Thunderheads are cumulonimbus clouds, spectacular cloud formations that can be seen just before or during a thunderstorm.
They usually form at quite low heights, growing vertically instead of horizontally with the base of the cloud extending for several miles across.
On December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, America officially entered World War II after President Franklin Roosevelt addressed a joint session of Congress and called for a declaration of war against Japan.
Founded in 1881, Deming is the county seat of Luna County, New Mexico.
Deming was an important point of entry on the U.S.-Mexican border until the borderline extended further south following the Gadsen Purchase of 1853.
Standing barely 5 ft 6 inches tall and a notorious gambler, Slaughter made an unlikely officer of the law. Nevertheless, he would go on to become one of the legendary lawmen of the Old West.
Slaughter was later immortalised in the Wonderful World of Disney TV series Texas John Slaughter in the 1950s.
Apache May was the adopted daughter of John Slaughter and his wife Viola. She was discovered by Slaughter, allegedly abandoned, during a raid on an Apache camp in Mexico in May 1896.
It was claimed that when Slaughter found the girl she was wearing a skirt made from an election poster stolen from the house of a victim of an Apache raid. Whatever the truth of this, the Slaughters continued to fashion dresses out of posters of various kinds for the young girl to wear. Tragically, she would die in 1898 when one of these dresses caught fire as she was playing near an open flame.
A Century of Progress International Exposition was the name of the World's Fair held in Chicago from 1933 to 1934 in celebration of the city's centennial.
The theme of the fair was technological innovation.
A pumporgan (also called a parlor, reed, cabinet, or cottage organ) is a smaller, more portable form of pipe organ. They were widely used in smaller churches and in private homes in the 19th century.
On 9 March 1916, Francisco ‘Pancho’ Villa ordered around 500 of his revolutionaries to make a cross-border attack against Columbus, New Mexico. The raid was conducted largely because of the U.S. government's official recognition of the Carranza regime. They attacked a detachment of the 13th Cavalry Regiment, seizing 100 horses and mules, and setting part of the town on fire. 18 Americans and about 80 Villistas were killed.
The attack resulted in the U.S. sending 12,000 soldiers into Mexico to apprehend Villa and almost sparked off a full-blown war between the nations after Carranza objected to the presence of American soldiers on Mexican land.
Drought conditions plagued farmers and ranchers of Texas, along with the rest of the Great Plains and West, from 1884-86. The crisis, exacerbated by a winter blizzard, reached a peak in 1886.
The corriente breed is descended from cattle brought to the Americas by the Spanish in the late 15th century. Some breeders raise them for their meat, although they are primarily used today as sport cattle for rodeo events such as team roping and steer wrestling.
They are well adapted to the arid regions of the Southwest since they require less water and thrive upon sparse open range.
The third largest cattle company in North America, the Aztec Land and Cattle Company was better known as the Hashknife Outfit, because their brand resembled the old hash knives used by cattle camp cooks (see bookmark p.347).
The cowboys that worked on the ranch gained a reputation for lawlessness, with rustling, train robberies and gunfights prevalent in the Arizona area. In 1886 alone, there were twenty-six shooting deaths on the streets of Holbrook, home to only about 250 people at the time. The Hashknife cowboys were later immortalised in the novels of Zane Grey.
After a severe winter blizzard hit northern Arizona at the turn of the 20th century, killing thousands of Hashknife cattle, followed by a dramatic drop in cattle prices, the company began to liquidate its holdings. The ranch was sold to the Babbitt brothers of Flagstaff in 1901.
You can find out more about the Hashknife cowboys here.
Line camps were isolated outposts positioned along the boundaries of vast ranches.
Before the open range system came to an end with the introduction of barb wire fencing towards the close of the 19th century, cowboys were stationed in these camps to ‘ride the line’. This meant turning back cattle that were straying from the ranch property, tending to the cattle, and watching out for rustlers. After fencing was introduced, line camps became less common but were still used on larger ranch properties.
The Little Colorado River runs through the Painted Desert region of Arizona.
The Hashknife brand originated in Weatherford, Texas, in the 1870s. The design was inspired and named after the knives used by cattle camp cooks to cut beef and vegetables into cubes to make hash.
A major advantage of using this design for a brand was that it was difficult for rustlers to superimpose another brand on top of it.
The top selling cigarette brand in the 1930s, Lucky Strike changed their signature dark green packaging to white in 1942. In an advertising campaign which used the slogan 'Lucky Strike Green has gone to war', the company claimed the change was made because the copper used in the green colour was needed for World War II (in actual fact, the more neutral white was introduced to attract female smokers).
In any case, Lucky Strike would continue to employ militaristic imagery in their advertising through the 1940s, as can be seen in the embedded video.
Perhaps no coincidence, then, that Lucky Strike is the brand of choice for the patriotic barman who scorns Billy for his failure to enlist.
A reference to the insignia of the Imperial Japanese Army, as well as to Japan as the 'Land of the Rising Sun'.
Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, anti-Japanese sentiment ran high in America, aided in no small part by government propaganda. In terms of crude racial stereotyping much of this propaganda was not so far removed from the anti-Semitic images emanating from Nazi Germany.
The embedded video contains a clip from a 1943 Batman feature entitled Slaves of the Rising Sun, demonstrating how deeply anti-Japanese sentiment had infiltrated American popular culture throughout the war years.
First created in 1917, the blue star service flag displayed in the windows of homes where a family member was serving in the armed forces. The blue star became gold if a service member was killed or died on active duty.
First used in World War I, they became especially popular during World War II. Their popularity waned during the contentious Vietnam War, but they have since come back into use.
Although the U.S. had the lowest casualty rates of the major powers in World War II, New Mexico proportionately suffered the loss of more servicemen than any other state in the nation.