Clara Belle Williams. Graduated from New Mexico State University despite being forced to take notes from the hallway. Taught black students by day, and former slaves by night. She lived to be over 100. New Mexico State University, which had been so reluctant to take her as a student, later named the English department building after her.
Following guerilla leader Pancho Villa’s raid on Columbus, New Mexico (in which 16 Americans died), President Wilson sent Gen. “Blackjack” Pershing and 10,000 soldiers into the mountains of northern Mexico to hunt Villa down. The mission ultimately failed but Mexicans viewed the act as an unjust invasion. It is said that the pejorative designation “gringo” came from this time, as US soldiers clad in olive uniforms were met with cries of “Green, Go!”