Thursday, December 6, 2012

Arizona - #48, February 14, 1912

The 13 rays of red and gold on the top portion of the Arizona state represent both the 13 original colonies and the rays of the Western setting sun.  The bottom half of the flag is in the same liberty blue color as the United States flag.  Arizona was once the largest producer of copper in the nation so a copper star was placed in the flag's center.  Arizona was the last of the contiguous states to be admitted to the Union.

A Spanish Franciscan friar, Marcos de Niza, was the first European to explore Arizona. He entered the area in 1539 in search of the mythical Seven Cities of Gold. Following the end of the Mexican War, most of the Arizona territory became part of the U.S., and the southern portion of the territory was added by the Gadsden Purchase in 1853.

Arizona history is rich with legends of the Old West. The great Indian chiefs Geronimo and Cochise led their people against the frontiersmen in Arizona.  Tombstone featured the West's most famous shoot-out, the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.  Arizona has one of the largest U.S. Indian populations; more than 14 tribes are represented on 20 reservations.

Arizona is a recognized center of Native American art, with a number of galleries showcasing historical and contemporary works. The Heard Museum, located in Phoenix, is a major repository of Native American art. The Heard Museum has about 250,000 visitors a year.

The current Governor of Arizona is Jan Brewer, a Republican. Both Senators for Arizona are also Republicans - 2008 Presidential Candidate John McCain and John Kyl, although Kyl is leaving the Senate at the end of this year - the new Senator will be Congressman Jeff Flake (R). As a result of the 2010 decennial census, the Arizona Congressional delegation grew from eight to nine.
  • 1st District - Ann Kirkpatrick (D) (Representative-elect)
  • 2nd District - Ron Barber (D) (Barber is a former staff member of  Representative Gabrielle Gifford and was also injured in the attack that killed six and severely wounded Representative Gifford.
  • 3rd District - Raul Grijalva (D)
  • 4th District - Paul Gosar (R)
  • 5th District - Matt Salmon (R) (Representative-elect)
  • 6th District - Dave Schweikert (R)
  • 7th District - Ed Pastor (D)
  • 8th District - Trent Franks (R)
  • 9th District - Krysten Sinema (D) (Representative-elect) (Once seated, Sinema will become the first openly bi-sexual member of Congress)
  • State Capital and largest city - Phoenix
  • Date of Admission - February 14, 1912
  • Area - 113,990 sq mi (6th) 
  • Population (2011 est.) - 6,482,505 (16th) 
  • State Motto - "Ditat Deus" "God enriches"
  • State Nickname - The Grand Canyon State
  • State mammal - ringtail
  • State bird - cactus wren
  • State fish - Arizona trout
  • State flower - saguaro cactus
  • State reptile - Arizona ridgenose rattlesnake
  • State gem - turquoise
  • State fossil - petrified wood
  • State neckwear - the bolo tie
  • State tree - palo verde
  • State University - The University of Arizona, Arizona State University, and Northern Arizona University are the three main public schools in Arizona
  • State Archives - the History and Archives Division is a unit of the Arizona Secretary of State
  • Arizona Historical Society 
Prominent Arizonans - (here's a few lists to peruse, one and two)

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