Arizona State Facts - Arizona History Firsts

Catch up on your state trivia with these Arizona history firsts and interesting fun facts about the state.

Official Name Arizona
Capital Phoenix
33.54255 N, 112.07139 W
Constitution Ratified 1911
Statehood February 14, 1912
48th state
Number of Counties 15 Counties in Arizona
Largest County
(by population)
9,204 sq. mi.

Arizona History Firsts & State Facts

  • 1692 - Between the years 1692 and 1711 Father Eusebio Kino focused on area missionary work. During the time many grain and stock farms began.
  •  1862 - The westernmost battle of the Civil War was fought at Picacho Pass on April 15, 1862 near Picacho Peak in Pinal County.
  • 1863 -Prior to President Abraham Lincoln signing the Arizona Organic Act on February 24, 1863 to create Arizona Territory, Arizona was part of the territory of New Mexico.
  • 1866 - Phoenix originated in 1866 as a hay camp to supply Camp McDowell.
  • 1876 - The Chiricahua Apache chief Geronimo began ten years of raids against white settlements when the US government attempted to move his tribe from their traditional home in Arizona to a reservation in New Mexico.
  • 1886 - The negotiations for Geronimo's final surrender took place in Skeleton Canyon, near present day Douglas, Arizona, in 1886.
  • 1898 - The Arizona Cardinals are the oldest continuous franchise in the National Football League, dating back to 1898.
  • 1911 - Arizona became the home of the first major irrigation project by the US Bureau of Reclamation when former US president Theodore Roosevelt dedicated a dam on the Salt River.
  • 1912 - Arizona became the 48th state and last of the contiguous states on February 14, 1912. In 1912, President William Howard Taft was ready to make Arizona a state on February 12, but it was Lincoln's birthday. The next day, the 13th, was considered bad luck so they waited until the following day. That's how Arizona became known as the "Valentine State."
  • 1913 - The battleship USS Arizona was named in honor of the state. It was commissioned in 1913 and launched in 1915 from the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
  • 1915 - The colors Blue and Gold are Arizona official state colors
  • 1926 - The Southern Pacific Railroad connected Arizona with the eastern states.
  • 1931
    • The Saguaro Cactus Blossom became Arizona official state flower on Mar 16, 1931. The white flower blooms on the tips of the saguaro cactus during May and June. The Saguaro cactus is the largest cactus found in the U.S. It can grow as high as a five-story building and is native to the Sonoran Desert, which stretches across southern Arizona. A saguaro cactus can store up to nine tons of water.
  • 1936 - On June 6, 1936, the first barrel of tequila produced in the United States rolled off the production line in Nogales, Arizona.
  • 1939 - Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's studio, Taliesin West, was built near Phoenix.
  • 1752 -Tubac was the first European Settlement in Arizona (1752)
  • 1953 - Once a rowdy copper mining town, Jerome's population dwindled to as few as 50 people after the mines closed.
  • 1954 - The Palo Verde is Arizona official state tree. Its name means green stick and it blooms a brilliant yellow-gold in April or May.
  • 1966 - Despite early conservation efforts, Apache trout were considered endangered under the Federal Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966. Apache trout became federally protected with passage of the Endangered Species Act in 1973.
  • 1971 - The Bola Tie became Arizona official state neckwear on Aug 13,
  • 1974 - Turquoise is Arizona official state gemstone. The blue-green stone has a somewhat waxy surface and can be found throughout the state.
  • 1986 -
  • 1988- Petrified Wood is Arizona official state fossil. Most petrified wood comes from the Petrified Forest in northeastern Arizona.
  • 1990 - The hottest recorded day in Phoenix was June 26, 1990, when the temperature hit 122 degrees.

