Gallup (Navajo: Naʼnízhoozhí /nɑ̀ʔnɪ́ʒòːʒɪ́/; Zuni: Kalabwakin) is a city in McKinley County, New Mexico, United States, with a population of 21,678 as of the 2010 census. A substantial percentage of its population is Native American, with residents from the Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni tribes. Gallup is the county seat of McKinley County and the most populous city between Flagstaff and Albuquerque, along the historic U.S. Route 66.
The city was founded in 1881 as a railhead for the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, and named after David Gallup, a paymaster for the railroad. It is on the Trails of the Ancients Byway, one of the designated New Mexico Scenic Byways. Because of the nearby rugged terrain, it was a popular location in the 1940s and 1950s for Hollywood Westerns.
Gallup was founded in 1881 as a railhead for the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. The city was named after David Gallup, a paymaster for the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. During World War II, the city fought successfully to prevent 800 Japanese American residents from being placed in wartime internment, the only New Mexico city to do so.
Gallup is known as the "Heart of Indian Country" or "The Heart of Indians" because it is on the edge of the Navajo reservation and is home to members of many other tribes as well.
U.S. Route 66 passed through Gallup, and the town's name is mentioned in the lyrics of the song "(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66" ("You'll see Amarillo and Gallup, NM"). In 2003, the U.S. and New Mexico Departments of Transportation renumbered US Highway 666, the city's other major highway, as Route 491. Former Governor Bill Richardson pushed for (and got) the number changed because "666" is associated with Satan and Devil worship, and thus it was considered "cursed" or a "Beast" to some locals.