When the Mexican-American War ended in 1848, the two countries agreed on a border: the center of the deepest channel of the Rio Grande. However, as historian Leon C. Metz once wrote, "Rivers are never absolutely permanent. They evaporate, flood, change channels, shrink, expand, and even disappear. Rivers are, by nature, capricious." After the war, the Rio Grande gradually shifted southward, resulting in a diplomatic stalemate between Mexico and the United States over the boundary's location. This impasse lasted until 1964, finally ending when presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Adolfo López Mateos signed the Chamizal Treaty. Parcels of land were exchanged, residents and businesses were uprooted, and a permanent, concrete channel was constructed to signify a more predictable boundary.
Commemorating the dispute's peaceful resolution, the 55-acre park at the Chamizal National Memorial commemorates the dispute's settlement with a bevy of facilities: 2 miles of foot trails, an outdoor amphitheater and indoor theater that host many free concerts and other events, and a visitor center with a museum, three galleries, and a bookstore (expect to spend an hour touring the museum and galleries). It's a nice open space that's more accessible and greener than the Franklin Mountains and larger than the other municipal parks. There is also a walkway to the adjacent Bridge of the Americas leading to the memorial's Mexican counterpart, Parque Chamizal, with an anthropology museum and an amusement park in Ciudad Juárez.