The Four Corners is a common name for the region within 150 miles of the marker where Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico, Arizona meet. The Four Corners reflects a wide array of customs of both ancient and contemporary cultures, spiritual beliefs, and histories. This presentation describes the landscape’s extensive geological and cultural transformation contributed by prehistoric civilization advancements, Native American customs and centuries of conflict and cooperation, the Navajo Long Walk, Mormon settlement, American farming and ranching, and the World War II Code Talkers. Not to mention the cultural and economic impacts of Southwestern tourism created by the Santa Fe Railway, The Fred Harvey Company, and movie making at Monument Valley. The rich history of the Four Corners has inspired and influenced how world has imagined the American West.
Before retiring from the Arizona Historical Society, Jim Turner worked with more than 70 museums in every corner of the state. He is co-author of the 4th-grade textbook The Arizona Story, and his pictorial history book, Arizona: Celebration of the Grand Canyon State, was a 2012 Southwest Books of the Year selection. Jim moved to Tucson in 1951, earned a M.A. in U.S. history from the University of Arizona, and has been researching and teaching Arizona history for more than 40 years. Jim is now an author/editor for Rio Nuevo Publishers, author of The Mighty Colorado from the Glaciers of the Gulf (2016) and Crater Lake and Beyond (2017).