Did you know...... that on Valentine's Day February 14, 1912, President William Howard Taft declared Arizona as the 48th state of the US. This is how it got to be known as the 'Valentine State'.
It is said that the name Arizona is derived from the Native American word 'arizonac' which means 'place of the small spring'. It is also called The Grand Canyon State and The Copper State. Arizona is located in the southwestern region of the United States. It was the 48th and also the last of the Contiguous states to be integrated into the United States.
'Interesting' is one significant word that aptly describes this state, as it is a confluence of several cultures, geographical segments and social factions. Apart from this, Arizona also has a fascinating history related to the natives like Apache and Hopis, stretching right up to the hunts for the Cíbola, treasure troves and the legendary cities of gold.
• Capital: Phoenix
• State Amphibian: Arizona Tree Frog
• State Butterfly: Two-tailed Swallowtail
• State Bird: Cactus Wren
• State Mammal: Ringtail
• State Fish: Apache Trout
• State Reptile: Arizona Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake
• State Fossil: Petrified Wood
• State Flower: Saguaro Cactus Flower
• State Neck wear: Bolo Tie
• State Gemstone: Turquoise
• State Song: 'Arizona March Song'
• Demonym: Arizonan
• State Colors: Federal Blue and Old Gold
◘ Arizona is the 6th largest State with an area of around 113,998 square miles, of which nearly 15% is privately owned. It is approximately 340 miles wide and about 400 miles long which is roughly equivalent to size of Italy.
◘ It is the 15th most populous state. According to the 2010 United States Census the population of Arizona was 639,2017.
◘ Arizona has four major rivers, namely, the Salt, Verde, Gila and Colorado. This state is also gifted with natural lakes; many of which are habitats for game fish.
◘ The Marble Canyon gets its name from the weathered and polished glass like thousand feet walls which are seams of marble. The Flaming Gorge on the other hand appear as blazing red and orange-colored walls which stretch up to12,000 feet. This very canyon is 227 miles long, 1 mile deep and 10 miles wide.
◘ 85% of the time, the sun shines in southern part of Arizona which means that it has considerably more sunshine than Florida or Hawaii.
◘ The geographical center of the state lies at a spot 55 miles the town of Prescott.
◘ It has 3,928 mountain peaks and summits which is more than any of the other mountain states.
◘ Arizona has an average state elevation of 4,000 feet. The highest point is Humphreys Peak in Flagstaff, lying 12,643 feet above mean sea level.
◘ Among the 15 counties of Arizona, area-wise, Santa Cruz is smallest.
◘ It is said that if we stack four 1,300-foot skyscrapers on the top of each other at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, it would still not make it to the top rim.
◘ The Apache county which stretches for 221 miles from the Utah border to just south of Alpine is the longest county in the US.
◘ Benson, Arizona houses the Kartchner Caverns which is a large limestone cave with 13,000 feet of passages and two rooms as big as foot fields. It is also one of the world's largest soda straw stalactites.
◘ Arizona has more parks and national monuments than any other State. It also has more golf courses than Scotland.
◘ Lake Mead and Lake Powell which are located in Arizona are the largest man-made lakes in the US.
• Grand Canyon Caverns
• Petrified Forest/Painted Desert
• Monument Valley
• Salt River Canyon
• Saguaro National Park
• Picacho Peak State Park
• Sedona Oak Creek Canyon
• Superstition Mountains
• Chiricahua National Monument
• Colorado River/Lake Powell
• Havasu Canyon
• Meteor Crater
◘ It is said that both the highest and lowest temperatures in the whole nation can be recorded on the same day in Arizona.
◘ The capital city of Phoenix receives sunshine for almost 211 days every year. On the other hand, there are roughly 85 partly-cloudy days and 69 rainy days (this is an approximate average, not applicable for all years).
◘ Arizona receives an average annual rainfall of 12.7 inches which occurs during two rainy seasons.
◘ The hottest temperature ever recorded was 128 °F (53 °C) at Lake Havasu city on June 29, 1994.
◘ The coldest temperature ever recorded ever was −40 °F (−40 °C) at Hawley Lake on January 7, 1971
◘ In spite of the hot and often warm climate, from the years 1872 to 1973 the Sunrise mountain received around 400.9 inches of nice snow.
