Here is a brief history of Arizona for you. The Arizona Territory became the State of Arizona on February 14, 1912. Arizona was the 48th state, and was sparsely populated with only 200,000 residents at the time it became a state. 100 years later, Arizona is now home to 6.5 million people and Phoenix is now one of America's ten largest cities.
Arizona's beauty and diversity lies in the geography, from what everyone is familiar with - the Grand Canyon - to the beauty of the Sonoran desert, mountain ranges, saguaros, and natural wildlife. But Arizona also has a legacy diverse with culture from the Native American, Spanish, Mexican and Anglo influences beginning with Hohokam, Anasazi and Mogollon civilizations that go back at least 10,000 years. It was only in the 1500’s that the territory attracted Anglo explorers. For a while, the land that is now Arizona was under Spanish rule and then Mexican rule, until finally becoming a United States territory with New Mexico in 1848.
On Valentine's Day, 1912, President Taft signed the proclamation of statehood, and that is what we are celebrating today! 100 years later, we continue to celebrate the state of Arizona. There have been a number of factors that have contributed to the Grand Canyon State's growth in the last hundred years including raising cattle, the climate for crops that were hard to grow elsewhere, and the railroads necessary for commerce. What you are probably most familiar with is the dry climate that is also often associated with Arizona. Arizona's reputation has continued to grow under what are commonly referred to as the 5 C’s: climate, copper, cattle, cotton and citrus.
Thunderbird in Arizona:
Thunderbird also has a long history in the state of Arizona. Thunderbird School of Global Management is the oldest and largest graduate management school in the United States focused solely on preparing international business leaders. It was founded in 1946 following World War II by Lieutenant General Barton Kyle Yount, the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Air Training Command.
The graduate school was built on the site of Thunderbird Field, a historic airbase established to train American, Canadian, British and Chinese pilots during World War II. The remnants of that earlier time can still be seen on the modern campus in a number of landmark buildings, including the airfield control tower, barracks and airplane hangars. The Thunderbird campus is still based in Glendale, Arizona today.
Join us in celebrating Arizona’s Centennial!