Events & Festivals

Curator’s Choice Lecture Series: The American West in Fact or Fiction

Previously Held February 3, 2018

Farmington Museum & Visitor Center

Join Farmington Museum as we explore all aspects of the West and investigate why the West has played such a pivotal role in world history and how it continues to permeate all aspects of American life, at home and abroad.

Event Information

Farmington Museum & Visitor Center
3041 East Main Street Farmington, NM
Farmington Museum
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February 3: Atencio Gringo - Pancho Villa and the Mexican Revolution 

The people and events that shaped the American West extend beyond the borders of the United States. A notable example is the Mexican Revolution, an armed conflict that engulfed America’s southern neighbor from roughly 1910 to 1920. Government instability and shifting alliances in Mexico also impacted the United States, and when the town of Columbus, New Mexico, was invaded by the forces of Pancho Villa in 1916, the war literally came to the West.

May 5: The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral:

The gunfight took place around 3pm on October 26, 1881, in Tombstone in the Arizona Territory. Approximately 34 bullets were exchanged over the course of 30 seconds, and three men lost their lives. The most famous shootout in the history of the West, it has been recreated in all forms of popular culture. More importantly, the events leading up to and following the gunfight showcased the tenuous separation between good and evil on the American frontier.

August 4: Wounded Knee:

On December 29, 1890, more than 150 men, women, and children were killed near Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. In 1973, approximately 200 followers of the American Indian Movement occupied the town of Wounded Knee for 71 days to protest corruption and the failure of the government to fulfill past treaties. Given these two separate but interconnected events, Wounded Knee is a powerful lens to examine the history of Native American relations in the West, from the so-called Indian Wars to the rise of the Red Power movement.       

November 10: God Bless America and John Wayne:

In a career that spanned almost five decades, John Wayne played countless Western heroes, from the Ringo Kid and Ethan Edwards to Davy Crockett and Rooster Cogburn. But more than simply an actor, Wayne’s persona, both onscreen and off, came to embody the American West, at home and abroad. Not surprisingly, when Nikita Khrushchev, the Premier of the Soviet Union and a harsh critic of the United States, visited the country in 1959 at the invitation of President Dwight D. Eisenhower he demanded to see two American cultural institutions: Disneyland and John Wayne.  


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