Archive for November, 2011

Arizona Centennial

November 21st, 2011 by Mike Hug

Arizona is celebrating the centennial of admission as the 48th State in the Union on February 14, 1912. Arizona official centennial events run for many months and at many different locations in the state. Events can be found on the official website.

New events are being added to the calendar so check back to find out when events are happening and where. There is also a section of fun facts that give you trivia about the state. Some facts are “ All of New England and Pennsylvania would fit inside of Arizona.” and “Arizona is the 6th largest State in the Union having 26 peaks that are over 10,000 feet in elevation.” No Arizona is not just flat with nothing but sand and cactus. In fact as you travel either north or east from Phoenix you actually gain elevation and find some of these peaks.

For a little background history, the New Mexico Territory was established in 1853 and at that time the territory consisted of New Mexico and Arizona. The territory also included the southern part of Nevada. When Nevada became a state during the Civil War this section west of the Colorado River became a part of Nevada. On March 16, 1861, the southern New Mexico Territory around Mesilla and Tucson declared themselves independent from the United States and joined the Confederacy. The Confederacy considered the territory a vital link to the Pacific and would have allowed the Confederates to trade with the rest of the world. This would have caused the Union logistical problems with blockading ports. Additionally around 1860, Southern California was close to becoming a separate territory apart from the State of California. That never happened even though the area was sympathic to the Confederate cause.

On April 15, 1862, the Battle of Picacho Pass was fought in between Tucson and Phoenix, near the present day  town of Picacho. The Civil War battle was the furthest west of any battle and is reenacted yearly. The Confederates were driven back to New Mexico by California Volunteers and later withdrew back to Texas. In 1863, the U.S. split up the New Mexico Territory and created the Arizona Territory, which was to become the state of Arizona.

Arizona became known for mining, cattle and railroads.

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