America in the 1970s: The Southwest

Welcome to Day 2 of Documerica Week on In Focus -- a new photo essay each day, featuring regions of the U.S. covered by the photographers of the Documerica Project in the early 1970s. Today's subject is the American Southwest, including Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, and California. The photos depict some of the challenges facing residents at the time: scarce resources, mining operations, growing cities and towns, as well as glimpses of people at work and play in the deserts, mountains and ocean shores. The Documerica Project was put together by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1971, with a primary goal of documenting adverse effects of modern life on the environment, but photographers were also encouraged to record the daily life of ordinary people, capturing a broad snapshot of America. Be sure to see the whole series: Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.
Jump to Comments

Most Recent

  • Robert MacFarlane/AP

    Photos of the Week: 4/11-4/17

    This week, we have images of a visit to Coachella, raging fires in Siberia, Yazidi New Year celebrations, a burning Boeoegg in Zurich, the World Pole Dance Championships in Beijing, a gyrocopter on the the lawn of the U.S. Capitol, the Paris Marathon, a robot from the new Star Wars movie, bubbles in Egypt, and much more.

  • Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

    The Cherished Empty Bedrooms of the Sewol Ferry Victims

    Tomorrow will mark the one-year anniversary of the sinking of the ferry Sewol off the coast of South Korea, and the loss of more than 300 people, including 250 students. Some of the families of those students have kept their children’s bedrooms intact to remember and honor their loved ones.

  • Reuters

    And Then There Was One

    Across China, where new developments are keeping pace with the rapidly growing economy, reports continue to surface so-called "nail houses."

  • Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

    The Vrontados Rocket War

    Every year, during Greek Orthodox Easter celebrations, members of rival churches sitting across a small valley stage a traditional "rocket war" by firing thousands of homemade rockets towards each other while services are held in the Greek village of Vrontados.

Join the Discussion