More Arizona History Firsts & State Facts

  • The "Five C's"of Arizona's economy are: Cattle, Copper, Citrus, Cotton, and Climate. Historically, Arizona's strongest economic support came from the Four C's - cotton, copper, cattle, and citrus. In recent years, a fifth - climate - has been added
  • Arizona leads the nation in copper production. Arizona's most abundant mineral is copper.
  • The amount of copper on the roof of the Capitol building is equivalent to 4,800,000 pennies
  • The geographic center of Arizona is 55 miles (89 kilometers) southeast of Prescott.
  • Four Corners is the spot in the United States where a person can stand in four states at the same time.
  • Arizona has 3,928 mountain peaks and summits- more mountains than any one of the other Mountain States (Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming). Arizona has 26 peaks that are more than 10,000 feet in elevation
  • Rising to a height of 12,643 feet, Mount Humphreys north of Flagstaff is the state's highest mountain.
  • All of New England, plus the state of Pennsylvania would fit inside Arizona. Arizona is roughly the size of Italy. Arizona is the 6th largest state in the nation, covering 113,909 square miles
  • Arizona has more parks and national monuments than any other state, more mountains than Switzerland, and more golf courses than Scotland.
  • There are 11.2 million acres of National Forest in Arizona, and one-fourth of the state forested.
  • Arizona is a right-to-work state. The law states no person shall be denied the opportunity to obtain or retain employment because of non-membership in a labor organization.
  • The state's precipitation varies. At Flagstaff the annual average is 18.31 inches; Phoenix averages 7.64 inches; and Yuma's annual average is 3.27 inches.
  • The Arizona trout is found only in the Arizona.
  • Bisbee, located in Tombstone Canyon, is known as the Queen of the Copper Mines. During its mining history the town was the largest city between Saint Louis and San Francisco.
  • Yuma, Arizona is the country's highest producer of winter vegetables, especially lettuce
  • Crops include 2%; pastureland 57%; forests 24%; and other uses are 17% in land-use designation.
  • The average state elevation is 4,000 feet.
  • There are more wilderness areas in Arizona than in the entire Midwest. Arizona alone has 90 wilderness areas, while the Midwest has 50
  • Arizona has the largest contiguous stand of ponderosa pines in the world stretching from near Flagstaff along the Mogollon Rim to the White Mountains region.
  • The two largest manmade lakes in the U.S. are Lake Mead and Lake Powell- both located in Arizona.
  • The Arizona towns of Adair and Alamo Crossing are now underwater, having been swallowed up by the formation of dams that created Fool Hollow Lake and Alamo Lake (respectively).
  • Arizona is home of the Grand Canyon National Park.
  • The Grand Canyon is 227 miles long, 1 mile deep, and has an average width of 10 miles.
  • Grand Canyon's Flaming Gorge got its name for its blazing red and orange colored, twelve-hundred-foot-high walls.
  • Grand Canyon's Disaster Falls was named to commemorate the site of a previous explorer's wreck.
  • Grand Canyon's Marble Canyon got its name from its thousand-foot-thick seam of marble and for its walls eroded to a polished glass finish.
  • Arizona observes Mountain Standard Time on a year round basis. The one exception is the Navajo Nation, located in the northeast corner of the state, which observes the daylight savings time change.
  • World War II brought many military personnel to train at Luke and Thunderbird fields in Glendale.
  • The Castilian and Burgundian flags of Spain, the Mexican flag, the Confederate flag, and the flag of the United States have all flown over the land area that has become Arizona.
  • The state's most popular natural wonders include the Grand Canyon, Havasu Canyon, Grand Canyon Caves, Lake Powell/Rainbow Bridge, Petrified Forest/Painted Desert, Monument Valley, Sunset Crater, Meteor Crater, Sedona Oak Creek Canyon, Salt River Canyon, Superstition Mountains, Picacho Peak State Park, Saguaro National Park, Chiricahua National Monument, and the Colorado River.
  • The original London Bridge was shipped stone-by-stone and reconstructed in Lake Havasu City.
  • The Arizona ridge-nosed rattlesnake is perhaps the most beautiful of all eleven species of rattlesnakes found in Arizona. Thirteen species of rattlesnakes live in Arizona, more species than in any other state.
  • Located in Fountain Hills is a fountain believed to be the tallest in the world.
  • Four Corners is noted as the spot in the United States where a person can stand in four states at the same time.
  • The age of a saguaro cactus is determined by its height.
  • Arizona, among all the states, has the largest percentage of its land set aside and designated as Indian lands.
  • The world's largest solar telescope is located at Kitts Peak National Observatory in the city of Sells.
  • At one time camels were used to transport goods across Arizona.
  • A person from Arizona is called an Arizonan.
  • The famous labor leader, Ceasar Estrada Chavez, was born in Yuma.
  • Tombstone, Ruby, Gillette, and Gunsight are among the ghost towns scattered throughout the state.
  • Arizona observes Mountain Standard Time on a year round basis, never observing daylight savings time.
  • The original London Bridge was shipped stone-by-stone and reconstructed in Lake Havasu City.
  • In World War II, many Navajos enlisted as secret agents. Our enemies could never understand the Navajo language to learn our military secrets.
  • The sun shines in southern Arizona 85% of the time, which is considerably more sunshine than Florida or Hawaii. Arizona also frequently has the hottest and coldest temperatures on the same day. The temperature could be 75 degrees in the desert to 45 degrees in the high country.
  • Camels were used at one time to transport goods across Arizona.
  • Arizona has the largest percentage of its land set aside and designated as Indian lands.
  • The Anasazi Indians made waterproof baskets that they cooked in. They put hot rocks in with the food to cook it.
  • Oraibi is the oldest Indian settlement in the United States. The Hopis Indians founded it.
  • The capital of the Navajo Reservation is Window Rock.
  • The Navajo Reservation, the nation's largest reservation, lies primarily in Arizona and extends into Utah and New Mexico.
  • Navajo Community College in Tsaile, was the first college on an Indian reservation.
  • The Navajo Nation Zoological and Botanical Park is the only tribally-owned zoo in the U.S.
  • The Hopi Indians of Arizona are noted for growing their multicolored corn.
  • Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, two of the most prominent movie stars of Hollywood's Golden Age, were married on March 18, 1939, in Kingman, Arizona.
  • Billy the Kid killed his first man, Windy Cahill, in Bonita, Arizona
  • Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch in Picacho, Arizona is the largest privately-owned ostrich ranch in the world outside South Africa.
  • If you cut down a protected species of cactus in Arizona, you could spend more than a year in prison
  • Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, grew up on a large family ranch near Duncan, Arizona.
  • Barry Goldwater, a famous public official, senator, and presidential candidate was born in Phoenix.
County Information and County History
State Facts & History Firsts
State Fun Facts - History Firsts