While February 14 is celebrated as the day of love, it is also celebrated as Arizona’s official state anniversary. This year, Arizona celebrated its 110th anniversary!
Arizona is the 48th state to be accepted into the Union and was first discovered by Spanish explorers back in 1540, but it wasn’t until 1694 that Europeans laid their eyes on the land again. Spain continued to explore Arizona up until 1821 when Mexico gained its independence from Spain, at which point American’s were allowed to start exploring Arizona as well. It was not until 1848 that Americans gained the land through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
In 1858 silver was discovered near what is now known as Jerome, Arizona. This sparked a rush for silver across central Arizona. A few months later, this rush was overwhelmed by the even bigger gold rush in Apache County. Arizona’s population remained small throughout the 19th century despite all of these gold rushes, with most people following cattle trails into the area. By 1880 though, Arizona had more than 50,000 residents and continued to grow as mining jobs were plenty, and wages were high for those who chose to work.
By 1881, The Atlantic & Pacific Railroad constructed tracks across southern Arizona, further adding to Tucson’s growth. This also helped get more people to the silver mining towns of Tombstone and Bisbee, turning them into thriving communities. Finally, on February 14, 1912, President William Taft signed House Bill Number 329, which officially made Arizona a state of the United States of America.
Arizona’s population increased dramatically when World War I brought on new jobs. This attracted thousands of immigrants from Mexico. By 1920, Arizona’s population had almost doubled with these recently arrived immigrants, and this helped to build farms and ranches throughout the area.
Now, Arizona is thriving! It is the sixth-largest state in the United States and has gained much appreciation for its diversity. With scenic views found at every turn, it’s easy to understand why people enjoy visiting Arizona, as well as love living there.
Are you ready to call Arizona home, and join in it’s anniversary celebration each year?
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