KidsPost: Today's News: Is the Four Corners Monument in the Right Place?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

When 'X' Doesn't Mark the Spot

-- The Four Corners Monument is where Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona all meet in one spot. It's the only place in the country where you can stand in four states at once, and thousands of tourists visit every year.

But a controversy erupted this week when reports surfaced that the real boundary of the four states is not at the monument people love to stand on.

Here's what happened: When the original surveyors marked the meeting point for those four states in 1868, they put it in the wrong place. Their equipment wasn't as accurate as today's, so they marked a spot about 1,800 feet away from the point where the four states meet.

So does this mean that if you go to Four Corners, you're really just in one state?

No, long ago the U.S. government adopted the mistaken marker as the legal boundary of the four states -- right where the current monument stands. So, yes, you can still go there and stand in four states at once.

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