◘ Flagstaff, Arizona is one of the snowiest cities in the United States, with an average annual snowfall of 109.8 inches. It is famous along with Alpine for its ski resorts.
◘ The composition of land-use designation includes 2% crops, 57% pasture land, 24% forest and 17% of land used for other purposes.
◘ Around 11.2 million acres of National Forest lies in Arizona and about one-fourth of the State is forested.
◘ It has the largest contiguous stand of ponderosa pines in the world which spans from Flagstaff along the Mogollon Rim to the White Mountains region.
◘ Yuma, Arizona is the highest producer of winter vegetables, especially lettuce, in the US.
◘ The largest deposit of petrified wood in the US is found in the Petrified Forest in northeastern Arizona. It is also Arizona's official State fossil.
◘ The official State tree, Palo Verde which means 'green stick' blooms in rich yellow-gold colors during the month of April and May.
◘ The saguaro cactus is found in the Sonoran desert, which stretches across southern Arizona. It is the largest cactus found in the US (grows as high as a five-story building) and is said to store up to 9 tons of water.
◘ The saguaro cactus blossom of white flowers is the official state flower which blooms during May and June. It opens during the middle of the night and closes the next day - surviving only about 18 hours of pollination.
◘ The Hopi Indians of Arizona are famous for growing a multicolored variety of corn.
◘ The Sonoran Desert which is located in southern Arizona is said to be the most biologically diverse desert in North America.
◘ In olden times, camels were used to transport goods across Arizona.
◘ The ringtail, the official state mammal, is a small fox-like nocturnal animal which belongs to the raccoon family. It grows to about two and half feet long. It is also known as a 'miner's cat' as it was kept as a pet my miners to get rid rodents in their cabin.
◘ The Arizona tree frog was elected as the state's official amphibian in 1896.
◘ The cactus wren is Arizona's official State bird.
◘ We all know roadrunner from the cartoon series but you can easily spot the real birds in Arizona. Sometimes, they can run at speeds of up to 17 mph if they sense danger.
◘ Arizona is home to about thirteen species of rattlesnakes which is higher than any other state. The ridge-nosed rattlesnake which is the state reptile is perhaps the most beautiful of them all.
◘ The Apache trout is found only in Arizona and is also its state fish.
◘ The largest freshwater striped bass caught in Arizona was at Bullhead City and weighed about 59 lbs. 12 oz.
◘ The Castilian and Burgundian flags of Spain, the Mexican flag, the Confederate flag, and the flag of the United States were all flown over the area that has now become Arizona.
◘ Spanish Franciscan friar Marcos de Niza became the first European to explore Arizona. In 1539, he roamed the area in search of the mythical seven cities of gold .
◘ He was followed by Spanish Conquistador Francisco Vásquez de Coronado in 1540, who was hunting for Cibola, seven mythological cities of gold.
◘ In the 1690s Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino, established missions in this region, introducing Christianity in the region.
◘ After the discovery of gold and silver in the region, the Spanish founded and consolidated Spanish Arizona as their Northern frontier in the 18th century.
◘ Before President Abraham Lincoln signed the Arizona Organic Act on February 24, 1863 to create Arizona Territory, the state was part of the territory of New Mexico.
◘ The Montezuma National Monument was never visited by Montezuma, the Aztec emperor. In fact, he was born a century after the abandonment of the prehistoric dwelling. It was misnamed after it was re-discovered in 1860's.
◘ The city of Phoenix is named after the mythical Egyptian phoenix bird which is reborn from its ashes because it came from the ruins of an old civilization.
◘ It said that Oraibi, a Hopi village which is located in Navajo County, Arizona, dates back to before 1200 A.D. It is reputed to be the oldest continuously inhabited community in America.
◘ Many of the people who founded San Francisco in 1776, were Spanish colonists from the county of Tubac, Arizona.
◘ Post Camp McDowell, Phoenix came into existence in 1866, as a hay camp for military.
◘ Many military personnel were trained at Luke and Thunderbird fields in Glendale during the World War II.
