Gallup, located between Albuquerque and Flagstaff, is square in the West. It stands to reason that deep in old horse country the town was named after the sound a colt makes…
Oh, wait, maybe not. It turns out, “The city was named after David Gallup, a paymaster for the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad.”
Gallup still did manage to see its share of horses.
“(T)he rugged terrain surrounding Gallup was popular with Hollywood filmmakers during the 1940s and 1950s for the on-location shooting of Westerns… Films made in Gallup included Billy the Kid (1930), Pursued (1947), The Sea of Grass (1947), Four Faces West (1948), Only the Valiant (1951), Ace in the Hole (1951), Escape from Fort Bravo (1953), A Distant Trumpet (1964) and The Hallelujah Trail (1965).”
“The historic El Rancho Hotel & Motel has hosted a numerous array of movie stars including John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, Humphrey Bogart, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Joan Crawford, Kirk Douglas, Doris Day, Gregory Peck and Burt Lancaster… Actors and film crews would stay at the hotel during filming.”
Pretty neat history, but Gallup boasts some pretty substantive history as well considering it has a population of only about 21,000.
The Albuquerque City website explains the matter further:
“In New Mexico, the issue of internment was considered a local one, and cities and communities were given the chance to vote on whether or not they would intern Japanese Americans during the war. Clovis was the only city that voted to do so; the majority of New Mexicans were opposed. Residents of Gallup prepared petitions to oppose the internment of Japanese Americans in their town. In Albuquerque, the majority of residents were so opposed to internment that the issue never even came to a vote.“
“Gallup is sometimes called the “Indian Capital of the World”, for its location in the heart of Native American lands, and the presence of Navajo, Zuni, Hopi and other tribes. One-third of the city’s population has Native American roots. Gallup’s nickname references the huge impact of the Native American cultures found in and around Gallup. However, the city is criticized in the novel Ceremony, authored by the Native American writer Leslie Marmon Silko, for the city’s slums.”