- 32nd meridian west from Washington
The 32nd meridian of longitude west from Washington is a line of
longitudeapproximately 109°02'48" westof the Prime Meridianof Greenwich. In the United States of America, the meridian 32 degrees west of the Washington Meridiandefines the western boundaries of the State of Colorado and the State of New Mexico and the eastern boundaries of the State of Utah and the State of Arizona.
1861-02-28, the Act Organizing the Territory of Coloradodefined the western boundary of the new territory as the 32nd meridian of longitude west from Washington.cite web |url=http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit/archives/territory.pdf |title=An Act to provide a temporary Government for the Territory of Colorado |format= Thirty-sixth United States Congress|year= 1861-02-28|accessdate=2007-01-15] The creation of the Colorado Territorymoved the eastern boundary of the Territory of Utahwest to this meridian.
Two years later on
1863-02-24, the Act Organizing the Territory of Arizonadefined the eastern boundary of the new territory as the 32nd meridian of longitude west from Washington. This in turn moved the western boundary of the Territory of New Mexicoeast to this meridian.
These boundaries on the 32nd meridian of longitude west from Washington remained when
Coloradobecame a state on 1876-08-01, Utahbecame a state on 1896-01-04, New Mexicobecame a state on 1912-01-06, and Arizonabecame a state on 1912-02-14. The point of intersection of these four states, known as the Four Corners, is the only place in the United Stateswhere four states touch.
Longitude in the United States
Latitudeand longitudeuniquely describe the location of any point on Earth. Latitude may be simply calculated from astronomical or solar observation, either at land or sea, interrupted only by cloudy skies. Longitude, on the other hand, requires both astronomical or solar observation and some form of timereference to a longitude reference point. John Harrisonproduced the first precise marine chronometerin 1761.
The completion of the first
North American electrical telegraphline between Washington and Baltimore on 1844-05-24, introduced a technology that could transmit time signals nearly instantly. On 1850-09-28, the United Statesadopted two primary meridians of longitudefor officially use: the Greenwich Meridian(through the old Royal Observatory at Greenwich, England) for all nautical and international use, and the Washington Meridian(through the old United States Naval Observatoryin Washington, D.C.) for more accurate astronomical and domestic use. The completion of the first telegraph line across North Americaon 1861-10-24, allowed time signals from the Naval Observatory in Washington to be transmitted across the continent.
The United States used the
Washington Meridianas the longitude reference for most states and territories created between 1861and 1868. The completion of the first permanent transatlantic telegraph cableon 1866-07-28, allowed the Naval Observatory at Washington to be synchronized with the Royal Observatory at Greenwich. The need for a separate national meridian for the United States gradually faded, and in 1884, U.S. President Chester A. Arthurcalled the International Meridian Conferencein Washington which selected the meridian of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich as the international Prime Meridian. On 1912-08-12, the United Statesadopted the Prime Meridianof Greenwich for all uses domestic and international.
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