How well do you know Arizona? If you attended 4th grade in Arizona, then you probably learned quite a bit about Arizona history. But for the majority of Arizonan’s, the history of Arizona is a mystery!
To honor our home state, we thought it would be fun to share some facts about it. Some you may know, others you may not, and in any case it is all good fun. Arizona was the 48th state in the Union, and the last of the contiguous United States to be made a state; so for that reason, here are 48 facts about Arizona.
1. Women in Arizona were granted the right to vote in 1912, eight years before national suffrage.
2. Arizona has the largest percentage of land designated as Native American lands. Nearly one-fourth of the state is reservation land. Twenty-two sovereign American Indian communities currently inhabit Arizona.
3. There aren’t any dinosaur fossils at the Grand Canyon because the rocks are much older than the oldest known dinosaurs. The only fossils you’ll find are things like corals, crinoids, sponges and trilobites.
4. Arizona is large enough to fit all six states of New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont) plus the state of Pennsylvania inside of it.
5. In area, Arizona is the sixth largest state in the United States (behind Alaska, Texas, California, Montana and New Mexico). Arizona is close to 114,000 square miles. It’s about 340 miles wide and 400 miles in length.
6. The best preserved meteor crater in the world is in Winslow, Arizona.
7. Although Arizona is the sixth largest state in the US, only about 17 percent of it is privately owned. The rest goes to public forest and park lands, state trust lands, and Native American reservations.
8. The roof of the Capitol building of Arizona is made up of enough copper to make 4.8 million pennies.
9. The five C’s, cotton, copper, cattle, citrus, and climate were the building blocks of Arizona.
10. The sun shines in Phoenix and Tucson 85 percent of the year, even more than Florida and Hawaii.
11. The World’s Oldest Rodeo is held every July in Prescott, Arizona. The oldest continuous rodeo is in Payson.
12. Arizona is the 15th most populous of the 50 states with over 6.7 million people.
13. The last volcanic eruption in Arizona took place sometime between A.D. 1080 and 1150, and created Sunset Crater near Flagstaff.
14. Arizona’s diverse climate and geography can yield both the highest and lowest temperatures in the country within the same day.
15. The saguaro cactus blossom is the official state flower. The white flower blooms on the tips of the saguaro cactus during May and June. The saguaro is the largest American cactus. The fruit of the saguaro is edible. If you cut down an endangered cactus like this Saguaro in Arizona, you could face up to a year in prison.
16. The Palo Verde is the official state tree. The name means “green stick.”
17. The cactus wren is the official state bird. It grows seven to eight inches long and likes to build nests in the protection of the thorny saguaro cactus arms.
18. Arizona has 13 species of rattlesnakes, more than any other state. The Arizona ridge-nosed rattlesnake is the state reptile.
19. Turquoise is the official state gemstone.
20. Arizona is famous for the Petrified Forest. Petrified wood is also Arizona’s state fossil.
21. Our state fish, the Arizona Trout, is only found in Arizona.
22. Arizona observes Mountain Standard Time on a year round basis, which means it does not “spring forward” or “fall back”. The one exception is the Navajo Nation, located in the northeast corner of the state, which observes the daylight savings time change. Hawaii is the only other state that does not observe daylight savings time.
23. The Four Corners is a spot in the United States where a person can stand in four states at the same time, and includes Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah.
24. Arizona became the 48th state on February 14, 1912. So don’t forget to say a quick “happy birthday” to Arizona on Valentine’s Day!
25. The world’s largest solar telescope is located at the Kitts Peak National Observatory near Tucson.
26. A person from Arizona is called an Arizonan.
27. Arizona leads the nation in copper production.
28. Arizona has three national parks, six state forests, 18 national monuments (more than any other state), and 28 state parks.
29. Tombstone, Arizona, was the site of the West’s most famous shoot-out—the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. This gunfight only lasted around 30 seconds.
30. Arizona has more mountains than Switzerland, and more golf courses than Scotland.
31. In Arizona, it is unlawful to refuse a person a glass of water.
32. Arizona is home to the largest unbroken Ponderosa pine forest in the US. One-fourth of the entire state is covered by forest growth.
33. The original London Bridge was shipped stone-by-stone and reconstructed in Lake Havasu City.
34. In 1926, the Southern Pacific Railroad connected Arizona with the eastern states.
35. The geographic center of Arizona is 55 miles (89 kilometers) southeast of Prescott.
36. Phoenix started as a hay camp to supply Camp McDowell in 1866.
37. The 13 rays of red and gold/yellow on the top half of the Arizona flag are the colors of the flag of Spain, representing the original 13 states in the Union. They also symbolize Arizona’s sunsets. The copper star in the middle represents Arizona’s copper mining industry. The bottom half is colored blue representing the Colorado River. The red and blue on the Arizona flag are the same shade as the red and blue on the flag of the United States.
38. Arizona’s name originated from the Spanish name, Arizonac, which in turn derived from the O’odham name “alĭ ṣonak” (meaning “small spring”).
39. Lake Mead and Lake Powell are the two largest man-made lakes in the US and both are located in Arizona.
40. Arizona’s highest point is Humphrey’s Peak at 12,633 ft.
41. Arizona has more mountains than any of the other mountain states (Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming) with 3,928 mountain peaks and summits.
42. The hottest temperature in Arizona was 128 degrees, recorded in Lake Havasu City on June 29, 1994.
43. The coldest temperature in Arizona was -40 degrees, recorded at Hawley Lake on January 7, 1971.
44. The Four Peaks area of the Matzanal Mountains is known for producing top-quality amethysts.
45. Before the United States flag flew over the land area that has become Arizona the Castilian and Burgundian flags of Spain, the Mexican flag, the Confederate flag were all flown.
46. The longest stretch (about 158 miles) of old U.S. Route 66 is still in existence is in Kingman, Arizona.
47. Mail going to Supai, below the south rim of the Grand Canyon, still moves by mule train. The mule train makes the 8 mile, three- to five-hour trip five days a week.
48. Tonto Natural Bridge near Payson, Arizona, is considered the world’s largest natural bridge formed of travertine. The bridge is 400-foot-long, 183 foot high and was discovered in 1877.
Did you learn anything new? Are there any neat Arizona facts you would like to share? Feel free to tell us in the comments section below! We would love to hear from you.