Leo Crane was a Bureau of Indian Affairs official who wrote two books about his experiences in Arizona and New Mexico from 1911 to 1928. His “Christmas Revels” chapter on a little-known incident in 1919 inspired me to seek additional information, leading to the discovery of the remarkable resources in the Institute for Pueblo Indian Studies at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. The attempt by state militiamen to seize cattle rustlers during the Christmas day dance almost resulted in their massacre. The incident was a precursor of the united Pueblos’ struggle to defeat the Bursum Bill and preserve their lands and way of life in the 1920s.
Joe Sabatini was born in the Bronx, but doesn’t admit to it because his family moved to Los Angeles following World War II. He obtained his Master’s Degree in Library Science from U.C.L.A in 1965. He came to New Mexico as a VISTA Volunteer working in Sandoval County. Following 5 years at the U.N.M. School of Law Library, he joined the Albuquerque Public Library in 1973 as Head of Reference. He served as Main Library Manager from 1980 to July of 2000, when he became the library manager at Special Collections, the regional history and genealogy branch. Following his retirement in December 2008, he volunteers in the Archives/Library of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, and is active in the Near North Valley Neighborhood Association.