Happy 100th Birthday Arizona: Random Facts from Arizona History

I am an Arizona native and although I have lived in many other places, Arizona is my favorite place to be. It is such a diverse community with a rich cultural background and an exciting political history. In honor of Arizona’s centennial celebration, I thought it would be fun to share some random historical facts about Arizona. Some of these facts are common knowledge and some are not. Enjoy!

  • Arizona used to be part of territorial New Mexico.
  • Phoenix dates back as far as 700 AD. It’s first inhabitants were the Hohokam (meaning “those who have gone”). The Hohokam mysteriously disappeared from the region.
  • Five national flags have flown over what is now called Arizona: the Castilian and Burgundian flags of Spain, the Mexican flag, the Confederate flag, and the flag of the United States.
  • Over two dozen Native American tribes call Arizona home. 
  • “The westernmost conflict of the Civil War,” the battle of Picacho Pass, was fought in Arizona in 1862.
  • President Taft would not agree to sign Arizona’s statehood bill unless the constitutional provision allowing the recall of elected officials was removed. Arizona removed it, Taft signed the bill, and then Arizona added recall right back in to the constitution where it remains today.
  • Arizona was one of the first states to allow women to vote (in 1912). 
  • Arizona was home to two Japanese internment camps in World War II.
  • Arizona was also home to several prisoner of war camps in WWII. 
  • In 1944, about 25 prisoners of war who were held at the Papago Park POW camp escaped. They were all captured but not before making a mark on Arizona history. The aspect of this story I have always found the most interesting was the capture of three of the German prisoners who planned to float down the Gila River to the Colorado River and into Mexico.  Once they got to the Gila, however, they discovered there was no water in the river.  Sounds about right for Arizona.  

Happy birthday, Arizona!

About Janice

Janice is an Arizona native, a soldier's girl, daughter of the King, and mother to two. She shares family activity ideas, recipes, crafts, and product reviews at Celebrating Family. Read more about Janice here!


  1. I will immediately snatch your rss as I can not to find your email subscription
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  2. I have a 1912 state of Arizona dinner plate encrusted in gold leaf design, state seal and it has dark red print on it with scenery of arizona. It has the state seal at the top. Looks to be bone china, maybe? There are no markings on the back at all to say where or when, as fare as origon. Does anyone know where to fins a value? It is a hundred years old this year and looks like a predidential plate.
    Thank you