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Arizona (Az): State Guide and Fun Facts

When did Arizona become a state?
February 12, 1912

Who was the first European settlers in Arizona?
Marcoz de Niza and Francisco Vasquez de Coronado

First Native American settlers:
Chemehuevi, Cocopa, Apache, Havasupai, Hopi, Maricopa, Mohave, Navajo, Quechan, Tewa, Tohono O’odham, Southern Ute, White Mountain Apache, Yaqui, Zuni

Square Miles:

US Rank:

State Flower:
Saguaro Cactus

State Bird:
Cactus Wren

State Motto:
“Ditat Deus” God Enriches

Capital City

Phoenix – Phoenix was founded in 1861 and became a city in 1881. It was first settled by Jack Swilling, who found himself moving west after the American Civil War. The area that became Phoenix was chosen as a prime location because of its location near the White Tank Mountains and a river valley, making it ideal land for farming. Before acquiring its permanent name, Phoenix was called Pumpkinville, Swilling’s Mill (named after Jack Swilling), Helling Mill, Mill City and East Phoenix. Government officials settled on the name Phoenix to symbolize the way the city rose up from former Native American ruins.

What is Arizona famous for?

1. Grand Canyon – The Grand Canyon is located in the northern central part of Arizona, and is one of the largest natural wonders in the world. The canyon was carved over millions of years by the Colorado River, which has slowly worked its way downward, leaving behind many layers and billions of years of prehistoric rock. The area was first inhabited by Pueblo Native Americans, who lived within caves of the Grand Canyon. Other Native American Tribes followed in their footsteps over thousands of years, but all eventually left the canyon when the Europeans and Americans arrived. Today, the Grand Canyon attracts millions of visitors annually who come to learn about the ancient history of Arizona, and visualize it in the layers of rockthat can be seen from some of the world’s most scenic vistas.

2. Tombstone, Arizona – Tombstone was founded in 1879 when prospectors discovered silver in the area. It quickly became a boomtown, growing to 1000 residents by 1881. In addition to rapid growth, the city was rapidly growing in wealth, with a total silver value mined of $3 million dollars within five years. As quickly as it rose out of nothing, Tombstone fell into poverty as the mines stopped yielding riches. It remains today, a tourist town that attracts almost 500,000 visitors annually.

3. The Petrified Forest – The Petrified Forest in Arizona is a national park that is home to a large amount of petrified wood; wood that has been fossilized by permineralization. This process typically takes about 100 years to complete. At the national park, visitors can see the Painted Desert Visitor Center to learn about the area. There are hiking trails, wilderness areas and camping is available after acquiring a free permit. Park Rangers give tours of the Petrified Forest every day, educating those who wish to learn more about the unique landscape in Arizona.

What is Arizona’s economy?

1. Agriculture – Arizona’s economy is partially earned through agricultural crops and livestock production. The state’s more important cash crops include lettuce, cotton and hay. Other, smaller crops are greenhouse and nursery plants, cantaloupes, barley, potatoes and wheat. The most important livestock raised in Arizona are beef cattle, dairy products, pigs and sheep.

2. Manufacturing – Arizona is a leading manufacturer of computer and electronic equipment. This includes communication systems and computer microchips. Transportation equipment and chemicals are the second and third largest sectors of manufacturing in Arizona, followed by metal, food products, machinery and copper.

3. Services – The services industry in Arizona is the largest income generating category. Services include finance, insurance and real estate. These three contribute the largest percentage of money to the GDP. They are followed by wholesale and retail trade, public schools, hospitals and military companies.

Who is the governor of Arizona?

Janice K. Brewer – Janice Brewer became the Governor of Arizona in January of 2009. Her political career has included terms as the Secretary of State, Chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and 14 years in the Arizona State Legislature. Her main focuses throughout her career, and especially now that she is governor, have been to make the government more efficient and accessible to the citizens of Arizona and reducing the state’s debt.

Arizona Historical Landmarks

1. Lowell Observatory – The Lowell Observatory is located in Flagstaff Arizona and served as an astronomical observatory beginning in 1894 when construction was completed. The observatory is home to four high-powered telescopes in place for researching the Milky Way galaxy as well as surrounding galaxies. They focus especially on monitoring the amount of sun that bounces off the surfaces of Uranus and Neptune, searching for asteroids that are a danger to Earth, surveying the Kuiper Belt and searching for planets beyond the solar system. The Lowell Observatory was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966, one year after it was designated a National Historic Landmark.

2. El Tovar Hotel – The El Tovar Hotel was built in 1905 by architect Charles Whittlesey with the help of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. It was and remains today a functioning hotel and restaurant. The hotel was built at the northern end of the Grand Canyon Railway and was a popular destination for travelers to stay. They were attracted to the location in the Grand Canyon area of Arizona, as well as the hotel’s rustic architecture, which blended seamlessly with the site where it was built. The hotel today has 78 guest rooms with modern amenities. Historic restorations and renovations over the years have kept the hotel up-to-date while ensuring that its original rustic feel is not lost. In 1974, El Tovar Hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

3. Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site – The Hubbel Trading Post was build in 1878 by architect John Lorenzo Hubbell. He built the outpost in order to bring trade to the Navajo nation, which had only recently been allowed to return to their homeland after being exiled during “The Long Walk”. Traders would give Navajo Native Americans products which they could not grow in exchange for Navajo goods such as wool, sheep, crafted items and jewelry. The trading post is still open today and many goods are for sale. Trading has all but ceased, and goods are mainly sold for cash, but most importantly, the trading post still allows the Native Americans to survive on the land which has belonged to them for so many generations.

Additional Resources

Airports In Arizona

Chamber of Commerce in Arizona

Counties in Arizona

Towns and Cities in Arizona

Zoos in Arizona