During the Archaic Period people were living in brush huts near the floodplain of the Rio Grande in what is now Keystone Park. Human occupation of the Rio Grande Valley dates to at least 12,000 years ago
Aztec ruler Moctezuma II surrenders Tenochtitlán to Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés. Mexico City is established on the site of the Aztec capital.
Francisco Vásquez de Coronado and his army of 1,100 camp near the Tiwa pueblo of Kuaua, near modern Bernalillo.
Juan do Oñate leads first Spanish colonists up the Rio Grande, blazing what would become known as El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro. Onate settles on Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo lands, and the first Spanish capital is established at San Juan do los Caballeros.
The Spanish capital is relocated from San Juan do los Caballeros to La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francsico de Asis (Santa Fe).
Spanish ranches and villages are established along El Camino Real north of Isleta Pueblo, including Pajarito and Atrisco, independent communities now within the greater Albuquerque area.
German trader Bernardo Gruber dies on the Jornada del Muerto after fleeing jail at Sandía Pueblo and the cruelties of the Spanish Inquisition.
On August 10th, nearly two dozen pueblos and their allies revolt over the Spanish practices of extracting payments, forcing conversion to Catholicism, and brutally suppressing native religion. The Spanish flee south and the pueblos regained their homeland for 12 years.
The Spanish return to New Mexico and begin rebuilding missions and settlements.
La Villa de Alburquerque is established, with today’s “Old Town” and plaza as its historic center.
The Tomé grant is settled after the Rio Grande shifts west, creating an inner valley branch of El Camino Real through the Tomé Plaza.
Still a rough camp in 1760, the paraje of Doña Ana is settled as a town in the 1840s.
San Elizario is established as a military presidio to protect citizens of El Paso del Norte from Apache attacks.
US Lieutenant Zebulon Pike illegally enters Spanish territory while exploring the West. Pike is captured and taken down El Camino Real to Mexico City.
Mexico gains its independence from Spain. The Santa Fe Trail opens with the arrival of William Becknell’s trading party from Missouri. El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro becomes known as the “Chihuahua Trail” for traders moving goods between Santa Fe and towns to the south.
Missouri volunteers under Colonel Alexander W. Doniphan defeat a Mexican unit at the Battle of Bracitos, go on to take El Paso del Norte, and march into Chihuahua.
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo establishes American control over about half of Mexico’s lands, including the lands traversed by El Camino Real north of El Paso del Norte.
New Mexico becomes an incorporated, organized territory of the US on September 9.
American-Mexican border is redefined through the Gadsden Purchase, which for 10 million dollars brought nearly 19 million acres of land between Texas and California into American hands.
Battle of Valverde, the first major battle of the Civil War in the Southwest, takes place north of Fort Craig in February.
Fort Selden is established to protect the Mesilla Valley.
The region’s first operational railroad, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway, enters New Mexico Territory by way of Ratón Pass; the rails reach El Paso, Texas, in 1881.
New Mexico Territorial Highway Commission appropriates funds to reengineer La Bajada section of El Camino Real for automobile traffic.
New Mexico achieves statehood; State Highway 1 incorporates many sections of El Camino Real.
US Route 66 is built over parts of El Camino Real in central New Mexico, including the steep descent known as La Bajada.
New Mexico’s roadside historic markers begin to tell the trail’s history. In 1992 many of the 82 El Camino Real markers are installed as part of the Columbus Quincentenary Commemorations.
El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro is added to the National Trails System on October 13.
Sites on the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro in Mexico inscribed on the World Heritage List.