Desert Origins of Phoenix, Ariizona
The name Arizona comes from the Native American word “arizonac” which translates to “place of the small spring.” It is the 48th contiguous state of the United States. This was declared on February 14th, 1912 thus earning the nickname of “The Nation’s Valentine.”
Arizona history dates back to 1539 when Friar Marcos de Niza explored the state on his quest to find the mythical seven cities of gold. Missions were established in the 1690’s and introduced Christianity to the region. Arizona was once part of New Mexico before The Arizona Organic Act was signed in 1863.
In the 1700’s, prospectors flocked to Arizona to stake their claims on the state’s precious metals. Copper, lead, zinc, silver and gold have all been mined here. Mining continues to be a substantial player in Arizona’s economy. When gold was discovered in California in 1849, Arizona’s Gila Trail became a main route to the west coast. As this brought an influx of gold seekers unable to cope with the desert environment, the Tohono O’odham Tribe assisted the prospectors in surviving the unfamiliar climate.
Arizona’s bid to make history continued. In 1930, former planet Pluto was discovered by an astronomer at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff. Sandra Day O’Connor, who is the first woman appointed to the US
Supreme Court was born in the small town of Duncan. Other major political players such as John McCain, Janet Napolitano, Barry Goldwater and G. Gordon Liddy hail from the nation’s Valentine State