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Happy Arizona Statehood Day

Posted on February 14th, 2009 Filed under Holidays

Happy Burpday to Arizona! It is Arizona Statehood Day! Carly and I went downtown to walk around the capital and pay our respects to the great state of Arizona. We were not alone. A huge crowd had assembled. They were all like, “Dangit, stop cutting our education funding!” We were all like, “Happy B-Day!!”

I have recently become a bit more interested in Arizona state history. I think it’s interesting because it’s such a new state in relation to all the others. There are people alive that were born before Arizona was even a state. Also, it’s always good to know some history about the place you live. I did the research, and here are some fun facts about our great state of Arizon-I-A:

  1. Arizona is the 48th State in the US-of-A, born on this day in 1912. The mainland of America spent untold millennium in labor before fully giving birth to Arizona almost 400 million years ago. The umbilical cord has been long eroded away, but you can still see her bellybutton, and even from space!
  2. Arizona has a pretty sweet flag, which looks like something like the bastard offspring of a Texan and war-time Japanese flag, which makes sense because Arizona sits right between the two. The 13 rays represent the original Union colonies. The star in the middle represents copper, because Arizona was the largest producer of copper in the nation. Arizona just wanted to be known for 2 things: being respectful to the USA and copper. Modest, but powerful.. taking the best from both Japan and Texas.
  3. Arizona is the fastest growing state in the country. We currently have over 6 million people and tend to double in population every other decade. For all you Dann Spohns out there, exact numbers aren’t consistent. You can see anything from 14% to 73% growth rates from decade to decade in the past century. It’s a rough average, Dann.
  4. Of our ever-growing population a good third (that’s 29%, Dann) is Mexican, which makes sense because Arizona sits right between Mexico and New Mexico. What is cool about it is that I can drive for 20 minutes and feel like I’m in Mexico. Guadalupe, just South of the airport, is complete with stray dogs and buildings that look like they weren’t built to any code at all. I can go to Mesa and find department stores that don’t have any English written anywhere in the store. I can even see cars driving around with wheels that stick out the side too far, from any day of the week.
  5. Arizona is also home to an Intra-state highway. That’s an Interstate that is marked as an Interstate, but doesn’t actually leave the state. I feel proud to live next to such a landmark, the I-17. It’s always got some pebbles and stuff on it though. Cars in front of me kick those up and crack my windshield or chip my paint, so I tend to avoid it as much as I can.
  6. Mormon settlers came to Arizona to escape persecution from pretty much anywhere else there were non-Mormons. At the time there weren’t that many people here, so Mormons were able to set up Colorado City within our great state with nary an unwelcome visitor.  From there on out they could build their town, marry multiple pre-teens, tweens and teens and live their lives as they wished until the 50’s when the government figured it all out. Colorado City is now no longer owned by the Mormon Church, but they are still known as the nation’s most inbred city, with over half of its population descending from just two different people. That’s over 2,000 inbreds! Take that, Kentucky!
  7. Speaking of persecution, Arizona was also home to one of the largest Indian Schools, meant to force Americanization upon the local tribes. Children were taught the language, given our haircuts and taught our ways. The Indian School is probably the largest catalyst between the old-world native Americans and the lifestyle they live on their reservations today. Now we just take for granted the name Indian School Road, but it is one of a major Arizonan history.
  8. Arizona is all weird about daylight savings time. They just don’t do it. Normally, I’d be all cool with that, but it’s more of a pain because the rest of the states do it. Half the year, we are in the same time zone as Colorado, and the other half as California. I never remember which. Consequently (and maybe ironically, but I’m too afraid to say because Skinner may be reading and he’ll make fun of me if I’m wrong), the only place in Arizona that does observe daylight savings, is the Navajo Nation.
  9. President Teddy Roosevelt loved the state of Arizona, before it was even a state, and before he was even a president. He visited here, participated in some wars here, and he even described the Apache Trail (out North of AJ) as one of the most beautiful trails in the USA. I once saw his namesake Roosevelt Dam, but I don’t remember it so well. I was on a boat, and thus I was drunk. Nah, I kid; I remember it well.
  10. The swamp cooler was invented in 1906. Arizona became a state 6 years later. This is no coincidence. With temperatures that soar to 120 degrees in the summer, Phoenix summers are among the most inhospitable climates of the USA.
  11. The Arizona state fish is the Arizona Trout. The state flag is known as the Flag of the State of Arizona. The state seal is known as the Great Seal of the State of Arizona. That must be some kind of desert seal. The state neckware is of course, the bolo tie. Christy bought me one of these for my birthday.

Arizona is a great state with a fascinating history. Next Valentine’s Day remember to take a moment and pay your respects to the Great State of Arizona.

Before I go, I leave you with this printable timeline of Arizona history. I made it myself. Do enjoy.


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