◘ Architect Frank Lloyd Wright began building a desert masterpiece studio, Taliesin West, in Phoenix in 1937.
◘ On February 18, 1930 Pluto was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona.
◘ On March 18, 1939 two of the times biggest Hollywood stars Clark Gable and Carole Lombard were married in Kingman, Arizona.
◘ Billy the Kid killed his first man, a blacksmith named Frank 'Windy' Cahill in Bonita, Arizona.
◘ The first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, Sandra Day O'Connor grew up near Duncan, Arizona.
◘ Famous labor leader and activist Cesar Chavez was born in Yuma.
◘ Barry Goldwater and John McCain were two Arizonans to have won their party's nomination for President.
◘ Legendary filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille had originally traveled to Flagstaff to make his first film The Squaw Man (1914), but shifted his plans to Hollywood when he was caught in the middle of a storm. The film was a great success thus establishing Hollywood as the world's movie capital. Just for a storm, else Flagstaff would have become the film capital of the world.
◘ Some other important people from Arizona include Stephenie Meyer, Erma Bombeck, Steve Allen, Barbara Eden, Heather Morris, Ralph S. Johnson, Jim Adkins, Julia Robinson, Max Aaron, Ike Davis.
◘ More than 35 movies have been filmed in the Monument Valley, Arizona, featuring its stunning sandstone formations.
◘ The Capitol building of Arizona has a copper roof. The amount of copper that was utilized to make the roof is equivalent to that used in 4.8 million pennies.
◘ Grand Canyon's Disaster Falls got the name to commemorate the location of a previous explorer's wreck.
◘ Carefree, Arizona is home to the world's tallest Kachina doll made of concrete and stands 39 feet tall.
◘ Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, which is located almost 55 miles west to Phoenix, is the largest power plant in the US.
◘ The first barrel of tequila which was produced in the United States was rolled off the production line in Nogales, Arizona on June 6, 1936.
◘ The Parker Dam which is located in western Arizona is the deepest dam (around 320 feet) in the world.
◘ Arizona has the largest percentage of Indian lands than any other state in US.
◘ Kitt Peak National Observatory in Sells, Arizona is home to the world's largest solar telescope.
◘ In the 1960s, the famous London Bridge was replaced. The original one was dismantled, purchased, shipped and reconstructed in Lake Havasu City, Arizona where it is still standing strong today.
◘ The Arizona Cardinals who date back to 1898, are the oldest continuous franchise in the National Football League.
◘ From 1973 to 2007, Arizona was the only state to have the bola tie as its official state neck wear. In 2007, it was also adopted as the official state tie by New Mexico too.
◘ The construction of dams which created Fool Hollow Lake and Alamo Lake submerged the towns of Adair and Alamo Crossing under water.
◘ The world's oldest rodeo exists in Prescott, Arizona. The world's oldest continuous rodeo exists in Payson, Arizona.
◘ Arizona follows the Mountain Standard Time throughout the year. Only Navajo Nation which is located in the northeast observes the daylight saving time during the time change.
◘ The battleship USS Arizona which was launched in 1915 from the Brooklyn Navy Yard was named in the honor of the Arizona State.
◘ During the Second World War, several Navajo Indians provided crucial assistance as spies and intelligence personnel. The only language that they spoke was unknown to almost everybody.
✦ What do the 13 stripes on the Arizona flag represent?
✦ The 1881, legendary gunfight at O.K. Corral lasted for how long?
✦ The library at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona is home to the world's largest to-scale collection of miniature airplane models. True or False.
✦ The best-preserved meteor crater in the world is located near Phoenix, Arizona. True or False.
✦ The Navajo Nation Zoological and Botanical Park is the only tribally-owned zoological park in the USA. True or False.
✦ Arizona is not the only State in the nation that elects a Mine Inspector. True or False.
✦ Name the spot in USA where a person can stand in the four states of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah at the same time.
✦ Whom did the Arizona Diamondbacks defeat to win the World Series in 2001?
Though Arizona has a arid desert-like geography, it is among the most beautiful regions in the world. It also has some of the most beautiful and unique flora and fauna. Arizona, certainly, is a perfect example of the wild west.