A FAMILY TRADITION OF HISTORY
Couple’s Endowment Honors Founder of New Mexico Historical Review
By Anna Adams
Posted November 14, 2017
Lansing Bloom pursued his own research agenda in archives in Mexico, Spain, Italy and Washington, D.C.,” said Durwood Ball, editor of the New Mexico Historical Review (NMHR) and associate professor of history at UNM. “He recovered long-forgotten Spanish and Mexican documents on our region and brought copies to our archives at UNM.”
Bloom was a renowned New Mexican historian who taught at UNM from 1926 until his death in 1946. He brought the NMHR with him to UNM from Santa Fe, where he worked as one of its founding editors. To honor his father’s memory, John Bloom and his wife, Jo Tice Bloom, have created the Lansing B. Bloom Family Award at UNM to support the NMHR. John is on its editorial board.
“John has carried on in the field his father worked,” said Ball. “He sets high standards for himself and others. I have the utmost respect for him as a historian and editor.”
Both John (’47 BA) and Jo hold doctorates in history and have been active in the New Mexico Historical Society for many years. In addition, John previously served as a president of the Western History Association.
After graduating from UNM, John went on to earn his MA from George Washington University and his PhD from Emory University. A highlight of his extensive career in historical research was his longtime work as an editor of the Territorial Papers of the United States for the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
“My dad died before I finished my BA,” said John. “By example, he guided me in my career. He was very devoted to his work.”
Lansing Bloom started out as a missionary and later worked on documentation of New Mexican participants in WWI. He was dedicated to historical research on New Mexico and took many research trips to Spain and Mexico.
Jo shared her admiration for Maude E. McFie, Lansing’s wife, who was also a historian. “She helped him with translation. Her Spanish was better than his, so she translated the documents faster than he could,” said Jo. “They were a team.”
Jo has led her own distinguished career in history with a special interest in women’s education. She received her BS in education from Northwestern University and went on to earn her MA and PhD from the University of Wisconsin. She taught U.S. history for many years, including at New Mexico State University (NMSU) in Las Cruces, where she and John reside.
“I came up through the ranks at a time when there were very few of us,” said Jo. “Women should follow their own interests. They can do anything they want to do.”
“From Albuquerque and Santa Fe to down here at NMSU, we are a family with deep roots in New Mexico history,” said John. “I believe the New Mexico Historical Review is one of the most important, if not the most important, publications to promote New Mexico history. We created our endowment at UNM to continue the strength of its position.”
“And,” said Jo. “To commemorate the work of Lansing B. Bloom.”
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