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Arizona Timeline of State History
Chronological History of Arizona
|Marcos de Niza, a Spanish Franciscan friar, was the first European to explore Arizona. He entered the area in 1539 in search of the mythical Seven Cities of Gold. Although he was followed a year later by another gold seeker, Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, most of the early settlement was for missionary purposes. In 1775 the Spanish established Fort Tucson. In 1848, after 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 in legends of America's Old West. It was here that the great Indian chiefs Geronimo and Cochise led their people against the frontiersmen. Tombstone, Ariz., was the site of the West's most famous shoot-out—the gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
- 2000 BC - Indians introduce agriculture to Arizona.
- 1200 AD - Hopi village of Oraibi is founded. May be oldest American town where people have continuously lived.
- 1539 - Father Marcos de Niza, looking for cities of gold, explores Arizona and claims it for Spain.
- 1540 - Francisco Vasquez de Coronado of Spain came searching for the Seven Cities of Cibola. Coronado never finds the cities said to be made of gold, but claims Arizona as part of New Spain.
- 1692 - Father Kino starts work and founds Guevavi mission.
- 1700 - San Xavier del Bac mission (White Dove of the Desert) is founded.
- 1752 - After many revolts from the Pima and Papago tribes, the first permanent settlement was established in Tubac.
- 1776 - A Spanish presidio (fort) is built at Tucson.
- 1821 - Mexico gained military control of Arizona. That same year, trappers and traders from the United States came into the area.
- 1848 - United States won the Mexican War and gained all of Arizona north of the Gila River..
- 1853 - By Gadsden Purchase, rest of Arizona becomes part of United States.
- 1854 - Copper is discovered in Arizona.
- 1857 - First stagecoach in Arizona.
- 1858 - Gold is discovered on Gila River.
- 1862 - Chief Cochise and Apaches attack soldiers at Apache Pass, beginning a ten year war with settlers.
- 1863 - Territory of Arizona is created by Congress, with Prescott as capital.
- 1864 - Kit Carson captures approximately 7,000 Navajo indians in Canyon de Chelly, forcing them to leave Arizona.
- 1867- The capital was first established in Prescott, in 1867 changed to Tucson, and was eventually moved in 1889 to Phoenix.
- 1869 - John Wesley Powell explores the Grand Canyon by boat.
- 1870 - Population is 9,658
- 1881 -
- Railroad crosses state.
- October 26 - Earp and three of his brothers, together with Doc Holliday, became famous in the O.K. Corral gunfight in 1881, when they killed several suspected cattle rustlers.
- 1886 - The great Apache Chief Geronimo surrenders to soldiers on September 4. Indian fighting is over.
- 1880 - Phoenix becomes capital of Arizona Territory.
- 1889- The capital moved to Phoenix.
- 1900 - Population is 122,931.
- 1911 - President Roosevelt dedicated a dam that was named after him. The Coolidge Dam, the Bartlett Dam, and the Hoover Dam followed.
- 1912 -
- February 14th, Valentines Day, Arizona becomes the 48th State: Capital is Phoenix, first Governor is George W. P. Hunt.
- 1917 - United States joined World War I against Germany. The Zimmerman Telegram was one reason we joined the war. It was sent from Germany to Mexico, and said that if Mexico helped Germany fight in the war, Mexico would regain Arizona.
- 1919 - Grand Canyon National Park is founded.
- 1930 - The planet Pluto is discovered by Clyde Tombaugh at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff.
- 1936 - Hoover Dam is completed.
- 1940 - Population is 499,261. Arizona is known as Grand Canyon State.
- 1948 - Indians obtain the right to vote.
- 1960 - Population has zoomed to 1,302,161.
- 1963 - United States Supreme Court decision maintains Arizona's right to large amounts of Colorado river water.
- 1964 - Barry M. Goldwater, Senator from Arizona, runs for president....but loses.
- 1965 - Judge Lorna Lockwood is elected as Chief Justice of Arizona State Supreme Court.
- 1968 -
- London Bridge (which was falling down) is moved to Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
- Congress authorizes Central Arizona Project to bring Colorado river water to Phoenix and Tucson.
- 1974 - US Congress divided the Hopi Reservation between the Hopi and the Navajo Indians.
- 1975 - Raul H. Castro became the first Mexican American Governor of Arizona.
- 1981 -
- Population grows to 2,718,425.
- Arizona Justice Sandra Day O'Connor becomes the first woman on the United States Supreme Court.
- 1985 - Central Arizona Project brought more water from the Colorado River by pipeline to Phoenix, and in 1991 to Tucson.
- 1988 -
- Governor Evan Mecham becomes the first United States Governor in 59 years to be impeached.
- Acting Governor Rose Mofford sworn in as the 18th Governor on April 5, the first woman in the state to hold the office.
- 1991 -
- Fife Symington elected Governor in special run-off election.
- Central Arizona Project brought more water from the Colorado River by pipeline to Tucson.
- 1997 - Secretary of State Jane Hull becomes Governor September 5, 1997, after Fife Symington resigns.
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Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest
Coconino National Forest
Coronado National Forest
Kaibab National Forest
Prescott National Forest
Tonto National Forest