually in the late summer, and the largest parade, the state fair parade, as well as and an annual Chili Festival.

The highways U.S. Route 50 and Interstate 25 cross each other at Pueblo, possibly making it the second most important intersection in the state, after I-70 and I-25 in Denver. The local airport, Pueblo Memorial Airport, lies to the east of the city. It is home to an aircraft museum, reflecting the airport's beginnings as an Army Air Corps base in 1943.


Pueblo's History

In 1842 traders built a fort, or barricaded settlement, where Pueblo now stands. Generally about a dozen families lived there, traveling to various Indian encampments to trade for buffalo robes. On Christmas Eve, 1854 Fort Pueblo was attacked by about 100 Utes and most of the inhabitants killed. The site remained uninhabited until the towns that would eventually constitute the modern town of Pueblo were settled after the Colorado Gold Rush of 1859.

The current city of Pueblo represents the consolidation of four towns: Pueblo (incorporated 1870), South Pueblo (incorporated 1873), Central Pueblo (incorporated 1882), and Bessemer (incorporated 1886). Pueblo, South Pueblo, and Central Pueblo legally consolidated as the City of Pueblo between March 9th and April 6th of 1886. Bessemer joined Pueblo in 1894.

The consolidated city was once a major economic and social center of Colorado, and was home to important early Colorado families the Thatchers, Ormans and Adams. Until a series of major floods culminated in the Great Flood of 1921, Pueblo was considered the 'Saddle-Making capital of the World'. Roughly one-third of Pueblo's downtown businesses were lost in this flood, along with a substantial number of buildings. Pueblo has long struggled to come to grips with this loss, and has only recently begun a resurgence in growth.

The economic situation of Pueblo was further exacerbated by the decline of American steel in the 1970s and '80s, and Pueblo actively seeks to diversify its economic base to this day. The City features a river walk, extensive trail system, industrial park, and revitalized downtown area to this effect.

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Pueblo Convention Center • 320 Central Main St. • Pueblo, CO 81003
Tel: 719.542.1100