Las Cruces is the second-largest city in the U.S. state of New Mexico and the seat of Doña Ana County. As of the 2020 census the population was 111,385. Las Cruces is the largest city in both Doña Ana County and southern New Mexico. The Las Cruces metropolitan area had an estimated population of 213,849 in 2017. It is the principal city of a metropolitan statistical area which encompasses all of Doña Ana County and is part of the larger El Paso–Las Cruces combined statistical area.
Las Cruces is the economic and geographic center of the Mesilla Valley, the agricultural region on the floodplain of the Rio Grande which extends from Hatch to the west side of El Paso, Texas. Las Cruces is the home of New Mexico State University (NMSU), New Mexico's only land-grant university. The city's major employer is the federal government on nearby White Sands Test Facility and White Sands Missile Range. The Organ Mountains, 10 miles (16 km) to the east, are dominant in the city's landscape, along with the Doña Ana Mountains, Robledo Mountains, and Picacho Peak. Las Cruces lies 225 miles (362 km) south of Albuquerque, 42 miles (68 km) northwest of El Paso, Texas and 41 miles (66 km) north of the Mexican border at Sunland Park.
Spaceport America, which has corporate offices in Las Cruces, operates from 55 miles (89 km) to the north, and has completed several successful crewed, suborbital flights. The city is also the headquarters for Virgin Galactic, the world's first company to offer sub-orbital spaceflights.
The settlement of Las Cruces was founded in 1849 when the US Army first surveyed the town, thus opening up the area for American settlement. The town was first surveyed as the result of the American acquisition of the land surrounding Las Cruces, which later became the New Mexico Territory. This land had been ceded to the United States as a result of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of 1848, which ended the Mexican American War. The town was named, "Las Cruces," after three crosses which were once located just north of the town.
The approximate elevation of Las Cruces is 3,908 feet (1,191 m) above sea level.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 76.6 square miles (198.5 km2), of which 76.5 square miles (198.1 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.4 km2), or 0.18%, is water.
Las Cruces is the center of the Organ Caldera; the Doña Ana Mountains to the north and the Organ Mountains to the east are its margins. Its major eruption was 32 Ma.
Famous Peoples From Las Cruces New Mexico
Lenny Pickett (born April 10, 1954) is an American saxophonist and musical director of the Saturday Night Live band. From 1973 to 1981 he was a member of Tower of Power.
He is known for his skill in the altissimo register (executed by using a combination of embouchure control, air stream control, and alternate fingerings), which can be heard during the opening credits of Saturday Night Live.
Pickett grew up in Berkeley, California. He has no formal musical training, did not attend high school beyond the first year and did not attend college. After dropping out of high school, he took lessons from Bert Wilson, a jazz saxophonist known for his facility with the altissimo register. Other than those lessons, he is self-taught on saxophone.